Napa Cabbage Kimchi
- 2 heads Napa cabbage, quartered lengthwise
- 1/3 cup kosher salt, divided
- 10 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 large Asian pear, peeled and finely grated
- 1 cup Korean red pepper flakes
- 6 Asian chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/3 cup fish sauce
- 1 (1½ inch) piece ginger, finely grated
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
- 2 half-gallon wide-mouth jars with matching straining and regular lids, boiled to sterilize
- Put the cabbage in a large mixing bowl (or 2, if necessary). Use 5 tablespoons salt to sprinkle lightly between each cabbage leaf. Let stand at room temperature to wilt, about 12 hours.
- Squeeze moisture from the cabbage and transfer to a plate.
- Toss daikon with the remaining salt in a separate bowl. Let stand until the daikon is wilted, about 2 hours. Squeeze moisture from the radish and transfer to a large mixing bowl; add the pear, red pepper flakes, chives, scallions, fish sauce, ginger, and garlic and mix.
- Spread some of the chili paste between the leaves of a cabbage section. Roll the cabbage tightly and pack into a sterilized jar. Repeat process with remaining ingredients to fill both jars, leaving about 2 inches clear at the top.
- Screw strainer lids onto the jars and place onto a baking sheet. Let the cabbage ferment at room temperature, occasionally pressing the cabbage into the liquid to submerge, until the liquid is fizzy and bubbling, for 48 hours.
- Replace strainer lids with regular lids and refrigerate kimchi, ideally on a baking sheet to catch any juices that may seep out as it continues to ferment.
- Kimchi is ready to eat within 1 week and can keep refrigerated for several months. The longer it ferments, the more pronounced the flavor.
Kimchi is a versatile condiment. Chop it up and eat with rice, or stir-fry it with meats, seafood or vegetables. Add it to omelettes or fried rice, or julienne it and add it to pulled pork sandwiches instead of BBQ sauce. The possibilities are endless!
What others are saying
Judith Bosman says:
I am hoping to give this recipe a five! I was wondering, as someone who is allergic to seafood, what can I use in place of the fish sauce? Also, what is the difference between regular chives and Asian chives?
Laura Griffin says:
I'm a kimchi first timer, but I really liked the way it turned out. Never knew how delicious fermented vegetables were. Can't wait to play around with different variations. This was a great starting point for me!
Katie Hason says:
If I wasn't already kimchi obsessed, this recipe has definitely taken my obsession to a new level. The fish sauce, garlic, and ginger give this dish incredible, savory flavor. If you're a fan of kimchi, or even if it's your first time trying it, this recipe is a winner.