When I embarked on my self-improvement course of learning how to cook Korean food, I knew that one of the first things I needed to learn was how to make a good kimchi. Kimchi, one of the hallmarks of Korean cuisine, is served with almost everything!
After reading a bunch of recipes and experimenting a few times at home, I've finally come up with a green cabbage kimchi that is now my go-to recipe. It makes a great contrast to rich and hearty foods, cleansing the palate with its vegetable base and stimulating the appetite with its spice and savory brine. All that said, though, I still think my favorite way to eat it is simply with a bowl of steamed rice. The cool, pungent, spicy cabbage and carrots over soft, hot steamed rice is such an amazing combination--it's total comfort food.
Since I like my kimchi on the less-fermented end of the spectrum, I am totally happy eating it after letting the cabbage marinate in its fish sauce brine for just an hour. With this recipe, you can enjoy a tasty, easy-to-make kimchi in a hurry! Of course, if you want yours more fermented, as traditional kimchi is, just let it sit out at room temperature for a day or two.
From what I hear, kimchi is generally prepared in large batches, as it is one of the most common side dishes served at a Korean meal and families can eat through a lot of it in a few days. However, since I don't make traditional Korean meals all that frequently, I've scaled this down to size that will last me for just about a week. Here it is...green cabbage kimchi! Yum!
Easy Yangbaechu Kimchi (양배추 김치)
Green Cabbage Kimchi
Makes about 6 cups
1 lb. green cabbage, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces
1 Tbs. roasted sesame seeds
1 whole carrot, julienned (cut into 2-inch matchsticks)
1 Tbs. finely minced garlic
1 Tbs. finely minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 Tbs. Korean red chili powder (gochugaru,고추가루)
1/4 cup fish sauce
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to boil, then add the julienned carrot and blanch for 30 seconds. Immediately drain carrots and rinse in cold water until thoroughly cooled.
Place cabbage and carrot in a large non-reactive bowl and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over. Toss to coat all pieces evenly with the seasonings, then let the flavors meld for about an hour or so at room temperature (or 1-2 days, for a more fermented flavor). Store any leftover in the refrigerator.