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Kimchi: An Upstate New York Variation

4:28 AM

So!   I was presented with this lovely head of Nappa cabbage.  The only answer I could think of was Kimchi.  As a matter of fact, I couldn't help myself.  This particular cabbage was SCREAMING Kimchi!

I've made Kimchi in the past.  Both Classic Kimchi and Baek (White, or Vegan) Kimchi.   I personally LOVED the Vegan Kimchi.  It has a great light pickle flavor, and was super-fast to make.  I wasn't such a big fan of how the Classic Kimchi practically burned my face off when I tried it!  My husband, however, loved it.  Especially on hotdogs!

This time around I'm going for less heat, but the added classic flavors of chili, garlic, and fish sauce... along with the probiotic "pickle" tang that I love so much.

I also went ahead and substituted in easily-found (read, in my cupboard) ingredients along the way.  

Upstate New York Kimchi
1 large Nappa Cabbage, cut into 2-inch pieces
approx. 1/2 cup kosher salt
3 small carrots, grated

6 inches of fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp Hot Mexican Chili Powder
2 tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Vidalia (or Spanish) Onion
1 tsp Paprika
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Tamari
1 tbsp pear or apple juice

Put the chopped cabbage and carrots into a large bowl.  Add the salt and massage it into the veggies.  Add just enough water to come up to the top of the cabbage and let it soak for a few hours with a plate on top to keep everything submerged. 

After the cabbage is sufficiently wilted, strain the veggies in the sink and rinse them lightly with fresh water.  Set aside.

Combine all the "sauce" ingredients in a blender.  Puree' until completely incorporated.  

Toss together sauce and veggies in a large bowl.  

Pack your kimchi into wide-mouthed quart jars.  Really cram it down in there (I used a rolling pin).

Make a brine to top off the kimchi (It will create it's own brine, but mine needed a little extra).     Combine 2 tbsp kosher salt with 1 quart of water (a Mason jar works great for this).  Top off your kimchi and make sure everything is submerged.   I held mine down with pieces of skewer this time, but you can use glass weights, large cabbage leaves, river rocks... whatever you have on hand.  Just make sure the veggies are completely submerged.  

Cap loosely with mason jar lids.  Burp if and when necessary over the next 3-5 days.   By day 2 your kimchi should be nice and bubbly.  You can taste it to see if it's to your liking starting at day 3.  Once you like the taste, transfer it to the refridgerator.  ENJOY!!

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