• Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

What is kimchi? How to make it and vegan recipes.

ByPratiksha Sharma

Mar 13, 2022

What is Kimchi?

Every country always has an iconic dish that everyone associates it with. One such dish for Korea is Kimchi. Kimchi (김치) is a term used to describe salted, seasoned, and fermented vegetable foods. There are now hundreds of kimchi recipes variants in Korea, which originated from pickled vegetables. Korean kimchi has earned global popularity as a healthful probiotic food over the last decade or two. This is the most popular and adaptable variety! You can eat it plain or include it in your cookery. It’s also a nutritious and appetizing food with numerous advantages. It’s high in beneficial lactic acid bacteria. It has powerful anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties and aids in the prevention of aging.

History of Kimchi

Representation of an old lady making kimchi

It is believed that Kimchi was originated in Korea during the Three Kingdom Period (1st century BC to the 7th century AD). During the Silla period (57 BC-AD 935), kimchi became popular as Buddhism spread across the country, encouraging people to live a vegetarian diet. Prior to refrigerators, pickling vegetables was an ideal strategy for extending the shelf life of foods. During the winter in Korea, kimchi was created by fermenting vegetables and burying them in the ground in traditional brown ceramic pots known as onggi. Women in the family were able to bond even more as a result of this labor. At the current times, you can find kimchi refrigerators in almost every South Korean household.

How is Kimchi Used?

Kimchi Recipes- Kimchi fried rice
Kimchi fried rice

Korean people eat kimchi as a side dish with their regular lunch or dinner. But that’s not it. There are various kimchi recipes that use kimchi as the main ingredient to make other various delicious dishes. Kimchi is a flexible dish that may be eaten alone or cooked with nearly anything. Let’s take kimchi dumplings for example. It is also used to make kimchi stew that is usually enjoyed in winter or cold and moody days. Kimchi pancakes are also in trend and are one of the most popular Korean street foods. Foe lazy broke days, kimchi fried rice can be your best friend. Just some kimchi from your fridge and some leftover rice and you get a perfect lunch. You can also enjoy Kimchi with ramen as a perfect side dish.

Kimchi Stew

Kimchi Recipes

Making Kimchi might seem like a long and time-consuming process. But trust me, it’s all worth it.

Kimchi at home- Easy Recipes

Nothing better than Kimchi you made by yourself at your home right? It might seem difficult but you follow this easy kimchi recipe.

Ingredients

  1. 1 medium napa cabbage head (about 2 pounds)
  2. 1/4 cup kosher salt or iodine-free sea salt
  3. Water, distilled or filtered if possible
  4. 1 tablespoon garlic, grated (5 to 6 cloves)
  5. A teaspoon fresh ginger, grated and peeled
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)
  7. 3 tablespoons water or 2 tablepoons fish sauce or salted shrimp paste
  8. 1 to 5 tablespoons red pepper flakes (Korean) (gochugaru)
  9. 8 ounces peeled and sliced into matchsticks Korean radish or daikon radish
  10. clipped and cut into 1-inch pieces 4 medium scallions

Recipe

Step 1

Quarter the cabbage by cutting it lengthwise through the stalk. Remove the cores from each of the pieces. Cut each quarter into 2-inch-wide strips crosswise.

Step 2

Sprinkle the salt over the cabbage in a large mixing dish. Massage the salt into the cabbage with your hands until it softens a little. Cover the cabbage with enough water to keep it submerged. Place a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down with a heavy object, such as a jar or a can of beans. Allow for 1 to 2 hours of resting time.

Step 3

Rinse the cabbage three times in cool water. Allow 15 to 20 minutes to drain in a colander. Make the spice paste in the meantime.

Step 4

The bowl you used for salting should be rinsed and dried. To make a smooth paste, combine the garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, shrimp paste, or water. Set aside until the cabbage is cooked, stirring in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 teaspoons for spicy (approximately 3 1/2 tbsp).

Step 5

Firstly, Squeeze out any excess liquid from the cabbage and toss it in with the spice paste. Combine the radish and scallions in a mixing bowl.

