Step 5: Mix and stuff

Drain the brine from the vegetables (reserving in case you need it later), and taste. They should taste nice and salty, but not so salty that you wouldn't want to eat it. If it is so salty that it is very unpleasant rinse a little. If it doesn't taste good and salty, add a little salt. I know this is very subjective, but usually the brine proportion works and doesn't require tweaking. But in case, you should know that tweaking is ok.

Mix the vegetables with the ginger-chili-onion-garlic paste. Mix thoroughly, then stuff into jars. I find two quart-sized mason jars are just about right, but you can also use more pint jars, or a single larger crock or jar. Pack it tightly, and put something on top to weight it down. This can be a slender glass tumbler, a ziplock bag filled with water or brine, a nice clean smooth rock that fits inside the jar, etc. And actually, I have made perfectly edible kimchee without weighting it down, just by packing very tightly in the jars and pushing the contents down firmly each day while fermenting. It's better if it is weighted though, which is why traditional pickling crocks were so handy. A small bowl-shaped Chinese or Japanese teacup pressed down on the mixture in the jar is something I have used from time to time.

Cover to keep out dust and flies (I like the plastic screw-on Mason jar caps because they are nonreactive and easy). Set on a tray to catch any juice that may come up and over the top of the jar while fermenting. You can ferment this on your kitchen counter, smelling and tasting it daily until it tastes like Kimchee and then refrigerate, or you can put it in a cool basement to ferment more slowly and develop more complex flavors.

Generally it is ready when the cabbage and daikon are somewhat translucent and softened, but you can start eating it any time, dependent on your taste. Usually when it smells right, it tastes right. If it is left in the refrigerator long enough to smell sweet or alcoholic, it has gone bad. We never have that problem though, because it is too delicious
Thanks for the instructable! I&nbsp;just started my first batch tonite, I&nbsp;was sick of the msg laden jars I&nbsp;found in stores. I'm adding a bit of honey to my spice paste to try and re-create a sweet/spicy kimchee I&nbsp;just had recently, I&nbsp;hope it works! I&nbsp;usually make quick shoyu pickles, so this will be a nice change up, and kimchee soup is one of my favorites....<br />
<p>Hi, I too starting my first kimchi and made salty squid today(Hopefully it works)</p><p>You put honey in your paste but I warn you that honey is antiviral and anti bacterial, so it will prevent fermentation. Sounds like you put tiny amount and it won't be too much of a problem. I recommend you that next time not to use honey and instead use organic sugar. I make water kefir and heard someone killed the kefir gains by using honey. Good luck! Have an awesome day!</p>
<p>How do you explain mead?</p>
<p>I hate to disagree, but when honey is diluted, it can be used in a fermented process. yes, if it is too concentrated, it will kill the bacteria, but I've never had any problems with it in other recipes. (honey mead is merely fermented honey water)</p><p>one thing to remember, though, is that if you are replacing honey with sugar, you will need more sugar than the amount of honey asked for.</p>
<p>Any sugars you add will increase the acidity dramatically and speed up fermentation since there will be more food for the lactobacteria.You may end up with a more sour flavor. Also on the author's response, sardines work great!</p>
My pleasure! I hope you'll share a picture when it's ready!<br>I also love kimchee soup, as do my kids. <br>
<p>Just one word of warning...</p><p>Wear rubber gloves when making spicy kimchi. My hands are burning!!!</p>
<p>actually, I modified the recipe a little. </p><p>1 whole cabbage, 6 carrots, brine.</p><p>4/5 long onions (scallions) - homegrown, a large ginger root, 2 heaped soup-spoons of cayenne pepper, 2 heaped soup-spoons of hot paprika, 1 heaped soup-spoon of HOT chilli flakes - homegrown, 6 tsp of fish sauce, and 1 knob of spanish garlic (I don't use the asian stuff - no flavour)</p><p>and 2 hours later, my hands are burning worse than they were 15 minutes after finishing.</p>
<p>hi, where did you get the glass jars with plastic tops?</p>
<p>hi, where did you get the jars with the plastic tops?</p>
<p>Kimchi can be made easier and with fewer ingredients that you already <br>have at home, its gonna taste even better! my recipe is here<br> on my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSo8CA6x3cY&feature=youtu.be" rel="nofollow">rawismyreligion.com </a>blog</p>
Call me immature but I had a good chuckle when I saw that one of the brands was called 'wang'.
