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Making Kimchi at Home


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#1 SheenaGreena

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:29 AM

well not real kimchi, because I am

1) lazy
2) and I don't feel like buying fermenting products like shrimp, squid guts, etc.


SO, does anyone have a super easy recipe for a novice? I have cabbage, moo (radish), vietnamese fish sauce (you'd be surprised...this tastes good in korean kimchi recipes), garlic, ginger, gochugaru, and green onion.

How do I combine all to make an excellent and fool proof recipe? Also, how long do you think I will have to wait to eat the kimchi? 2 days? a week?


there is no way I am going to ask my mother how to make it because her instructions are always so confusing and she makes kimchi the hard way - making her own gochugaru, using rice flour, etc etc, no measurements on anything, just tasting as she goes along. Way too hard!!
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#2 Forest

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 02:07 AM

Sheena:

I'm not by any stretch a kimchi expert, but everytime I make it, I usually just look up a really easy recipe on the web, like this one. It's usually just a matter of soaking the cabbage in salt water (i do over night, not three of four hours like this recipe says), pack everything in tight and then let sit outside for 2-3 days before I start eating it. Once, open I put in the fridge. Again, I'm no expert, but I'm perfectly happy with this basic kimchi.

but, let me know if you come up with something basic but better.

good luck.
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#3 SheenaGreena

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 02:35 AM

I just made kakkdugi and cabbage kimchi. I salted the cabbage and the raddish and just made a paste of gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and sugar. I basically rubbed both veggies with the mix....added some extra gochugaru (can never be too spicy) and added some green onion. I hope to god they come out okay, cause I didn't salt either veggie for very long and if it comes out correctly I'm going to actually crap myself (mmmmm tasty). I am going to leave all 3 jars out on my kitchen counter for a few days and then throw them in the fridge.

Since I didn't salt the cabbage for very long, do you think it will still taste okay? Does this mean that I have to wait longer for the cabbage's flavors to "meld" ?

Also what does adding rice flour to kimchi do? Add consistency?

I think this weekend I am going to try to make that kimchi where you stuff the mixture under each leaf. It's time consuming and a pain in the butt, cause you have to buy large jars/containers to hold large heads of cabbage. I would also like to try my hand at making whole raddish kimchi. Kakkdugi is okay and everything, but there is something about picking up a whole raddish with your chopsticks and chomping away that makes me happy. Plus I am all about the raddish tops...something you can't get with cubed raddish kimchi.

if anyone has any tips or suggestions, I would appreciate it
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#4 chappie

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 07:22 AM

Nourishing Traditions has a method that calls for less salt, then you "innoculate" the batch with a little bit of whey obtained by straining good quality plain yogurt. I made a jar of kimchi this way and it kept for several years in the fridge. It was delicious, and became moreso with time.

If you use this technique and wish to make future batches, you just use some of the liquid from one jar to create the next. Friendly bacteria.

#5 milgwimper

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 01:49 PM

I just made kakkdugi and cabbage kimchi.  I salted the cabbage and the raddish and just made a paste of gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and sugar.  I basically rubbed both veggies with the mix....added some extra gochugaru (can never be too spicy) and added some green onion.  I hope to god they come out okay, cause I didn't salt either veggie for very long and if it comes out correctly I'm going to actually crap myself (mmmmm tasty).  I am going to leave all 3 jars out on my kitchen counter for a few days and then throw them in the fridge.

Since I didn't salt the cabbage for very long, do you think it will still taste okay?  Does this mean that I have to wait longer for the cabbage's flavors to "meld" ?

Also what does adding rice flour to kimchi do?  Add consistency?