Step 6

Gently mix the paste into the vegetables with your hands until they are well coated. Gloves are not required, however, they are highly suggested to protect your hands from stings, stains, and odors!

Step 7

Fill a 1-quart container halfway with kimchi. Press the kimchi down until the brine (the liquid that comes out) rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 1 inch of room at the top. Close the jar.

Step 8

Put a basin or plate underneath the jar to catch any spills. Allow 1 to 5 days for the jar to sit at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Inside the jar, bubbles may appear, and brine may seep out of the lid.

Step 9

Once a day, open the jar and gently press down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged in the brine. At this point, try a little bit of everything! Transfer the jar to the refrigerator when the kimchi is ripe enough to your liking. You can eat it right immediately, but it’ll taste best in a week or two.

Vegan Kimchi Recipes

Making Vegan Kimchi is very easy since the majority of ingredients used on regular traditional kimchi are plant-based. You can just replace the anime-based spices with plant-based ones. Here is an easy vegan recipe for you to follow and make your own vegan kimchi at your home.

Ingredients

1. CABBAGE
1 head napa or savoy cabbage, properly rinsed (outermost leaves removed)
1 teaspoon of salt (plus more as needed)

2. VEGAN FISH SAUCE
2 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
2 tbsp sugar (coconut) (plus more to taste)
a quarter cup of pineapple juice (from a can)
a quarter cup of hot water

3. CHILI SAUCE
3 tbsp ginger powder (peeled and chopped)
1 garlic bulb (1 bulb provides 1/3 cup cloves)
1 tiny white onion (or 1/2 large onion in place of 1 small)
1/2 cup Korean red chili flake* (or finely ground / to taste)


4.VEGETABLES optional
2 carrots (whole) (finely chopped or grated into matchsticks)
6 onions (green) (roughly chopped)

kimchi as a side dish in traditional Korean dishes

Recipe

Step 1

Begin by quartering your well-rinsed and dried cabbage (savoy or napa) and using a sharp knife to carefully remove the bottom core (hard white portion). Discard.

Step 2

Then, in a big mixing bowl, place your cabbage and start packing a substantial amount of sea salt between each of the leaves. Lift each leaf individually and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat until all of the leaves are salted. After that, push down for 30 minutes and let it rest. This softens and breaks down the cabbage, removing moisture and preparing it for the sauce.

Step 3

While your cabbage is resting, make your vegan fish sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients in a small mixing dish. Remove from the equation.

Step 4

Then, in a food processor or blender, combine fresh ginger, garlic, onion, and red chili flake to make your chili sauce. Use 1/2 cup chili flake as a starting point as it is pretty spicy. So, if you want less heat, start with 3-4 Tbsp and work your way up. Taste and make any necessary adjustments to the flavor.
Toss in the vegan fish sauce and blend.

Step 5

Turn each cabbage section over so that it is facing the opposite direction. Then compress it with your hands. Repeat this technique three more times (for a total of four times), each time waiting 30 minutes between each repetition.

Step 6

Meanwhile, combine the carrots and green onion (optional) in a medium mixing dish with the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then cover and put away.

Step 7

Rinse the cabbage after you’ve flipped it four times (it should be soft and shriveled down quite a bit). Rinse each part of cabbage in very cold water to remove excess salt, then place on 2-3 absorbent clean towels and pat dry. At this moment, separate the cabbage leaves as well.

Step 8

Return the dried cabbage to the mixing bowl after it has been rinsed and dried. After that, Prepare your carrot-and-green-onion sauce and start covering each leaf with it. Begin arranging the coated cabbage leaves in the container, packing down to ensure there is as little air as possible between leaves once the cabbage has been well coated with sauce. Continue until all of the cabbage is packed in, then firmly push down to remove any air. Finally, Cover with a clean, sterilized cover and leave to ferment in a cold, dark area (not the refrigerator).

Step 9

Once a day, open the jar and gently press down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged in the brine. At this point, try a little bit of everything! Transfer the jar to the refrigerator when the kimchi is ripe enough to your liking. You can eat it right immediately, but it’ll taste best in a week or two.

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