To avoid MSG and methyl mercury, get short grain rice (and/or sweet rice) and cook them and blend it to the soup consistency. Mix this with Kombu juice (Kombu is seaweed like kelp, but thicker. You can get it really cheap at H-Mart, listed as Daa-Si-Maa(다시마) in Korean. If you don't have H-mart near you, you can also order online and they will deliver to you). To get kombu juice, soak 4-6 pieces of kombu in water and use that water. This mix can be used for any fish sauce while making any kimchi. Also use sea salt instead of regular salt both for soaking napa and for the sauce.
kimchi @ quy @ carlisle 17015
This question is about the fermentation part, do you not tighten down the lids of the jars, or do you open ferment by leaving the lids loose? <br> <br>Thanks, <br>jlh357
i just completed this. i didnt know how much chili to put in. i used red radish and yellow onion because whole foods didnt have anything!!!! we'll see....
from &quot;The Joy of Pickling&quot; I learned that cayenne mixed with sweet paprika 1:1 (a Tbs of each) makes a good substitute for Korean chili in kim-chi. I've made several batches this way and think it's perfect
Hello, <br>Do you use a half cup of your cayenne and sweet paprika mix to this recipie? <br> <br>I just made my first batch and used some red pepper flakes I had in the house. It's looking great so far and is fermenting very hard. <br> <br>
not a half cup, just 2 tablespoons..a half cup would be VERY spicy
Thank you so much, I was putting together another batch as the first is <br>turning out great. <br>This is the best recipie I've come across and it's a great one. I will let you konw how I do with the cayenne and sweet paprika. <br> <br>Thanks again.
I would love to try some of the more &quot;interesting&quot; looking things at our Asian Market--BUT I live in a house with 4 anaphylacticly allergic to SHRIMP people. Any hints as to how to tell if anything HAS shrimp in it--or not? <br> <br>I think I will try this without any of the &quot;fish&quot; sorts of things---husband loves things like this and our &quot;local&quot; Asian Markets are 1 1/2 hour drive away and the one and only time I got him &quot;kimchee&quot; packed in the nicest little ceramic jar the stuff smelled SO BAD the dog ran off. Prob just from some air leak or who knows but nothing like what he has had elsewhere and not a good sour smell--def a rotten eeewy smell. The crock was nice so I kept that tho! <br> <br>I wish I knew some one who could take me for a &quot;Guided Tour&quot; of the Asian MArkets and tell me what is IN those packages! The people who run the one we have gone to might speak English--or might not!--and are not that friendly and when ever I have asked a Asian person shopping a question they just look at me like I have three heads. Sigh. <br> <br>Maybe they know I have a secret wish to liberate the poor doomed turtles swimming in their bucket. <br> <br>Thanks for de-mystifying this process tho! Oh--one way to keep the level of the liquid over anything pickling is to use a clean china plate weighted down with either a very clean rock; a glass jar filled with water on top of the plate; or (I have not used this) a plastic zip bag with water in it. This allows you to see what is happening on top without messing around with the product. Cover the whole affair with a cloth tied around the side or weighted down with small weights sewn on the edge to keep out dust and bugs and critters. My great great grandmothers trick for her famous pickles. And yep I was lucky enuf to actually live with great great grand ma when I was a kiddie and remember the pickles!
I have been making fermented vegetables for about a year now and love them. I have been looking for a good kimchi recipe and cannot wait to try this one. I only plan to change the seasonings to get the flavor...I love the mix of green and purple cabbage because it looks so wonderful. I already use seaweed but no salt. I am looking forward to see how this changes the flavor of the veggies. <br> <br>BTW...I was reading some of the posts, I make my fermented vegetables in sealed quart jars and keep my house between 70-72 degrees. I open the jars every day to release the gas and I let them ferment for 7 days...the only drawback is that many times the jars leak so I keep my jars in a cardboard box that I discard after they are done fermenting.