I think this weekend I am going to try to make that kimchi where you stuff the mixture under each leaf.  It's time consuming and a pain in the butt, cause you have to buy large jars/containers to hold large heads of cabbage.  I would also like to try my hand at making whole raddish kimchi.  Kakkdugi is okay and everything, but there is something about picking up a whole raddish with your chopsticks and chomping away that makes me happy. Plus I am all about the raddish tops...something you can't get with cubed raddish kimchi.

if anyone has any tips or suggestions,  I would appreciate it

View Post



Sheena How long did you salt the kimchi, and then did you rinse it? I made kimchi last month, and I overly rinsed. The kimchi was good but it needed the extra salt.

About the how long to leave the kimchi out depends on the weather. If it is really warm you might only have to leave it out for a day or two, but if too cold it might take almost a week. I gage it by taste or bubbles. Let it sit for a day or two and then taste. Keep tasting until the kimchi seems just about right and then refrigerate.

Rice flour, well that is debated. Somepople say that it helps the spices stay near the cabbage, and other says it helps with the texture of the kimchi..*shrug* Sometimes I add the rice and sometimes I don't. The only difference I can see is that the kimchi is more "watery" without the rice.

I wish I could get Chongak here but alas I will have to grow it out in my balcony next year if I want some. *sniff*

Tips: Well the things I learned when I made kimchi. You can decide what to use or discard.

Use sea salt or kosher salt.
Salt every leaf really well.
Let it sit in brine 2-4 hours or 24 hours depending on weather but make sure to "turn" the ones in the bottom to the top so all cabbages get some of the brine.
Rinse well, but not so well that the cabbage isn't salty at all (really don't do that!)
You can use salt in place of the saeu jjhot (salted shrimp) or fish/shrimp sauce. I perfer the salted shrimp, salt, and fish/shrimp sauce in that order.
a little bit of sugar helps with the taste. (about 1 tbsp for about 1 gallons worth of napa kimchi)
Don't leave the kimchi out for more than a month in warm weather... :blink:

#6 SheenaGreena

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 12:43 AM

Nourishing Traditions has a method that calls for less salt, then you "innoculate" the batch with a little bit of whey obtained by straining good quality plain yogurt. I made a jar of kimchi this way and it kept for several years in the fridge. It was delicious, and became moreso with time.

If you use this technique and wish to make future batches, you just use some of the liquid from one jar to create the next. Friendly bacteria.

View Post



whoa....dairy in kimchi? I don't know.....sounds very strange to me. If I mentioned this method to my mother, she might beat me with a stick :wacko:

Then again, isn't the same bacteria found in yogurt, the same that naturally occurs in kimchi during fermentation? Lacto - something - or other

I just made kakkdugi and cabbage kimchi.  I salted the cabbage and the raddish and just made a paste of gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and sugar.  I basically rubbed both veggies with the mix....added some extra gochugaru (can never be too spicy) and added some green onion.  I hope to god they come out okay, cause I didn't salt either veggie for very long and if it comes out correctly I'm going to actually crap myself (mmmmm tasty).  I am going to leave all 3 jars out on my kitchen counter for a few days and then throw them in the fridge.

Since I didn't salt the cabbage for very long, do you think it will still taste okay?  Does this mean that I have to wait longer for the cabbage's flavors to "meld" ?

Also what does adding rice flour to kimchi do?  Add consistency?

I think this weekend I am going to try to make that kimchi where you stuff the mixture under each leaf.  It's time consuming and a pain in the butt, cause you have to buy large jars/containers to hold large heads of cabbage.  I would also like to try my hand at making whole raddish kimchi.  Kakkdugi is okay and everything, but there is something about picking up a whole raddish with your chopsticks and chomping away that makes me happy. Plus I am all about the raddish tops...something you can't get with cubed raddish kimchi.

if anyone has any tips or suggestions,  I would appreciate it

View Post



Sheena How long did you salt the kimchi, and then did you rinse it? I made kimchi last month, and I overly rinsed. The kimchi was good but it needed the extra salt.

About the how long to leave the kimchi out depends on the weather. If it is really warm you might only have to leave it out for a day or two, but if too cold it might take almost a week. I gage it by taste or bubbles. Let it sit for a day or two and then taste. Keep tasting until the kimchi seems just about right and then refrigerate.

