Do you think it is possible to make a batch of cabbage kimchi within 30 minutes from start to finish?
Around this time of the year, I often have a craving of freshly made kimchi. After the winter season of having many dishes made with deeply fermented kimchi, I feel like it is about the time to embrace the spring cabbage and make a batch of fresh kimchi.
Yes, it is possible to make kimchi within 30 minutes all from scratch. I will call it 30 Minute Kimchi.
Koreans call this particular type of kimchi, “Gutjeori (겉절이)”, which translates into briefly salted kimchi. However, even the traditional Gutjeori kimchi itself takes at least 1 hour alone to soak the cabbage in salt. But today I am going to share with you a unique way to speed up the soaking process.
You only need 15 minutes of soaking time. 15 minutes!!! Wonderful, isn’t it? I learned this technique from an article I read in Korean newspaper the other day and guess what? It worked! And I am so happy. (You know I am the kind of gal who gets happy with simple things in life)
Here are some cabbages. Koreans like to use young napa cabbages for this recipe which yield tenderer and sweeter flavor. They are more yellowish than full grown napa cabbage. I am using local cabbages here and they seem to be more elongated than Korean origin.
Cut off the stem part of the cabbage.
I like to cut the cabbage leaves vertically this time. For smaller leaves, cut in half.
For bigger leaves, cut into 2-4 sections.
Have you played “Fruit Ninja”? I love that kind of mindless (brainless..) game. Today, I will be a cabbage ninja! “Woosh, woosh!”
Now, The important part! let’s soak this cabbages in express salt brine. Mix 1/2 cup of Korean sea salt with 5 cups of water.
Bring it to a full boil, stir to dissolve all the salt. Let it cool down just a little, about 5 minutes.
Pour the hot salt brine over the cabbages and stir well.
Using a hot brine will help salt to penetrate into the cabbages faster to withdraw their moisture. It won’t cook the cabbages but creates crispier texture.
Let it sit for 10 minutes!
Turn the cabbages over and let it soak 5 more minutes. That’s it!
And you will see the stem part of cabbage will bend without breaking.
Rinse once and drain thoroughly.
Meanwhile let’s work on the kimchi filling.
Combine garlic, ginger, diced onion in a blender. Add anchovy sauce and puree all together until very smooth.
Pour the onion puree in a small mixing bowl and add Korean chili flakes and sugar.
This is plum extract for tea which is my secret ingredient in many Korean dishes, and it is home-made. You provably will have a hard time finding it outside of Korea.
Therefore, disregard this ingredient. You can omit it and your kimchi will still taste good. But if you MUST use something to make-up for the missing ingredient, use 2 tablespoon of sweet apple juice + 1 teaspoon of honey instead.
Mix all together very well.
In a large shallow mixing bowl combine the cabbages and the chili filling. I added some sliced fresh red chilies. (You don’t need to)
Toss well with your hand. Make sure you wear a protective glove for your delicate hand.
It is a good idea to sprinkle lots of toasted sesame seeds for this type of kimchi. Toss again.
Take a piece and taste. You can add a little more salt or anchovy sauce if needed. Mine was just perfect the way it was. Store this kimchi in the fridge all the time.
I want to mention that this type of Gutjeori kimchi is meant to be consumed soon, within 10 days if possible. They will go ferment after that but they are not ideal for a long term fermentation.
I do LOVE freshly made kimchi over freshly cooked rice. It just reminds me home of my childhood. But this type of kimchi shines the best when serve with Korean wheat noodle soup called Kalguksoo. Such a comforting combination for me.
Well, do you think you can make this kimchi within 30 minutes or so? Would you give it a try? If you do, I would love to hear from you how it turns out.
Kimchi making is fun. Enjoying your labor of love is rewarding. Hope you enjoy this kimchi as much as I did.
with love of Kimchi
30 Minute Kimchi
- 1 kg 2 lb napa cabbage
- 1/2 cup Korean sea salt
- 5 cups water
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1 " piece ginger
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 tablespoon anchovy sauce
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 5 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 2 tablespoon Koran plum extract for tea or 2 tablespoon apple juice with 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 red chilies seeded and thinly sliced optional
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Cut off the stem part of cabbage. Cut each cabbage leaf in half or 3-4 section (depends on the size) vertically. Place the cabbage leaves in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine salt and water and bring to a full boil dissolving the salt. Cool down for 5 minutes and pour over cabbages in mixing bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes, turn the cabbages over to the other side and continue to soak for 5 more minutes. Rinse once and drain thoroughly.
- To make kimchi filling, combine garlic, ginger, onion and anchovy sauce in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree in a small mixing bowl. Add Korean chili flakes, sugar, and Koran plum extract for tea, if using. Mix well.
- Place drained cabbages in a large shallow mixing bowl. Add the red chilies if using, and the kimchi filling. Toss all together to coat evenly. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and toss well. Adjust seasoning as you wish.
- This kimchi will stay fresh in the fridge for 10 days. Not ideal for a long term fermentation.