Koreans judge one's cooking skill by how delicious her or his kimchi is. People say kimchi is a hard one to master and they might be right because it took me a while to make a perfect kimchi that I just love! Once it was too bland. Once it was too salty. Once I didn't have enough fillings. The list goes on.
Then this time, I made it just the way I like it. It doesn't mean you will love it, too, though as people like Kimchi differently. I like mine spicy. But if you can't handle the spice very well, you can always add less pepper flakes than I did. Also, I don't really care for "fishy" kimchi. Normally, Koreans add shrimp chunks to it but I don't like it. So I added 1 tablespoon of fish sauce. But if you want to add fine shrimp chunks to it, go ahead. No problem. But this recipe is how I like it. I couldn't find any Korean daicons around so I used 2 Japanese daicons. They taste pretty much the same to me. The difference between Korean and Japanese daicons is the shape. Korean ones are short and fat and Japanese ones are long and skinny. The daicon filling is one of my favorite things about Kimchi. It gives such a great and unique flavor to Kimchi. Okay, enough said about Kimchi. I know a lot of you have been waiting for this recipe. So here is it. Enjoy!
2 nappa cabbages. washed
Very coarse salt for Kimchi (*You can find this salt at any Korean stores or oriental market. The salt is very coarse and it drains the water out of the cabbages)
Filling2 Korean or Japanese daicons, washed and peeled
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon fish sauce
15-20 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes for Kimchi (Now you can definitely add less or more according to your liking.)
4 green onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 cup warm water
Now, the filling-
Slice the daicon thinly lengthwise and cut into thin strips as shown in the picture above. Put it in a large bowl.
Add the rest of the filling ingredients into the bowl and mix with your hand thoroughly until all the daicon strips are covered in red. Set aside about 1 hour. There will be water in the bowl from the daicon. Mix well again with your hand until the water is soaked into the mixture.
Wash the cabbages thoroughly with water and squeeze it to drain extra water from the cabbages.
Transfer the kimchi to large and deep containers. Seal and refrigerate. The kimchi will be ready to be eaten in 3-4 days. The juices of the cabbage come out and make the kimchi taste wonderful. Sometimes I eat it right away but it is definitely a lot crunchier in the beginning.