Hey - I am going to be making kimchi for the first time this weekend. I have bought a couple of varieties before - one which seemed limp and soggy, I am pretty sure this used chinese cabbage. Can this dish be made with regular cabbage? Any tips?
You can use regular cabbage for a type of kimchi, but it will probably go limp faster than the napa cabbage does.
Fresh kimchi is crisp and you can extend that crispness by refrigerating right away, instead of letting it sit at room temp for awhile.
This is one Napa Kimchi recipe:
And there are some different types of kimchi in the recipe section of this link:
Being limp and soggy is not a flaw for kimchi, it is simply older kimchee and opposed to fresh. Some people have a preference for older, softer, more sour kimchee, while some like the fresh crunchy one. Some recipes work better w/ old and some with new, and vice versa.
I have been using this recipe for some years:
I recommend you get certain ingredients only from a Korean grocer, such as the Korean chili powder, the kimchee (sandlance) sauce---if you use the pyongyang metro recipe, I'd print out the pic and take it to them...if you don't buy one of their bottles of baby shrimp for kimchee instead, and get the salt there simply cuz sea salt/non-iodized salt is cheaper there, I think.
One mistake I made the first time was not washing the salt off well.
But if you just mix it all well, it is hard to mess up.
Hey thanks for that recipe. I completely agree to get the chili powder at a Korean market; it's very different from what we know as chili powder.
And I've also made the mistake of not washing off the salt well enough. Twice!
Edited to add: Oh! I just realized that's the same recipe I used before!
It is my experience that you can use any ground red chiles for kimchi, just choose a variety that has a level of heat you enjoy. I never get special Korean chiles because I am not close to any Asian markets, so I use what's in my cupboard. Ground red chiles are not the same thing as "chili powder", which has cumin, oregano, and other unwanted flavoring agents in it. Well-aged, softer kimchi is often used more in cooked dishes, rather than a pickle. Try it in soups, fried rice, etc. Make some kimchi with baby bok choy and daikon sometime, it's wonderful!
Oh no! I hadn't made this in a long time and now the link doesn't work. I had printed it out but have no idea where the print out is. :( What I liked about this recipe was that it came out well, but the recipe itself contained pictures of the required ingredients and the process. :(
Kimchi can be made with many other kinds of veggies! Such a forgiving way to learn about fermenting your own foods. Make some sauerkraut while you're at it!