Rice flour, well that is debated. Somepople say that it helps the spices stay near the cabbage, and other says it helps with the texture of the kimchi..*shrug* Sometimes I add the rice and sometimes I don't. The only difference I can see is that the kimchi is more "watery" without the rice.

I wish I could get Chongak here but alas I will have to grow it out in my balcony next year if I want some. *sniff*

Tips: Well the things I learned when I made kimchi. You can decide what to use or discard.

Use sea salt or kosher salt.
Salt every leaf really well.
Let it sit in brine 2-4 hours or 24 hours depending on weather but make sure to "turn" the ones in the bottom to the top so all cabbages get some of the brine.
Rinse well, but not so well that the cabbage isn't salty at all (really don't do that!)
You can use salt in place of the saeu jjhot (salted shrimp) or fish/shrimp sauce. I perfer the salted shrimp, salt, and fish/shrimp sauce in that order.
a little bit of sugar helps with the taste. (about 1 tbsp for about 1 gallons worth of napa kimchi)
Don't leave the kimchi out for more than a month in warm weather... :blink:

View Post



well lets just say that after sitting out for 24 hours, my baechu kimchi looks like crap. The leaves aren't even translucent and are still hard and not even wilted. I basically crapped out and salted the leaves for a whopping total of 30 minutes. Next time I will definitely salt the leaves overnight (this seems to work for my mother) and do a good rinsing off the next day.

I also noticed that the kimchis, both baechu and kkakdugi, are incredibly watery. I think I am more of a fan of the rice flour method, as it seems to add texture and consistency. I would really like to go to the korean store this weekend and buy some radishes to try out the rice flour method. I will probably have to buy a bigger mixing bowl and some big jars though before I do anything else. I find that those big plastic bowls that they sell in asian stores (you know, the ones that you use to clean yourself with in korean showers - for washing your hair, washing your face, etc) are great for mixing large batches of kimchi in or for salting your veggies.

Also when using fermented fish in kimchi, can I use any fish product? Has anyone ever tried belacan in making kimchi? I wonder if that would result in an extra tasty and extra fishy result.
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#7 milgwimper

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 12:29 PM

Nourishing Traditions has a method that calls for less salt, then you "innoculate" the batch with a little bit of whey obtained by straining good quality plain yogurt. I made a jar of kimchi this way and it kept for several years in the fridge. It was delicious, and became moreso with time.

If you use this technique and wish to make future batches, you just use some of the liquid from one jar to create the next. Friendly bacteria.

View Post



whoa....dairy in kimchi? I don't know.....sounds very strange to me. If I mentioned this method to my mother, she might beat me with a stick :wacko:

Then again, isn't the same bacteria found in yogurt, the same that naturally occurs in kimchi during fermentation? Lacto - something - or other

I just made kakkdugi and cabbage kimchi.  I salted the cabbage and the raddish and just made a paste of gochugaru, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and sugar.  I basically rubbed both veggies with the mix....added some extra gochugaru (can never be too spicy) and added some green onion.  I hope to god they come out okay, cause I didn't salt either veggie for very long and if it comes out correctly I'm going to actually crap myself (mmmmm tasty).  I am going to leave all 3 jars out on my kitchen counter for a few days and then throw them in the fridge.

Since I didn't salt the cabbage for very long, do you think it will still taste okay?  Does this mean that I have to wait longer for the cabbage's flavors to "meld" ?

Also what does adding rice flour to kimchi do?  Add consistency?

I think this weekend I am going to try to make that kimchi where you stuff the mixture under each leaf.  It's time consuming and a pain in the butt, cause you have to buy large jars/containers to hold large heads of cabbage.  I would also like to try my hand at making whole raddish kimchi.  Kakkdugi is okay and everything, but there is something about picking up a whole raddish with your chopsticks and chomping away that makes me happy. Plus I am all about the raddish tops...something you can't get with cubed raddish kimchi.

if anyone has any tips or suggestions,  I would appreciate it

View Post



Sheena How long did you salt the kimchi, and then did you rinse it? I made kimchi last month, and I overly rinsed. The kimchi was good but it needed the extra salt.