I know that Sandor Katz had a salt-free sauerkraut recipe in his book, but don't recall whether there was a salt-free kimchi one. Worth looking into!
No, all the Kimchi recipes in Katz require salt, however there are three salt free saurkraut versions using wine, savory seeds or seaweed however Katz advises that they are better made low salt rather than salt free if possible for better sour flavour and crunchiness.
I really enjoyed making my first Kimchi from this recipe! Very tasty but a bit too salty for me. Could I halve the salt content without any problem? <br> <br>thanks!!!
You can make it to taste, but be aware that too much salt, and it will not really ferment much, and too little, and it could just go straight to spoiling. <br> <br> A Korean lady told me that refrigerators are actually too warm to keep kimchi in for very long, and that I shouldn't make so much at a time that we can't use it up in a couple of weeks, because trying to keep it for months in a standard refrigerator won't work. 33-34 degrees F is much better than 39 or 40 degrees F. On the other hand, making just enough for a few days, you can leave it on the counter. You just can't expect to keep it for too long. Souring can be quite good especially for adding to soups, but once it goes beyond sour, into sweet and alcohol-smell, that is spoiled. So if it sours, hurry and make soup! <br> <br>You should be able to add a little less or more salt to taste. Just know that less salt will mean you need to use it up quicker.
Thanks for the extra information. My latest batch was 4 cups of water to 3 tablespoons of salt and it seems just as tasty except I forgot the radishes so it wasn't as crunchy!
I did this and think the kimchee is very good. I'm very happy I ran across this recipe and instructions. I used hon dashi and I did not use seaweed. I'm going to make a second batch and will try 1/2 hon dashi and 1/2 Pufina (Philippines) fish sauce and will use kelp. (I don't know why I mess with success.) <br> I was so excited about making kimchee, I promised most of the first batch out to three young people at my church. Two have Korean ancestry and one, Japanese.
Wow, you'll have to get their opinions on it, and come back to share the results with us! Whether they have pure admiration or constructive criticism, I would like to cheer for you or also learn what can be done better. I wonder what someone more used to Tsukemono would think of kimchi? If you want to try Tsukemono (a simple Japanese pickle) feel free to check out my Instructable on that as well! http://www.instructables.com/id/Tsukemono-Hakusai-no-Shiozuke-Japanese-Pickled/
Oops, sorry. Should have read up on your comments. I see, now, that you already discovered and posted the same info. What type of seaweed do you recommend buying and how would one put it in this recipe. Just chop it up?? Though I'm not new to eating seaweed, I am new to using it in my kitchen.<br><br>Blessings!
No harm, no worries. Most people wouldn't read so far down the comments, so posting things new, is a good thing.<br><br>the seaweed I buy is dried, so I usually just break it into bits or cut it if it's a bit leathery. It's wonderful in kimchi, and it hardly matters which type. Just whatever type you enjoy eating.<br><br>I used to use Wakame primarily, sometimes some kombu too. You can use any. Wakame I break into &quot;twigs&quot; dry, and in it goes. <br><br>These days I prefer to buy a year's supply of local Maine seaweed at a time, from http://www.theseaweedman.com/ or else https://www.seaveg.com/shop/<br><br>Both are good places to buy from, for anyone, especially if you live closer to Maine than to Japan, China, or Korea. <br><br>The local seaweed does taste a bit different or have a different texture, but it's good.
Yum! I&nbsp;can't wait to try this. I am going to go shopping tonight to get everything! I tried to make it once from a recipe in a book and well lets say it was not successful. I love Kim Chee and have yet to find a store brand that is as good as my brother in laws mothers homemade one (she is from Korea!). Thank you for the recipe!
