to Make Kim Chi
Dr. Ben Kim
countless varieties of kim chi that are made in Korea, by far the
most common and celebrated version is made with Napa cabbage.
that's made with cabbage is loaded with indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a
compound that is well recognized as a powerful cancer-fighting compound.
Numerous studies indicate that I3C can offer protection against many
different types of cancer and may even stop the growth of existing
hop on over to a local Korean market to buy a bottle of kim chi, but
it may not be as healthy as you'd like, since most commercially prepared
varieties are made with white sugar and shrimp.
healthy kim chi that still has lots of flavor and health-promoting
compounds, start with a whole head of fresh Napa cabbage:
the leaves and chop them up into bite-size pieces. These shreds of
cabbage will shrink about 25% during processing, so no need to make
them too small. And no need to clean them yet, as we'll be giving
them a good rinse in a bit.
out a quarter cup of sea salt.
it to a small bowl of warm water.
it a gentle stir until the salt is dissolved.
the salt water to the cabbage and give the cabbage a light toss to
distribute the salt water.
bit of waiting time. The salted cabbage needs to sit at room temperature
for about four hours. The salt will help draw moisture out of the
cabbage, and will also act as a natural preservative.
what the cabbage should look like after about four hours:
look closely, you'll see a small pool of salt brine at the bottom
of the bowl.
up your elbows and wash and strain the cabbage two or three times.
You want to rinse off the salt water and return the cabbage to a large
- this is the base for your kim chi.
out a quarter cup of ko choo kah rhoo, also known as fine
red chili flakes/powder. If you don't have easy access to a local
Korean grocery store, you can order ko choo kah rhoo from
the following site:
red pepper flakes
quarter cup of warm water and mix with a spoon until the chili powder/flakes
turn into a bit of a paste.
the red pepper paste to the cabbage.
a tablespoon of minced garlic.
tablespoon of finely chopped/minced ginger.
to four green onions, sliced.
of anchovy sauce or fish sauce. If you prefer a vegetarian version,
you can skip this step.
for the secret ingredient that sets this kim chi apart from most commercially
prepared varieties: a concoction of half a ripe apple, half a ripe
pear, and half a yellow onion, all blended up with one cup of water.
apple/pear/onion blend adds a hint of natural sweetness to the kim
chi - most commercial varieties simply add a cup of sugar.
on a pair of gloves so that you can get right in there and give everything
a solid toss and rubdown. Gloves are necessary, as the red chili flakes/powder
will make your bare hands burn.
you have homemade kim chi that should please even the fussiest of
Korean food critics.
to bottle the kim chi up in glass bottles, cap them, and leave them
out at room temperature for 24 hours before refrigerating.
of warning: don't fill the jars right up to their tops, as the contents
will expand a bit as the kim chi ferments, and filling the jars to
their rims will likely result in leakage.
a look from up top:
the front in all its glory:
24 hours of fermentation out in room temperature, transfer capped
bottles to the refrigerator and take portions out as needed. The kim
chi will continue to ferment while refrigerated, and will keep for
at least a month. The longer it ferments, the more sour it will get.
Personally, I prefer kim chi that isn't sour at all, so we tend to
use these bottles up within a week or so.
here for a printer-friendly version of this recipe (no pictures):
Kim Chi Recipe
you master the art of making your own healthy kim chi, you can enjoy
it as a side dish to just about any main dish, and you can make it
a component of dishes like Korean
pancakes (bin dae duk) and a number of different Korean
enjoy cabbage kim chi and you haven't had a look at our recipe for
cucumber kim chi, have a peek here:
Kim Chi Recipe
on June 12, 2010 - Here's a look at some Bok Choy kim chi that we
made the other day using this recipe - we used clean Bok Choy leaves
in place of cabbage:
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