I LOVE Kimchi. It's one of those foods I can literally eat by itself any time, any day. It also happens to be a total super food and naturally low in calories, it of course being fermented spicy Chinese cabbage meaning it is filled with vitamins and super good for your gut.
Delicious and great for your health!? Let's be honest that does not happen that often when it comes to food and I have always been intrigued by the idea of making my own kimchi at home. I am lucky to live close to a great Asian supermarket that sells it ready-made, but once again with time on my hands and with a great tried and tested recipe for homemade kimchi, courtesy of my friend Pont, I simply had to give it a go!
Pont's recipe is super easy to follow and if you are unable to find some of the more niche ingredients like Japanese daikon I will give you some great substitution.
I would say order online or find at your nearest Asian supermarket the Korean red pepper powder and don't be tempted to substitute it because it does add a crucial and distinctive flavour element and also make sure you have a jar at hand that you can shut air tight, ready for the kimchi to ferment in.
Overall I loved making the kimchi - the chopping, whizzing and all that jazz, and then also seeing the process of what happens after, the finished kimchi left in a dark, cold room for three days to develop flavour and ferment, almost a bit magical!
The end result was so tasty and better than any kimchi supermarket version I have had and and I cannot recommend enough making this yourself at home while we do have the chance to discover our inner domestic goddesses!
Of course I also had to find a recipe to use the kimchi as part of and the below incredible buttery kimchi noodles with egg yolk were JUST the thing!
Let me know if you end up making your own kimchi and what you think of the end result!
- 1 big head or 2 little ones of Napa/ Chinese Leaf / Savoy Cabbage, cut into 1 inch slices
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Bunch of Spring onions, sliced
- Half a Japanese Daikon, cut into thin batons (carrots can be used as substitute)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice + pineapple slice from a can
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 head garlic
- 1 small white onion
- 1/2 cup korean chilli flakes
- Sterilise the jar you are using by boiling it in a saucepan, set aside.
- Put sliced up cabbage in a bowl of water with 1/2 cup of salt.
- Place a plate with a weight (I used two tins) on top to press down.
- Leave for at least 1 hour.
- Add all paste ingredients to a blender and whizz until smooth.
- Rinse cabbage and throughly dry.
- Return cabbage to rinsed bowl and thoroughly mix with the paste.
- Add the spring onion and daikon and mix again so all vegetables are coated in the paste.
- Add sliced radishes and spring onions.
- Transfer to your sterilised container/mason jar.
- Leave to ferment in a cool room for around 3 days. The longer the ferment, the more pungent, tangier and intense it will be but make sure to stir it through once a day.
- Once happy with the taste, transfer to fridge. It will keep for 2-3 weeks (if you don't polish it off before then)
BUTTERY KIMCHI NOODLES WITH SPRING ONIONS
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 300g Udon noodles
- 1 cup of your homemade kimchi
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste, available to buy online or your nearest Asian supermarket)
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 1 pound fresh or frozen udon noodles
- Kosher salt
- 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
- 3 spring onions, white and green parts thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium-high.
- Add kimchi and gochujang and cook, stirring occasionally, until kimchi is softened and lightly caramelised, about 4 minutes.
- Add broth and bring to a simmer. Cook until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, boil noodles according to package directions.
- Using tongs, transfer noodles to pan and add remaining 2Tbsp. butter; cook, tossing often, until sauce coats noodles, about 2 minutes.
- Season with salt if needed.
- Divide among bowls and top with egg yolks, scallions, and sesame seeds.