Hope it was the beginning of a happy journey without end! <br>
Kudos to ALL of you for attempting to make this labor-intensive staple that even some Koreans shy away from making (myself included). For great (and entertaining--you'll see) video instructions on korean cooking (which includes kimchi), check out: www.maangchi.com<br /> <br />
I didn't mean any disrespect, however. Your comment was nice and supportive. And learning to make kimchi does feel like an art. Thank you for the video post, and I am deeply sorry whenever I hear that more people are losing touch with the fermented foods native to their culture...it's a worldwide problem that Sandor Katz attempts to address in his book. Happily, now through connectivity, people everywhere can learn and embrace not only their own, but any culture's fermented foods and pickles, which in natural state are healthy too.
I&nbsp;have to disagree that it is labor-intensive. The only labor is chopping, mixing salt and spices, and packing into a jar. That's less effort than would normally go into the making of one meal, and it makes a healthy delicious condiment and side dish to last through many meals, or many months, depending on use.<br /> Thanks for the kudos though!<br />
So...&nbsp; I've made a large batch of Kimchi, and saved a bit out in jars (the fresh stuff is great!).&nbsp; I used a large bucket with a fermentation lock...&nbsp; hopefully keeping out the O2 will help with consistency!<br /> <br /> Unfortunately, the large batch seems to be &quot;stuck&quot;.&nbsp;&nbsp; It's been in 70F temps for over 48 hours, and not a single bubble!<br /> <br /> Any tips?
I don't know, having never used a fermentation lock. The methods I am familiar with do not attempt to keep out air, just to keep out dust and flies. Then again, maybe someone familiar with the &quot;winter&quot; kimchi made by burying the jars (and presumably keeping out oxygen) could offer advice.&nbsp; Does it smell at all changed? If not, could it be too much salt? That would prevent fermentation.<br /> Or, if there is enough salt to really slow things down, but not enough to halt them entirely, it might just take a bit. <br /> Alternatively, I do believe a really large batch may take longer to get started.<br /> <br /> I would give it a few more days and before figuring something is wrong, but tasting some each day should tell you what changes are taking place.<br /> <br /> Keep us posted on the progress, because maybe I&nbsp;too will have a new use for the beer brewing equipment in the basement, if this works out well!<br />
I've opened the bucket [negating the effects of a fermentation lock! ;P] and tasted the kimchee.&nbsp; It tastes good.&nbsp; Not too salty, but salty enough.<br /> <br /> I think you're right about the large batch, and perhaps I should just give it a bit of time.&nbsp; apparently, some sources say fermentation won't start for up to a week!&nbsp; <br /> <br /> The fermentation lock is supposed to stop molds from growing.&nbsp; Once the kimchi starts to &quot;work&quot;, the gasses are trapped in the bucket, and the whole thing becomes anaerobic... so, no goo!<br /> <br /> On MANY people's recommendations (here and elsewhere) I&nbsp;bought a copy of Sandor's book.&nbsp; Kindle is handy when you wish to read.&nbsp;&nbsp; ;)<br /> <br /> Thanks so much for your quick reply.&nbsp;&nbsp; I'll report back w/ info on success, or failure.&nbsp; (failures are such useful learning tools!)<br /> <br /> Tedinski
Well folks, it's been almost two weeks now, and still no bubbles from the fermentation lock...<br /> <br /> I opened up the kimchi expecting the worst -- horrible smells &amp; rotting veggies!&nbsp; Imagine my surprise when it smelled quite good, and looks about the same as when I put it all in the bucket.&nbsp; Very odd!<br /> <br /> The house changes temperatures a fair bit because I heat with wood, but its never dropped below 60, and usually (80%of the time) it's around 70 to 75.<br /> <br /> Is there such a thing as inorganic non-fermentable cabbage?&nbsp; Perhaps I've found a supplier of everlasting, never-spoiling foodstuffs!&nbsp; :D<br /> <br /> So, I ask again...&nbsp; has anyone on this forum run into this before?&nbsp; It's really NOT&nbsp;too salty, and the bucket was washed out with non-chlorinated water (my water is supplied by a spring...&nbsp; very clean and NO&nbsp;chemicals).<br /> <br /> Is there something I&nbsp;can add to help start the ferment?&nbsp;&nbsp; Perhaps some whey?&nbsp;&nbsp; I've read on other forums that whey is great for getting kimchi started, but then again I've read that you should &quot;never use whey&quot; because it messes up the flavors.<br /> <br /> Totally confuddled,<br /> Tedinski