About the how long to leave the kimchi out depends on the weather. If it is really warm you might only have to leave it out for a day or two, but if too cold it might take almost a week. I gage it by taste or bubbles. Let it sit for a day or two and then taste. Keep tasting until the kimchi seems just about right and then refrigerate.

Rice flour, well that is debated. Somepople say that it helps the spices stay near the cabbage, and other says it helps with the texture of the kimchi..*shrug* Sometimes I add the rice and sometimes I don't. The only difference I can see is that the kimchi is more "watery" without the rice.

I wish I could get Chongak here but alas I will have to grow it out in my balcony next year if I want some. *sniff*

Tips: Well the things I learned when I made kimchi. You can decide what to use or discard.

Use sea salt or kosher salt.
Salt every leaf really well.
Let it sit in brine 2-4 hours or 24 hours depending on weather but make sure to "turn" the ones in the bottom to the top so all cabbages get some of the brine.
Rinse well, but not so well that the cabbage isn't salty at all (really don't do that!)
You can use salt in place of the saeu jjhot (salted shrimp) or fish/shrimp sauce. I perfer the salted shrimp, salt, and fish/shrimp sauce in that order.
a little bit of sugar helps with the taste. (about 1 tbsp for about 1 gallons worth of napa kimchi)
Don't leave the kimchi out for more than a month in warm weather... :blink:

View Post



well lets just say that after sitting out for 24 hours, my baechu kimchi looks like crap. The leaves aren't even translucent and are still hard and not even wilted. I basically crapped out and salted the leaves for a whopping total of 30 minutes. Next time I will definitely salt the leaves overnight (this seems to work for my mother) and do a good rinsing off the next day.

I also noticed that the kimchis, both baechu and kkakdugi, are incredibly watery. I think I am more of a fan of the rice flour method, as it seems to add texture and consistency. I would really like to go to the korean store this weekend and buy some radishes to try out the rice flour method. I will probably have to buy a bigger mixing bowl and some big jars though before I do anything else. I find that those big plastic bowls that they sell in asian stores (you know, the ones that you use to clean yourself with in korean showers - for washing your hair, washing your face, etc) are great for mixing large batches of kimchi in or for salting your veggies.

Also when using fermented fish in kimchi, can I use any fish product? Has anyone ever tried belacan in making kimchi? I wonder if that would result in an extra tasty and extra fishy result.

View Post



Try letting the bechu sit for longer 2-4 hours at least. I had better luck that way, or over night. The rice four does make it a little less watery.

I use the metal mixing bowl, but my mom has both the plastic ones and a really large metal one to mix kimchi. I think the smaller plastic ones are called pah gah ji...But aren't they a little too small? But then again there are the big bowls but I forget what they are called in korean.

Now belacan might be interesting. I would experiment with a really small batch first. Also different areas of korea put different seafood inside of the kimchi. Mom loves salted fermeneted oysters, clams, squid, and cod. Well not all at once! :shock:

#8 SheenaGreena

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 03:30 PM

I just came back from the korean grocery store and I bought:

new bag of gochugaru
rice flour
saeo jjut
and
small baby raddishes with HUGE tops.

they didn't have any regular sized raddishes that are used in chonggak kimchi. Just huge diakons without tops and these baby ones the size of my thumb.

Do I salt the raddishes and the tops together? If so how long? You bet your butt I am going to add the tops to my favorite, because they taste so yummy
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#9 aprilmei

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Posted 06 October 2007 - 09:12 PM

Why did you salt the vegetables for only 30 minutes when other recipes call for salting/brining for several hours (if not an entire day)? Sufficient salting - for any type of pickle - is important because it draws out excess moisture and helps prevent spoilage.
Your mother is a good person to ask - she sounds like a fabulous cook. If I had a Korean mother, I'd ask to help her the next time she makes kimchee. Failing that (because if I remember correctly, you live in different states), I'd find a recipe that sounds like something you would like and stick to it - it's a good idea if you are making something for the first time. After you become more experienced, you can wing it.

