This kimchi recipe uses green cabbage and green onions as a base. The result is a recipe that really holds on to its flavor profile of saltiness, sourness, and—of course—spiciness. Enjoy it on its own, or add it to various dishes as a side. One of my favorite meals is a small bowl of kimchi topped with a soft-boiled egg, diced avocado, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds or gomasio (a dry condiment used in Japanese cooking that is made from unhulled sesame seeds and salt).
1 large head green cabbage (about 3 pounds), cored and cut into 11⁄2-inch chunks
3 tablespoons coarse sea salt
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1⁄2-inch piece fresh organic ginger
3 tablespoons fish sauce, preferably Red Boat
2 tablespoons cooked white rice
6 tablespoons filtered water
1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red chili flakes (depending on desired taste)
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1 bunch green onions or scallions, sliced
1. Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle on the salt, and toss well. Add enough water to cover the cabbage. Let the cabbage, salt, and water mixture sit for 2 hours, turning once or twice.
2. Rinse the cabbage once, drain well, and set aside.
3. In a blender, combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, cooked rice, and water. Purée until a paste is formed.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the Korean red chili flakes and sugar (if using). Add the rice purée and mix well. Add the cabbage and green onion. toss well to coat, so the seasoning is dispersed throughout.
5. Pack the kimchi into a large jar with a tight-fitting lid, pressing down on the mixture until the natural brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch headspace, and tighten the lid.
6. Let your kimchi sit on the counter at room temperature (away from direct sunlight) for 1 to 2 weeks, or up to 3 weeks, depending on your flavor and texture preference. You may see bubbles inside the jar, and brine may seep out of the lid. This is a good sign; it means fermentation is happening. Put a plate under the jar to catch any overflow.
7. Transfer the jar to the fridge when the kimchi has reached your desired level of sourness. You can eat it immediately, but it’s best after another 1 to 2 weeks.