Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish, and a staple in many households. It’s commonly served as a side dish (Banchan), but is also a popular addition to dumplings, fried rice, soup, stew, Bulgogi and Bibimbap.
1 large wombok cabbage (roughly 1.2 kg), cut into 2.5 cm pieces (tough outer leaves and core discarded)
Place the chopped cabbage in a large bowl, pour the salty water over it and let it sit while you wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Mix the cabbage by hand for 2-3 minutes, making sure every piece is exposed to the ‘salt bath’. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave at room temperature for 1 hour, then stir through the carrot and leave for a further 30 minutes.
In the meantime, steam the potato until tender. Mash or blend into a smooth paste and allow to cool. This will serve as the base for your kimchi paste, helping to evenly distribute flavour.
Drain the cabbage and carrot mixture and rinse thoroughly under cold water at least twice, or a third time if it is too salty. Leave to drain while preparing the kimchi paste.
Grate the onion, nashi pear, and garlic (if using) with a few teaspoons of water (or fish sauce). This can also be done using a blender with the onion, nashi pear and garlic roughly chopped. Stir through 4 tsp of Korean Gochugaru Blend and the cooled potato paste.
Place the cabbage and carrot mixture in a large, clean bowl and using your (clean) hands, stir through the kimchi paste and spring onions, massaging gently to ensure everything is well coated. It’s time for a taste! The flavour will change and intensify as it ferments, but now is a good time to decide if you’d like to add more salt, sugar or Korean Gochugaru Blend.
Carefully spoon the kimchi into your prepared jar. In between spoonful's compress the kimchi with the back of the spoon to keep as much air out of the jar as possible. Remember not to overfill the jar - leave a bit of room at the top. Once compressed, put on the lid tightly.
Leave the Kimchi at room temperature for 24 hours, then transfer it to the fridge, where it will continue to ferment. Ideally for 1 week, but there are no rules - you can tuck in at any time. If you’d rather just put it straight in the fridge, wait at least 1-2 weeks. Whatever you choose, just remember to open the lid once a day to let out any gas build up, and check that everything is still submerged. You’ll want to keep it submerged when you start eating it too - it will taste better and keep for longer. Enjoy!
For your batch of Kimchi you’ll need a clean 1L jar. To clean either wash with very hot soapy water and dry thoroughly with a clean paper or run through a dishwasher for a full cycle.
Sometimes things can naturally go awry when fermenting, so if at any stage you notice that your kimchi develops an offensive odour, any mould or a white film on top - discard the batch and start afresh (bubbles and fizz are okay!)