Easy Fresh “Quick Fix” Kimchi
Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 pints | Total time: 30 min
Mention “kimchi” and watch many people squinch up their nose. Admittedly, it has a bit of a stinky reputation but I love just when it’s about to turn funky yet still maintains crunch and vigor. For the kimchi averse, I came up with this quick recipe that does not require fermentation as traditional kimchi does. I like to make this with Napa cabbage, bok choy, or green cabbage. Many recipes call for a sweet rice paste to help bind the spices to the cabbage, but you can also use pear juice, which I’ve included here. For more delicate palates, *reduce the amount of chile powder.
Serve with Pork Belly BBQ, as a side salad to grilled meats and fish, on tacos or sandwiches, pureed into soups, or simply over steamed rice with a fried egg (see below).
NOTE: This is a sneak peek into my new cookbook, to be published next May by Andrews McMeel.
1 medium to large head Napa cabbage (about 2 pounds) trimmed of any loose or discolored leaves
2 tablespoons sea salt
3/4 cup gochugaru (coarse Korean chile powder), reduce to 1/2 cup for a less spicy version*
1 to 2 tablespoons ground chile paste, such as Sambal Oelek
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 firm but ripe pear (preferably Asian), cored and chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
4 to 6 cloves garlic
1/4 cup coarsely grated ginger
4 carrots (about 6 ounces), cut into 2-inch matchsticks
1 medium Daikon radish, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters; remove the core, and chop into about 1–inch-wide (bite size) pieces. Place 1/2 of the cabbage in a large colander placed in the sink; sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt over. Add the remaining cabbage and top with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Let sit 10 minutes. Using tongs or hands, turn the cabbage so that the bottom layer is on top; let sit another 10 minutes. Rinse the cabbage, drain thoroughly, and pat or spin dry in a salad spinner.
- Combine the gochugaru, chile paste, soy sauce, pear, fish sauce, if using, garlic, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just blended. NOTE: The mixture will be a bit chunkier, but you could also mash everything with a potato masher if you don't feel like pulling out the food processor. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the carrot and radish; toss to combine. Add the salted and drained cabbage; toss to combine. Let sit, covered, in refrigerator 30 minutes. Drain again. This can be stored, with a tight-fitting lid, in the refrigerator 3 to 4 days. It’s still good up to a week or so but will start getting a little funky and taste more like the fermented kimchi of ill repute.
To Serve: One of my favorite ways to eat this Basic Fresh Kimchi, which is more of a salad than traditional buried kimchi, is to serve it over steamed rice (short grain Sushi rice) with a sloppy fried egg on top, and maybe some roasted seaweed.
Date Published: May 20, 2013
All recipes have been tested by the KimSunée.com Test Kitchens unless otherwise noted.