Well, I have finally taken the time to make a new kind of kimchi. There are many versions and ways to make kimchi. You can make it out of many things too. Each area of Korea has a way of making the national food.
I have always heard of a version that is not spicy. It is called baek kimchi, and it is amazing. Now I love spicy kimchi, and it will forever be my favorite. But, I also love to try new things. and can see this being part of my regular Korean menu.
I will try and make this as easy to follow as possible. As always, if you have questions, please ask.
2-3 heads of napa cabbage (about 4-6 lbs. Total weight) cut into quarters, and then into bite sized pieces.
1 daikon radish (about 8 inches) peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1 inch nob of ginger
1 large white onion, peeled, one half sliced super thin, the other into chunks
1 bosc pear, peeled and cored
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 medium red bell pepper, cored and sliced thin
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 2 inch matchsticks
6 green onions, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup kosher salt (or coarse sea salt) (don't panic, you will rinse most of this off)
1 cup water
(you will need several jars that have tight fitting lids, and two large bowls)
Cabbage, daikon radish, pear and onion
Cut the cabbage into quarters first
Then cut into bite sized pieces, and put in a very large bowl. Rinse well and drain, you need the cabbage pieces wet though, so just drain the majority of the water off.
As you put back in the bowl, put a layer down, and put a nice big pinch of salt over the layer. (I am talking about a good tablespoon to two tablespoons). Put more cabbage on top of that, and salt again. Put another layer down and salt until you are out of salt. Put the remaining salt on top evenly. Again, don't panic over the amount of salt. You will wash it off.
Now, mix it around good with your hands. Really get that salt on every piece of cabbage. Now cover the bowl lightly with a towel and set aside. Let sit for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and mix around with your hands. You will notice that it is wilting and there is water at the bottom. This is good. After mixing well, cover again and let sit another 30 minutes.
After another 30 minutes, uncover and again mix around. You will see that your cabbage has reduced in volume by at least half. Now cover and let sit for 30 minutes more. While it is sitting, you can start to get the other ingredients ready.
In a food processor or blender, combine the pear, onion chunks, water (1 cup), soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Blend until very smooth.
After blending, set aside. Now you want to cut your veggies (carrots, onion, pepper and daikon radish. You want them all to be thin matchstick slices (except the green onion, that just slice into 1/2 inch slices) Mix together into a large bowl. Add the blended mix to this, and mix together well.
Now, you want to rinse and wash your cabbage. I put a picture of all the water that was leached out of the cabbage below.
Now, you want to wash your cabbage at least 3-4 times. Fill the bowl with fresh running water, use your hand and really get in there and wash the hell out of the cabbage. Drain, and do it all over again. Keep going until you have rinsed at least 3 times. I usually do 4-5 times to get all the salt off. The salt has pleasantly flavored the cabbage. After the last rinse, taste a piece, you will be surprised how nice it tastes.
After it is drained, mix the cabbage and veggie mix together. Since it is not spicy, you can get your hands in there and really give it a good mix. Don't be afraid of it, really mix it good.
With your hands, you will now fill your jars. Really stuff them good. Push down and fill all the voids. Leave about an inch at the top of each jar. When they are all filled, take the remaining liquid in the bowls, and fill the jars to almost the top.
Now with a clean rag, clean the tops of all the jars, and put the lids on just a few twists. You want the jars to have room to expand as they ferment. Now, put the jars into a 9x13 pan, and place in a semi warm area of the kitchen to ferment. I usually ferment for 1 1/2 to 3 days, depending on how warm my kitchen is. I ended up doing this latest batch for 2 days.
Every day, take a lid off and check to see if they are getting sour. It will be a happy taste. You will notice that the bottom of your pan is getting wet. As the kimchi ferments, it will bubble up and over into the pan. Its normal and what you want to see.
When your kimchi is done to your liking, clean the jar and close the lid tight. Put into your fridge and keep cold.
This type of kimchi does not last as long as spicy kimchi. One month to one and a half months is all. But, you will eat it before that. :)
I hope I was clear enough with my instructions. You can see the instructions for spicy kimchi on this site, just put "kimchi" in the search bar.