#10 milgwimper

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 12:56 AM

I just came back from the korean grocery store and I bought:

new bag of gochugaru
rice flour
saeo jjut
and
small baby raddishes with HUGE tops. 

they didn't have any regular sized raddishes that are used in chonggak kimchi.  Just huge diakons without tops and these baby ones the size of my thumb. 

Do I salt the raddishes and the tops together?  If so how long?  You bet your butt I am going to add the tops to my favorite, because they taste so yummy

View Post


Salt both of them together. How long...Hmmm Mom usually salts the normal chongak radishes for 24 hours, but since the radishes are small you probably could get away with 4 hours. When they are salted check to see if the greens a little limp before proceeding.

Yeah I love the tops of the chongak kimchi! :wub: *sigh* The only thing I have here is Shiraegi namool, which is the dried portion of the radish. I need to grow chongak mu next year! :rolleyes:

#11 SheenaGreena

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 06:32 AM

Why did you salt the vegetables for only 30 minutes when other recipes call for salting/brining for several hours (if not an entire day)? Sufficient salting - for any type of pickle - is important because it draws out excess moisture and helps prevent spoilage.
Your mother is a good person to ask - she sounds like a fabulous cook. If I had a Korean mother, I'd ask to help her the next time she makes kimchee. Failing that (because if I remember correctly, you live in different states), I'd find a recipe that sounds like something you would like and stick to it - it's  a good idea if you are making something for the first time. After you become more experienced, you can wing it.

View Post



I salted the veggies for only 30 mins, because I was lazy and didn't feel like waiting. I thought it would turn out okay and boy was I wrong. Thanks for the compliment on my mother, very sweet of you and yes she is a fabulous cook :biggrin:

Maybe i'll ask her about the kimchi when I call her today, but she won't be able to give me any exact measurements. Everything is to taste.

so another quick question. Since I have saeo jjut and all the baby shrimp are whole, do I grind them in the food processor when I am making my kimchi?
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#12 milgwimper

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 08:09 AM

Why did you salt the vegetables for only 30 minutes when other recipes call for salting/brining for several hours (if not an entire day)? Sufficient salting - for any type of pickle - is important because it draws out excess moisture and helps prevent spoilage.
Your mother is a good person to ask - she sounds like a fabulous cook. If I had a Korean mother, I'd ask to help her the next time she makes kimchee. Failing that (because if I remember correctly, you live in different states), I'd find a recipe that sounds like something you would like and stick to it - it's  a good idea if you are making something for the first time. After you become more experienced, you can wing it.

View Post



I salted the veggies for only 30 mins, because I was lazy and didn't feel like waiting. I thought it would turn out okay and boy was I wrong. Thanks for the compliment on my mother, very sweet of you and yes she is a fabulous cook :biggrin:

Maybe i'll ask her about the kimchi when I call her today, but she won't be able to give me any exact measurements. Everything is to taste.

so another quick question. Since I have saeo jjut and all the baby shrimp are whole, do I grind them in the food processor when I am making my kimchi?

View Post



Yes grind in the processor, or use a knife. Good luck and tell us how it goes. Yeah I remember asking my Mom questions about making kimchi, no measurements. It just better if you can watch and help.

#13 Joon

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 12:34 PM

I think the smaller plastic ones are called pah gah ji...


Ba ga ji is just a general word that means 'bucket.'

I'm so impressed with people making Kimchi at home! I don't think I have the balls or the patience to try this myself. And the local supermarket kimchi here is so good that my mom doesn't even make her own any more..

#14 milgwimper

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Posted 12 October 2007 - 09:24 PM

I think the smaller plastic ones are called pah gah ji...


