I guess there are some special and traditional sauces or foods that symbolize your home country or hometown. “Kimchi” is one of such foods that Korean people miss much wherever they go, especially when they eat very oily dishes. There are many varieties of Kimchi according to what ingredients you use and every home-made Kimchi has different taste. Since it’s not easy to make Kimchi, many people in Korea just buy ready-made Kimchi these days. But my mom has never purchased Kimchi so far and that’s why I’m a little picky about taste of other Kimchi. From my childhood, I have taken charge of a Kimchi tasting and helped my mom to make it, but haven’t made it by myself yet. To be honest, this posting is for myself rather than for other people and I’m so glad that my blog motivated me to record my mom’s Kimchi recipe.
Baechu Kimchi, which is napa cabbage Kimchi, is the most basic style and it is usually made in winter. Today’s recipe is for summer Baechu Kimchi for which we don’t use so many ingredients as we use for winter Kimchi.
[Ingredients] napa cabbages(배추), sea(coarse) salt(굵은 소금), radish(무), garlics(마늘), gingers(생강), thin green onions(실파), dried red pepper powder(고추가루), saeujeot(salted fermented shrimp, 새우젓), myulchijeot(salted fermented anchovy liquid, 멸치액젓), maesil juice(Japaese plum juice, 매실즙) or sugar, flour(밀가루), water(물)
[Step 1: Cutting, Soaking and Rinsing]
1. Cut the cabbage into two parts or quarters. (5 cabbages)
2. Add a handful of sea salts in 5 cups of water and bathe the cabbage in the salted water.
3. Sprinkle salt evenly between all the cabbage leaves.
4. Let the salted cabbages on a wicker tray(채반) for about 6 hours so that the cabbages can be preserved in salt and water can be drained.
5. Thoroughly rinse the salted cabbage twice or 3 times and squeeze the cabbage with your two hands from the stem to the bottom.
1. While the cabbages are preserved in salt, make the flour paste first. (flour paste for summer Kimchi and glutinous rice(찹쌀) paste for winter Kimchi)
2. Add 2 cups of flour in 5 cups of water.
3. Boil it and stir well until it turns into paste as you see in the picture.
[Step 3: Chopping raddish and green onions]
Chop the whole radish with a chopping knife and cut the green onions in figer size.
[Step 4: Making the paste for filling]
1. Put the cooled flour paste in a large bowl.
2. Add 5~6 spoons of Measil juice(매실 엑기스) or 3~4 spoons of sugar.
3. Add 1 cups of salted fermented anchovy liquid. (멸치액젓)
4. Add 2 spoons of salted fermented shrimp.(새우젓) – If it is not available, you can skip the salted fermented shrimp for summer Kimchi.
5. Add 5 spoons of minced garlics and 1 spoon of minced ginger.
6. Add 2 cups of dried red pepper powder and mix them well. Add some more red pepper powder until the paste turns red.
[Step 5: Mixing the ingredients & Filling]
1. Mix the chopped radish and green onions with the paste above.
2. Season with some salt to taste if necessary. If the mixed paste is not salty enough, Kimchi won’t be tasty.
3. Coat the surface of the preserved cabbage with the filling first and spread the filling over each layer of the cabbage.
Lastly, fold the bottom part of leaves and wrap with the longest outer leaf so that the fillings can stay inside. Put them in a container and let them ferment for 2 or 3 days in room temperature and keep them in the refrigerator afterwards(If the weather is hot in your place, just one day will be enough for fermentation). As time goes by, Kimchi will ripen and it will be tastier.
I am not sure whether I can make delicious Kimchi by myself yet, but I hope that my long experience of Kimchi tasting will lead me to find the taste of Kimchi coming from my mom’s hands.