Monday, June 27, 2011

Home made Kim Chi - an experiment

One can easily grab a bottle of Kim Chi from the nearby Korean or Asian Grocer but who knows what goes into those bottles and how long it has been fermenting. Although Kim Chi can last up to 3 months as it ages it get more sour, personally I prefer fresh and not too sour Kim Chi.

So I gave myself a new challenge in my test kitchen to prepare a home made Kim Chi. After going through several recipes on the internet, I decided on this particular one as I like the "secret ingredient" used in this version.

A good Kim Chi is packed full of flavour and crunch and is a great side dish or best eaten with rice. Not only that it taste great, apparently it is very good for you. It aids in your digestion and it claims to have tumor fighting properties.

So you will need:

1 whole head of fresh cabbage
3/4 cup sea salt diluted with 
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup of ko choo kah rhoo, also known as fine red chili flakes made into a paste with added water
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
3-4 stalks spring onions chopped
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
1/2 pear 
1/2 onion
1/2 apple
Blend the last 3 items


Separate the leaves and chop them up into bite-size pieces. Add the salt water and leave to soak at room temperature for 4 hours.

The salt will help draw moisture out of the cabbage, and will also act as a natural preservative.

Wash and strain the cabbage two or three times. You want to rinse off the salt water and return the cabbage to a large bowl.

Now add the garlic, ginger and chili paste, fish sauce and chopped spring onion. Add the blended pear/onion/apple as a sweetening agent.This is the secret ingredient I was referring to. Commercial version would probably just add a tablespoon of sugar. Please use a pair of plastic gloves when mixing/tossing this so your hand will not burn.  

Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle.
Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well - this liquid will become kim chi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.
Your kim chi is now ready to eat. Refrigerate and take out portions as needed. The refrigerated kim chi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time. You may add sesame oil onto the kimchi before serving.


  1. salams sis...i am currently eating it with rice ,malaysian stye. But my DH complains that the two dishes don't jive..So how do you eat yours?

  2. Waalaikumsalam doing the same, we eat kimchi as a side dish to hot rice, even goes with sambal belacan ;)