Ba ga ji is just a general word that means 'bucket.'

I'm so impressed with people making Kimchi at home! I don't think I have the balls or the patience to try this myself. And the local supermarket kimchi here is so good that my mom doesn't even make her own any more..

View Post



Yeah Ba gah ji does mean bucket but I can't remember the word for the plastic round tub or the metal one. The only one that seems to pop into my head is sesu dae and that is for washing your face...I need to relearn korean. :unsure:

When I was living in CA I was spoiled! Yeah my mom still made hers but on the off times she would be some good super market kimchi. :wub: Unfortunately where I live now I can buy kimchi but they come in really small jars and are a bit expensive. It is easier to make my own, and cheaper too. Although I will have to try to source out some chongak mu... :wub:

#15 SheenaGreena

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Posted 13 October 2007 - 07:49 PM

yeah the bowl I used to make kimchi is generally used to wash your face with (if I had a korean style bathroom). Not those orange bowls with the spouts that you use to pour water on your head after you wash your hair.

I can't believe I made kimchi at home, joon. I also can't believe how easy it was..then again I am only making kimchi for one and I didn't have to clean 10 pounds of cabbage or raddishes or stuff them in huge jars. I also told my mom on the phone the other day that I made kimchi and she said she was really proud of me. How sweet is that? When does a korean mother ever say she is proud of their kid? (: awwwwwww

Anyways, its been over a week since I made the baby radish kimchee, and it's still not ready and it's not moist enough. Do you think I should add some water to it to make juice?
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#16 milgwimper

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 11:42 AM

yeah the bowl I used to make kimchi is generally used to wash your face with (if I had a korean style bathroom).  Not those orange bowls with the spouts that you use to pour water on your head after you wash your hair. 

I can't believe I made kimchi at home, joon.  I also can't believe how easy it was..then again I am only making kimchi for one and I didn't have to clean 10 pounds of cabbage or raddishes or stuff them in huge jars.  I also told my mom on the phone the other day that I made kimchi and she said she was really proud of me.  How sweet is that?  When does a korean mother ever say she is proud of their kid?  (:  awwwwwww

Anyways, its been over a week since I made the baby radish kimchee, and it's still not ready and it's not moist enough.  Do you think I should add some water to it to make juice?

View Post



Isn't it nice when your Korean mother is proud of you for making kimchi...Yeah my mom said the same thing when I made my first batch by myself too!

Okay for the kimchi, tell me what ya did and how are you storing the kimchi right now. So you salted the radish, and then after a while rinsed and added the spices? Is the kimchi left out at room temp? If it is out at room temp and still not fermenting, you can try to add a little more brine to the radish, or if you have some left over kimchi juice from fermented jar add a little bit of the kimchi juice to the batch to get it started. Hmmm a mystery.

#17 SheenaGreena

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Posted 14 October 2007 - 01:10 PM

I salted the radishes for around 4 hours, rinsed them, then added my thick mixture of: saeojjut, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, rice paste, and gochugaru. I let it sit out at room temp for 24 hours then I put it back in the fridge.


Maybe I should add some of the juice from my other kimchi or some water?
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#18 milgwimper

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 12:49 AM

I salted the radishes for around 4 hours, rinsed them, then added my thick mixture of: saeojjut, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, rice paste, and gochugaru.  I let it sit out at room temp for 24 hours then I put it back in the fridge. 


Maybe I should add some of the juice from my other kimchi or some water?

View Post



Sheena I would leave out the kimchi for a day or two more at room temp. I think the short time out didn't allow for it to ferment. I usually leave mine out for 2-3 days. You can put a little bit of the juice from your other kimchi that is fermenting to boost and start this one. Leave the kimchi out at room temp, and check each day to see if it starts to ferment then refrigerate. Good luck and tell me the results.

