Seeking advice from anyone who;s ever actually made kim chee
I know how to make kim chee *in principle* and I've made it several times. But it never turns out nearly as good as commercial stuff, and I'd love to hear from anyone who's actually made more than 2 or 3 batches.
Part of the problem is that virtually every recipe I've seen for kim chee in any cookbook omits something important.
For example, it looks to me like it's important to put it into a jar when it's still fermenting. But no recipe I've seen mentions this. Am I guessing correctly that this is an important step?
I'm not sure what your recipe is, so if you want to post it I could probably comment more accurately. But, true kimchee does NOT have vinegar. Quick style kimchee is made this way but the fermentation traditionally doesn't happen with vinegar. Also, usually there is some form of small brined shrimp that is added. I remember my mother even chopping up octopus and adding it to batches. As with so many things, the quality of the ingredients will effect your final batch. My mother would never buy napa cabbage at certain times of the year because it was not the right season for the cabbage. Those were the times she would make turnip kimchee and in the summer a lot of cucumber kimchee.
You need to find yourself a Korean female. The making of kimchee is one of those skills that needs to be learned at your mother's knee (an experienced stand-in will do). The tricky part for me was knowing how much salt to add, and when the salting process was done. You really need someone who knows what's what to show you what the veg looks like/feels like when it's ready. Once you know. it's easy. The actual seasoning is a matter of personal taste and varies a lot.
There are so many slightly different styles of "basic" bok choy kimchi alone - don't get stuck on "which one is real."
Then there are other kimchees - I had incredible luck with cucumber kimchi last week (ferments in a day or less, doesn't keep well):
3 cucumbers (oh-ee) (pickling variety if you can get them)
2 stalks green onion
1 tablespoon gochujang (red pepper paste)
1 tsp minced garlic
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Slice cucumbers in half and then into thick slices. Cut green onions into 2 inch pieces. Slice jalapeno. Quarter onion and then slice. Put all veggies in a bowl, add the spices, and mix. I use a disposable plastic glove like the one pictured above to mix everything together. Taste and if it needs salt, add to taste. If you like it sweeter, feel free to add more sugar. Serve chilled.
Homemade kimchi is under pressure because the fermentation process produces gas. My mom would put our jars of kimchi in buckets because sometimes the juices would be forced out of the jars by the gas. If you like kimchi that's more sour, the pressure is a good sign that it's ready to eat.
wait a minute, whats the recipe? what ingredients have you bought?
you know how time consuming this is right? you can't just make it in a day. I mean you have to salt the stuff overnight. Which reminds me, are you making your basic baechu kimchi - cabbage kimchi? What sort of protein are you throwing in there to ferment it? Oysters? Shrimp? Squid? Octopus?
I have never made kimchi, but I understand the basics of it
When I go home for christmas (next week), I am going to ask my mother to teach me how to make kimchi. I hate to say it, but everytime she makes it I get bored and impatient. I also hate waiting for it to ferment.
Nothing is worse then waiting for chong gak kimchi (radish) to ferment. That stuff takes FOREVER...and it is my favorite
jeesh, sorry if I sound bitchy. i really didn't mean to come off that way (: I just get excited about korean food