Sunday, November 24, 2013

Making Kimchi (Part II)

This is the second part of my post on how to make 김장 김치 (kimjang kimchi, the type you make in the late fall and eat all winter). The previous post is just a couple posts before this one. There are, of course, a million recipes for kimchi. Today I was totally bullied into buying some leaves to put in my kimchi I didn't even end up using (I'll use them in the second batch I'm making on Wednesday) because everyone thinks you should use their recipe, that their recipe must be better. Actually, not everyone, because most people don't even know how to make it on their own, and I did check with a nice woman in the market about ratios to make sure I had enough chili pepper flakes for the number of 포기 (pogi, heads of cabbage for kimchi, it's a special counting word just for napa cabbage kimchi).

It was Friday night when I salted my cabbage. Saturday morning the leaves had started to wilt a bit, as you can see by their degree of flop.
Although it had been 12 hours or so, the cabbage didn't look very wilty yet.

This is how much they would flop on Saturday around 10 a.m. Note that the flop is towards the inner part of the cabbage. 

Sunday morning they flopped both forwards and backwards, and dripped salty water when I held them aloft.
At that point I could have made the kimchi, but I didn't have enough garlic at home, so it waited until the evening.
See how the cabbage is able to flop towards the outer leaves by Sunday morning? If your cabbage can't flop that way, the cabbage needs more time. 

First I washed the salt off the cabbage (3 times), and drained my cabbage (I put it in the dish drainer, honestly).


Next I had to prepare all the items to put into the kimchi. The most time consuming was the green onions. An essential ingredient, they were still roots-full-of-dirt and cleaning took quite some time. After everything was chopped and assembled in the big bowl, I mixed it together. The ratio looked a little off in that the red was lower than I expected, but I used a lot of minari and green onions, so I guess that should have been expected. Then I rubbed my mixture into each leaf, leaving behind some oyster, radish, green onion, chili pepper, etc. between each leaf, then rolling the quarters of cabbage up and stashing them in my container, until it was done.
Here are all my ingredients in the big bowl (oysters, small shrimpy/krill thingies, radish, ginger, garlic (not too much, or your kimchi will not last as long), minari, green onions, and chili pepper flakes. 

Then I put on my rubber gloves and mixed it all up really really well. 

Rubbing the mixture onto each leaf, leaving behind spices, veggies, etc. 

Look at all that kimchi! It's a 16 liter tub, and it's got to have at least 12 liters of kimchi in it! (I put the book there so you can get an idea of the scale). 

Oh ya, I'm going to be having kimchi stew, kimchi fried rice, kimchi tofu every single time I want all winter. 

Now I'll get to do this all over again, since my neighbors Sara, Maria Anna, and Lyudmila want to try, too.


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