You don't see bubbles. From my own experience with &quot;Kim-Chee&quot; when first made and depends on taste it sits at room temperature - not winter temperature. <br>It has to be warm not cold in the room or the fermentation process will take weeks. 70 degrees or better. DO NOT SEAL IT IN A JAR; it will explode from the pressure. This is why you see massive Kim-Chee production in the spring and summer in Korea.<br>Also when you &quot;Brine&quot; the cabbage you will see an incredible shrinking of it.<br>Using the &quot;soup&quot; mix for your fish sauce adds allot more salt to the Kim-chee.<br>At any Asian Market Chinese ask for fish sauce in a bottle. Be careful about using too much or if will be very &quot;fishy&quot;..<br>There also should be plenty &quot;Korean&quot; markets in any city and you can get Kim-Chee powder by the pound.<br>If you use allot of salt the Kim-chee will become rubbery quickly; you can use less for a more crunchy texture and less salt.<br>Kim-chee will change taste; it will become &quot;sour&quot;; it isn't spoiled just really sour. You them can use it as 'Kim-Chee Chi-gae&quot; kim-Chee soup.<br>Put it into a post boil it; add goodies like rice cake. &quot;You have to soak it first and also add a meat of you want or Mandoo to it.<br>Remember this; you can not sneak eat this stuff. When you open the reefer the whole neighbor hood will know and if you are going to work same thing. We here have a saying called - KimChee Breath. If you are going on a date; DON'T EAT IT, unless she has too LoL...<br>
That was a great post and good advice about KimChee Breath. Also a good test of compatibility for potential marriage: a KimChi lover can't marry a KimChi hater. It would be an unfair battle! Happily, my husband loves kimchi too, so we just make sure we both eat it at the same time.
did you brine your cabbage properly? salting the cabbage is very important... even u have the best list of ingredients but you did'nt brine your cabbage properly your effort in making kimchi is useless... your cabbage will not get ferments and will easily get spoiled... Each family&rsquo;s kimchi has its own unique flavor, but the basic process is to salt the vegetable, firming it up by extracting its liquid, locking in the original flavor. You are going to pickle them with salt because you want to get as much liquid out from the cabbage as possible so cabbage should be limp and not crunchy before u rinse it... But don't worry, after you mixed it with the kimchi paste the cabbage will be crunchy as it gets ferments...
I've never had this problem, but I wonder of your issue is that your not pressing the vegetables? This and a lot of other pickling recipes are dependent on the pressure to make it work. I don't really know why or what all the pressing does except force the salt into the vegetables and press out their juice? have'nt a clue, but that might be your problem. if this was a vinegar brined the fermentation bucket would probably work.
Thanks so much for this, I just started the fermentation of my first ever batch. I followed your directions exactly but added more garlic as I love garlic. Also I decided to Grade all of mine as I dont like Chunky. I also rinsed the veggies as it was a litte to salty for me. And thanks for the tip for weighting it down, I used a plastic bag filled with the brine to weigh it down.
That looks so good!
Sandor is wonderful when it comes to fermenting vegetables. I am gettin ghis book to learn more I make sauerkraut, and fermented veggies, much like kimchi <br>Thanks
You won't be sorry, the book is amazing. Have you discovered and tried anything from it that you'd like to share about?
Hello Megmaine! <br><br>I have just been told about this amazing web site from a work colleague who is married to a Korean lady..........told him I missed kimchi (having lived in Korea for under a year in 1988!) &amp; he told me I could make it myself, and then gave me the link to you guys!<br><br>Okay so I am going to try it, hope that I can get all the ingredients as I live in St.Albans Uk!<br><br>Fingers crossed, and I will keep you posted.<br>Melo
That's wonderful, Melo!<br><br>Always glad to share and pass on the gift that was first shared freely with me, by someone else. How did your batch come out?

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Bio: Raising and educating several children over a wide range of ages with my husband and learning along with them as a way of life.
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