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Mom’s Kim Chee (made With Nappa Cabbage)

Ingredients

  • 1/2-1 c pickling salt
  • 1 ea Head Nappa Cabbage
  • 1 ea daikon raddish (one third to one half the size of the cabbage)
  • 1 ea head of garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tb ginger, minced
  • 2-8 Tb Korean red pepper flakes, or fresh hot red pepper to taste,
  • or a combination.
  • 2 ea green onions, julienned
  • 1 tb sugar
  • A new pair of latex gloves are handy for handling hot pepper mixture.
  • A large bowl for soaking the cabbage in brine solution.
  • Large glass containers to put the finished kim chee into.
  • Especially handy for large batches is a food processor and/or a contraption for shredding vegetables into julienne strips.
  1.   First, the cabbage must be salted in brine solution.   Cut the  cabbage in half lengthwise. Then cut a second time lengthwise to  form quarter cabbage chunks. Mix the salt with enough water to cover all the cabbage in a large  bowl. Soak the cabbage in the brine solution, making sure that all parts  are submerged.  If they are not, you can restack the cabbage half  way through the soaking process, moving bottom chunks to the top,  and vice versa. Leave the cabbage for 2-4 hours.  At the end of this time, the  cabbage should be wilted, supple, limp and salty in taste.Reserve some of the brine solution. Rinse the cabbage and then cut  into bite size pieces about an inch and a half long and drain the  cabbage. Discard the centre core.
  2. In the mean time, prepare the daikon raddish and the pepper  sauce/paste. The daikon must either be shredded into julienne strips.  Add to the  daikon:  red pepper flakes, red pepper, minced garlic, minced  ginger, julienned green onion, salt to taste (1 Tbsp) and sugar,  then toss. If you are using your hands, beware of the the hot  pepper.  This is where gloves come in handy. Finally, thoroughly mix the pepper mixture with the cabbage by  tossing. Then check for salt and red pepper and seasoning in general  and adjust if necessary.  Then pack into glass jars.  The mixture  should have a liquid sauce in the jar and more will form as it sits.  It is important that the mixture is in a sauce.Should you need to  add more liquid, take some reserved brine and rinse the final mixing  bowl and add to bottles so that all the cabbage pieces are just  submerged in liquid.
  3. You can keep a bottle outside for a day to help  it ripen more quickly, otherwise store in the refrigerator, tightly  capped.   The taste changes as it ripens.  It is initially like a salad and then  ferments to taste more sour.
  4. Kim chee compliments meals served with  rice.  It is a Korean staple.  It is also good fried with butter or  sesame oil, or stir fried with pork and tofu.

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