If you’re wondering, yes, I did make some kimchi (although not the typical kimchi sold in groceries) from Maangchi’s recipe. I made a batch of yangbaechu kimchi or emergency kimchi and I have to say, (I’m not bragging, ok?) it’s perfect! Thank you, Maangchi!
Looking back, I was curious as to what kimchi tastes like and why it’s always served in a Korean food setting. It’s a vegetable (nappa cabbage) and all red – from that I can safely say it is really SPICY, no questions asked. But I never knew at that time that kimchi is fermented (I was totally clueless back then, around 10 years ago, maybe?) I can never stress enough how POPULAR Korean dramas are in this country. I am a fan too, and so starts my obsession with Korean idols and Korean food. At first I was content with buying kimchi from groceries, until I’ve noticed that the taste, for some reason, gradually changed. Kimchi is supposed to be spicy, right? The ones that I bought only tasted sour, but no spiciness at all. I don’t know if kimchi is supposed to lose its spiciness because of the fermentation process or the kimchi makers simply overlooked the quality of their product.
And that led me to make my home-made kimchi with Maangchi’s help. Like I said, I decided to make yangbaechu kimchi – this kimchi is made of cabbage. First challenge: go and look for a Korean grocery and buy hot pepper flakes (gochu garu). After searching for 2 korean groceries on a rainy day (good thing my husband was there to drive me around the city) and failed, I finally found a Korean grocery on my third try and bought my very first pack of hot pepper flakes.
First step: the salting process. After cutting up the cabbage into manageable pieces, salt was added to draw out excess water from the vegetable.
Second step: making the kimchi paste. While the vegetable is undergoing the salting process, I made the kimchi paste by mixing thinly sliced carrots, green onions, garlic, fish sauce and hot pepper flakes.
Third step: After washing the cabbage a couple of times with water, I began mixing the kimchi paste and the cabbage.
Fourth step: after thoroughly mixing the paste and cabbage, I made sure I store the kimchi in the container with as little air as possible.
Fifth step: avoid tasting the freshly made kimchi. I did that and I couldn’t stop eating it, picking small pieces and tasting it :D
These are the steps that I did by following Maangchi’s recipe (fifth step not included, of course) making it is really easy. If you want to make your own emergency kimchi, this is the link to Maanchi’s recipe: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/yangbaechu-kimchi
One more thing, make sure you wear plastic gloves when you mix kimchi. I guess it’s okay to mix it with clean bare hands, if you’re sure you can remove the kimchi paste smell on your hands later on :D
There are different types of kimchi in Maangchi’s website, and I’m planning to make mak kimchi next time. And here’s another mission for me: hunt for sweet rice flour :D