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My Kind Of Kimchi

Kimchi a la Spud


This was adapted from the David Lebovitz formula posted here [1], which, in turn, was based on Alex Ong’s [2] version here [3]. My version involved using a different kind of cabbage, adding more ginger and using harissa [4] as a substitute for Korean chili paste, of which I had none. It is thus not an authentically Korean preparation, but it’s my kind of kimchi all the same!

The Summary:

  • Makes one 750ml jar containing a tasty solution to the problem of excess cabbage & takes approx. 3 days for prep and initial fermentation, and about another 4 days before you can start using the kimchi
You’ll need:
  • 1 head cabbage– typically kimchi recipes specify chinese or napa cabbage [5] but I used a head of savoy cabbage, weighing about 800g
  • 2 tblsp coarse non-iodized salt
  • 80ml white rice vinegar
  • 3 tblsp harissa paste
  • 1 tblsp finely minced garlic
  • 1 tblsp finely minced fresh root ginger
  • 4 spring onions, sliced in 5cm batons (white + green parts)
You’ll also need:
  • A colander and large plastic, glass or ceramic bowl
  • An airtight preserving jar (or jars), about 750ml capacity
Day 1:
  • Remove any tough outer leaves from the cabbage, slice in half lengthways and remove the core.
  • Slice the cabbage into bitesize pieces, approx. 5cm x 5cm each.
  • Toss the cabbage pieces in a large bowl with the salt, then place in a colander and sit this over a bowl or sink. Cover with a plate and weight it down.
  • Leave for 24 hours, at the end of which a small amount of water will have collected underneath the colander.
Day 2:
  • Combine the rice vinegar, harissa, garlic and ginger in a large glass, ceramic or plastic bowl. I let this stand for a few hours.
  • Taking the cabbage in small handfuls, squeeze it well to remove any excess water and add to the chili mixture, stirring to coat.
  • Add the spring onions and stir to coat.
  • Pack the mixture tightly into the preserving jar(s). Leave to stand at room temperature for 48 hours, while the fermentation gets underway. Chill for about another 4 days before using.
  • It’s generally recommended to use the kimchi within about 3 weeks. Mine won’t last anywhere near that long.
The Variations:
  • I’d like to try this with traditional Korean chili, substituting 3 tblsp of Korean chili paste (gochujang [6]) plus 2 tblsp of coarse Korean chili powder (gokchu garu) for the harissa.