Bae Chu Kimchi
I love Korean food! I must admit that I never ate Korean food until I went to college in downtown Los Angeles in an area very close to many Asian communities like San Pedro and Monterey Park. The closest Asian district to where I went to school was along Vermont Ave in Los Angeles and here I found China Town, Korea Town, Viet Nam Town, etc. You just name it and there as an Asian “Town” to be found and along with that the foods that came along with them. One of my favorite foods is Kimchi and this is Bae Chu Kimchi the most popular Kimchi recipe
1 head of Napa cabbage
3 bulbs of garlic to start with or more if you prefer. I used between 8 and 12 most of the time. It is taste preference.
1 piece of ginger 2 to 3 inches cut up into small pieces for the blender/food processor.
1/4 cup fish sauce.
2 bunches of scallions.
1 cup coarse ground Korean chili pepper.
2 Tsp. sugar.
1 Tsp. sesame oil.
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar.
1/2 of large Asian radish. (Daikon)
1 Tbsp. rice flour or AP flour if you don’t have rice flour.
1 1/2 cups salt.
1. Cut Napa cabbage in half the long way.
2. Remove the stem at bottom with small knife and a “V” cut. Then cut the halves into quarters.
3. Cut up each quarter into 1 and 2 inch strips. I use a slightly diagonal cut.
4. Take a large pot and fill with some water, the pot should be able to hold at least a gallon of water.
5. Add 4 to 5 ounces of salt and mix until salt is dissolved in water.
6. Put cut up cabbage into the pot and add water to just cover the cabbage.
7. Press cabbage down into water and cabbage will begin to soften fairly quickly.
8. Cover pot and let stand with cabbage in it for 1 to 2 hours. I like 2 hours but I have let it go as long as 4 hours.
9. About half way through the soaking add your scallions and make sure they are cut up into 1 inch pieces or longer if you wish.
10. After you let the cabbage soak for however long you choose it is time to strain it and squeeze it.
11. Pour cabbage into a collander and strain it. Wash off excess salt and squeeze out excess water gently. Let cabbage stand for 20 minutes.
12. While the cabbage is resting it is time to make the rice flour glue that allows the ingredients to stick to the Kim Chi.
The Rice Flour Glue:
1. 1 Tbsp. of rice flour. If you don’t have rice flour you can use AP flour and it will work the same way.
2. Put the rice flour in a sauce pan with 1/2 cup water and medium to medium high heat and bring to a boil and let it thicken. Stir constantly. When mixture can stick to the spoon it is ready to let cool. While the rice flour glue is cooling it is time to make the Korean chili paste mixture.
Korean Chili Paste Mixture:
1. Take the garlic, ginger, Asian radish, and blend in food processor or blender until it is a pulpy liquid consistency. (This step is done
While the rice flour glue is cooling down)
2. Take Korean chili powder, sugar, fish sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and mix all these ingredients up in a bowl.
3. Now take the garlic, ginger, radish mixture and add it to the chili paste mixture in previous step and mix it up well. Now you will have a red Korean chili powder paste.
Rinse out the large pot that you used for soaking the cabbage.
Now take some of the cabbage that has been standing/straining and make a layer of cabbage at the bottom of the large pot you used to soak it in.
Put a couple of spoonfuls of the Korean chili paste mix on top and mix together with your hands. Make sure all the cabbage is covered.
Repeat this step of making cabbage layers and then putting chili paste on top of each layer and mixing until all the ingredients are used.
Then perform one final mix of the cabbage and paste to make sure everything is completely covered.
When done put all of your Kim Chi into an air tight jar. I have found that a 2 quart jar is just right for one large head of Napa cabbage.
Put the jar in a cool place on a counter top somewhere for about 2 to 3 days to allow the fermentation to take place. Make sure no sunlight gets to the jar.
At end of 2 or 3 days you may see some bubbling happening and that’s fine, that is the fermentation process. Put Kim Chi in the fridge.
This will last for up to 2 months in the fridge, but I think it will not last that long once you start eating it!
The Final Product:
When you serve this you can put it on the plate with your food or in a separate bowl as with the pic at the beginning of this post. Add a dash of sesame oil for a nutty flavor and sprinkle some raw or toasted sesame seeds on top and serve! Kim Chi goes great with rice, noodles, beef, chicken just about anything can be perked up with Kim Chi!