I adapted this recipe from one I learned in a workshop at The Asian Culinary Forum in San Francisco with Huynjoo Albrecht, of CookingKorean.com. If you’ve only had commercial kimchi, which is sometimes overly salty and very spicy while lacking dimension, you’ll be surprised at the complexity of this version. Lightly fermented and spicy, to be sure, the nuances of the individual components come through in layers. If you’re worried about making it too spicy, start with less red pepper the first time you make it and see how you like it.
If you have access to a Korean market, buy the medium ground Korean red pepper powder for kimchi, which usually comes in a one-pound plastic bag. Make sure that it doesn’t have salt or other additives. You may also experiment with a milder cayenne pepper; a mild ground red chile, such as New Mexico; or Aleppo pepper, a mild red pepper used in Middle Eastern cooking that has a nice fruity flavor and a similar heat level to Korean pepper. This recipe is written for kosher salt. If you’re using a finer-grained sea salt, you will need to use about 25 percent less.
Adapted from "D.I.Y. Delicious" by Vanessa Barrington.
Click here to see 7 No-Cook Side Dishes.