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The classic, fermented Korean recipe is an instant upgrade for everything from sandwiches to soups, and is healthy for you, too.
Kimchi is Korea’s national dish, made of fermented vegetables, typically cabbage and daikon radish, spiced up with seasonings. It’s commonly served as a side dish, but Korean households also use it as a condiment and an ingredient in cooking — and now, apparently, so do many American chefs (and home cooks in the Hudson Valley!). You can use it to flavor soups, stews or stir-fries, braise it along with short ribs, or add it to any dish you think would be perked up by a sour/spicy note.
1 Napa cabbage, about 2 lbs
½ cup of coarse salt
10 to 12 cups cold water
8 oz daikon radish, peeled and julienned
4 scallions, chopped
¼ cup fish sauce
2 Tbs Korean chili powder
1 Tbs minced garlic
2 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp sugar
Cut the cabbage into 2-inch pieces; discard the stalk. Put the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle it with salt, tossing to coat evenly. Add enough cold water to cover. Let soak at room temperature, covered, for 12 hours.
Drain into a colander, rinse with cold water and gently squeeze out as much water as possible.
In a large bowl, blend the fish sauce, chili powder, garlic, ginger and sugar. Add the radish, scallions and cabbage, and toss to coat evenly.
Pack the mixture into a large, clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. Seal and leave in a cool, dark place for a day or two. When it starts to bubble, your kimchi is fermenting. Refrigerate for 3 or 4 more days. It’s best after a week and will keep in the fridge for about a month.
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