Try making authentic Korean cabbage kimchi in a slightly different way. It makes cabbage salting easier and presents beautifully sliced kimchi on a serving dish.
I don’t think I can stop thinking about new ways of making kimchi. Here is another way of making cabbage kimchi that I am excited to share with you.
I am also going to share a very unique recipe to flavor the kimchi. So don’t miss out any step of the way on this post.
NOTE: This is not necessarily the easy and quick version of making authentic whole cabbage kimchi. But this method might be easier to salt the cabbage, and still creates the beautiful whole cabbage kimchi look. When completed, you will have both stem and leafy part of cabbage is evenly distributed on every section of kimchi you sliced. The traditional method of whole kimchi divides into the stem part and leafy part when you slice it.
Salt Brine For Cabbage
Tear or cut off the cabbage leaves from the body and rinse them first. Then sprinkle salt over. You will want to add more salt onto the white stem part than leafy part.
Let them soak for 3-4 hours. You will need to turn over the cabbage leaves so that the brine will penetrate evenly to every leaf.
When the white stem part of cabbage leaf is showing a submission and bends like your yoga master, you mastered the soaking technique of kimchi making.
Rinse the cabbages 2-3 times and place in a colander to drain off the excess water; set aside.
Kimchi Stock & Rice Paste
Meanwhile, put onion, radish, dried and sliced jujube in a pot and add water. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the stock and reserve 1-1/2 cups.
Combine 2 tablespoon of sweet rice flour and the reserved stock and cook over medium heat whisking continually. When it gets thickened, remove from the heat and set aside to cool down.
This is the rice paste! It helps to feed the good bacteria during the fermentation process to make a flavorful kimchi.
In a blender, combine onion, apple, garlic, ginger, and MILK. Yes, I said right, milk! I know it sounds awkward to add milk in kimchi, but it does wonder to make very light and refreshing tasting kimchi.
Slice a small radish into very thin matchsticks.
In a large shallow mixing bowl, combine radish slices, Korean chili flakes, fish sauces, shrimp sauce, sugar, rice paste, and the onion/garlic/milk puree.
Add some chopped green onion .
Mix well. You will want to let it sit for at least 10 minutes so that radish slices will wilt a bit from the seasoning and it can be easily spreadable to cabbage leaves.
Cabbge Kimchi Assembly
Spread a little bit kimchi seasoning paste onto a leaf thoroughly. You will need to wear a pair of rubber of plastic gloves to protect your hands to do this job.
Layer more leaves on top spreading the kimchi seasoning paste one after another.
Put the cabbage leaf on the opposite direction when you layer them on top of each other. That way you will have both stem and leafy part of cabbage is evenly distributed.
Then stack them up in a kimchi container. I really like this way of making kimchi because you can take the desirable amount of kimchi without cutting through the whole cabbage.
Geotjeori Kimchi: Optional
This is an optional tip. For the cabbage leaves that are close to the hearts, if they are too small to be stacked up, collect the all at last, and drizzle a little bit of sesame oil and sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds.
You are making Gutjeri (겉저리) kimchi. Store them separately and eat within a few days to enjoy the fresh taste as un-fermented kimchi.
If you want more kimchi juice, Pour a little bit of water into a mixing bowl to collect all the residue of seasoning paste, and pour over your kimchi.
Cover with a piece of clean plastic on top.
And try to seal the kimchi by locking out the air as much as you can. My container has an extra lid that goes inside to seal out the air. If you don’t have something like this, place something heavy (like 2-3 clean rocks) on top.
Cabbage kimchi Fermentation & Serving Tip
You want to let this kimchi in a room temperature for 1-2 days (depends on the room temperature), then ferment in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Your kimchi should be ideally fermented and ready to salivate your taste bud.
When ready to serve, take out as many layers of cabbage leaves you want and slice into a desired size. You will see each section of kimchi slices will have both stem and leafy parts evenly distributed. It provides a beautiful presentation in a serving dish and you can enjoy the both textures.
While my new batch of kimchi is fermenting, I had my lunch with the fresh tasting Geojeori kimchi. Yum!
When my kimchi was ideally fermented, I took some over to a Korean lady I know here. She was from Pusan but left Korea long time ago.
She tasted, closed her eyes, and didn’t say a word for a moment. I thought she didn’t like it at all. Soon she mentioned, “Holly, this kimchi reminds me of my hometown. It is just the way I like, light and refreshing! Thank you so much for sharing with me.” That was the best compliment that I got and made my day very happy.
Hope this post will inspire you to overcome your fear of making kimchi. Please let me know if you have any questions. I am happy to help.
Different Way of Making Cabbage Kimchi
For the rice paste
- 1-1/2 cups reserved stock
- 2 tbsp sweet rice flour (chapssal-garu)
For the kimchi filling
- Tear or cut cabbage leaves from its body and rinse them with water. Sprinkle some salt over, more salt on the white stem parts. Let them sit for 3-4 hours turning the leaves other way once or twice during the soaking time. Rinse 2-3 times with water and put them in a colander to drain the excess water. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, put 1 whole onion (including the outer skin but cleaned well), half of 1 large radish, and dried jujube slices in a pot, and pour 3 cups water. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer over low heat for 20-30 minutes. Collect the stock and reserve 1-1/2 cups.
- To make the rice paste; combine the reserved stock with sweet rice flour. Bring to a gentle boil and cook until it thickens as you whisk continually, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool down.
- To make the kimchi filling; combine onion, apple, garlic, ginger and milk in a blender and puree until very smooth.
- Combine the thinly sliced radish, Korean chili flakes, sugar, shrimp sauce, fish sauces, the rice paste and the onion milk puree in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped green onion and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- To assemble kimchi; place a piece of cabbage leaf at a time in a shallow mixing bowl, spread a little bit of seasoning paste over the leaf thoroughly. Repeat the process with a few more leaves layering opposite direction. Stack the leaves in a kimchi container and complete the rest of the cabbage leaves with the seasoning paste.
- At the end, pour 1/2-1 cup of water to a mixing bowl and swirl around to collect the residue of the seasoning paste. Pour over kimchi in a container.
- Cover the kimchi with a piece of clean plastic and put something heavy (like 2 or 3 clean rocks) on top to seal out the air.
- Let the kimchi to sit in a room temperature for 1-2 days first (depends on the temperature), and then continue to ferment in a refrigerator for 4-5 days or until it reaches to the fermentation level you desire.