Hang in there you are doing much better than a friend of mine, who decided she needed to store her kimchi outside like in Korea. She was so proud she had made her first jar of kimchi. Then kimchi jar exploded in the hot texas heat. Luckily no one was in the backyard. :blink: :laugh:

#19 SheenaGreena

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 08:28 PM

mwahahahahah exploding kimchi in texas. I love it!!!!


j/k (:

I did all the things you asked of me. I added some kimchi juices from another batch of fermenting kimchi, added some water, and left it out. I'm going to leave it out for an additional day and hopefully it'll be fine.

Oh and there is no way that it'll explode, bc I put the kimchi in plastic containers. I'll let you know how the kimchi tastes over the next few days

thanks for all the help btw (:

I should post some pics!
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#20 milgwimper

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Posted 15 October 2007 - 09:39 PM

mwahahahahah exploding kimchi in texas.  I love it!!!!


j/k (:

I did all the things you asked of me.  I added some kimchi juices from another batch of fermenting kimchi, added some water, and left it out.  I'm going to leave it out for an additional day and hopefully it'll be fine.

Oh and there is no way that it'll explode, bc I put the kimchi in plastic containers.  I'll let you know how the kimchi tastes over the next few days

thanks for all the help btw (:

I should post some pics!

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LOL yeah my friend can laugh about it now but when it happened she was so upset! :biggrin: I use glass jars but have never had a jar explode.Never crossed my mind that it could explode, but I have never left out kimchi in 90-100 degree weather, and tightly sealed.

You are so welcome to any little tidbits knowledge I have stored in my brain. :smile: I needed advice too when making the first couple of batches of kimchi. So, if I can be of any help let me know!

Ohhh Pics...I always love pics, but no pressure.

Actually I just finished up the last bit of my kimchi too, so I should be making some kimchi sometime this weekend. :smile:

#21 Joon

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:49 AM

I should post some pics!


Yes, we demand them! :D How's the fermenting going?

#22 SheenaGreena

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 01:17 PM

the radish isn't crunchy, it's chewy

I don't know what I did wrong. The ggakdugi came out PERFECT, but the radish.... not so much.

Maybe I'm better off using making real chonggak kimchi with the big radishes? I love ggakdugi, but I miss biting into a huge big radish (god that sounds dirty).

ps: I'd take pics, but I have no double aa batteries (I'm lazy). Maybe I should purchase some this weekend.
BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

#23 milgwimper

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 11:54 PM

the radish isn't crunchy, it's chewy

I don't know what I did wrong.  The ggakdugi came out PERFECT, but the radish.... not so much.

Maybe I'm better off using making real chonggak kimchi with the big radishes? I love ggakdugi, but I miss biting into a huge big radish (god that sounds dirty).

ps:  I'd take pics, but I have no double aa batteries (I'm lazy).  Maybe I should purchase some this weekend.

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I am so sorry Sheena about your chongak kimchi. :sad: HUGZ I really do feel your disspointment. :sad: Maybe the radishes were a little old? You did say they were the size of your thumb? Hmmm That is strange thati t came out chewy and not crisp... How did the gori (tail) of the chongak come out?

Your ggakdugi came out good then maybe try it with the big radishes. Just split the big radishes into large pieces the size of the chongak pieces. Then add the radish leaves to the mix, and se how it goes.

Don't give up!

#24 Katie Meadow

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Posted 04 March 2014 - 11:37 AM

Okay, I am about to embark on a starter version of kimchi for wimps, but right out of the gate I trip over the salting / soaking step. Some recipes call for just salting and layering the napa cabbage and weighing it down. Others call for soaking in salted water weighted down. David Leibovitz has two recipes, one for each method. Also the timing for this initial process seems to vary anywhere from two hours to two days.

I am going for what I hope will be a crunchy bright kimchi, not overly fermented. Any thoughts about soaking or not soaking in water?

#25 ojisan

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 05:54 PM

Katie - I salt the chopped napa with 3% salt and weight overnight. The liquid that is exuded is saved and put back into the ingredients. If you want my complete recipe, you can PM me.


Monterey Bay area


#26 loki

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Posted 20 July 2014 - 05:59 PM

I have to chime in here.  It's really easy!  All the soaking, brining, etc are silly.  What you have to do is get the proportion of vegetable to salt close to optimal.  David Leibovitz's recipe - is a good one - but I have a slightly different slant.  I have fermented cucumbers and sauerkraut since I was a kid.  Kimchi, I've adapted to use similar methods - though I've known people who make kimchi and incorporate their methods too.  

 

Here's the drill.  

 

You want about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons salt (non-iodized) per quart in the final ferment.  I don't use coarse salt here but if you do, use a bit more. This is the key to making it ferment correctly and having it last.  Everything else is not as important. Methods that make a brine and then soak are not very precise because of the variability of the veges - the brine is accurate, but the veges weaken it when added.  The veges are quite variable.  So I make sure that so much salt is in each fermenting jar - so the proportion is always correct (but there is quite a bit of leeway here so don't worry too much).

 

So, chop a bunch of Chinese Cabbage up - about 1 inch slices is nice. Use one large cabbage - about 2-4 lbs. You can add some mustard greens, daikon (I like it cubed not grated), and other cruciferous veges here, but if you are just starting out - make it mostly Chinese Cabbage first.  Add a couple tablespoons salt and put in a large non-reactive container.  A large food-safe bag will even work.  Cover and leave overnight. Lots of water should come out.

 

Next day, add garlic, green onion, ginger, and hot pepper flakes or powder (I like it sort of in-between a powder and flake) to taste. Julienned Carrots can be added here too.  You can add shrimp (little salted ones), dried fish, squid, oysters, etc. if you like.  I also like fish sauce in it too (it's sort of a substitute for the other fish) - a couple tablespoons per cabbage.  But you don't need these and you can make it completely vegetable.

 

Another ingredient you sometimes see is rice powder, and sometimes sugar.  These also are not necessary. They seem more useful in other kimchis based on other ingredients besides Chinese cabbage.  For a basic one,  leave it out.

 

So then mix all these things up, and pack into jars - tight as possible with some liquid at the top. You need to nearly fill each jar without any air space.  A partially filled jar will NOT work - and the kimchi will mold or rot.  So you will likely have some salted veges leftover - and you can use this for another dish.  If there is not enough liquid top off with good water. If your tap water is 'off tasting', filter it or use bottled water. luckily I have great tap water here.  But normally I get more than enough liquid from my Chinese cabbage.

 

See how many jars you fill, and add more salt so that each jar totals about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons per quart. I think you can do the math here.  You don't have to be exact - just close.

 

Put a lid on the jar/s (I like the plastic lids you can buy now for canning jars), and tighten, then loosened about 1/8 turn or so.  You can put a piece of plastic bag (from a freezer bag) on the jar first, then the screw-top lid, but I find that for kimchi this is not that necessary - it is for cucumber pickles however. You don't want it too tight.

 

Then Put these in a cool place, where some leakage can occur (set in a large rubbermaid container for instance).  Not in the fridge, but in the basement, garage (unless it's hotter there), pantry, etc.  In the middle of the summer this is sometimes hard to find this sort of place!

 

Leave for a few days to a few weeks, really depending on how fermented you like it. Then If the jars are really filled to the brim, take a little out.  Tighten the lids, though still not 'really' tight and put in fridge.  Some people like this really old, but I prefer it fairly young.  Old is good as an ingredient though (in Korean soups, stews, pancakes, etc.).

 

That is it!

 

Note - some people said you can start kimchi with an already fermenting one.  Well, I've done that.  It usually results in a mushy texture.  I think it exposed the ingredients to enzymes and acids too soon - and the ferment gets out-of-wack.  I don't do this any more.  I get much better results just using fresh, raw ingredients.  The correct bugs are there and in the right proportions.


Edited by loki, 20 July 2014 - 06:03 PM.