Saturday, November 8, 2014

Atelier Kimchi II

Around 3 weeks ago, my korean friend was teaching me again how to make kimchi. But this time: the kimchi blanc. Kimchi blanc does not use any chili as the ingredient so it's suitable for children or adults who can not eat chili.

As usual, my friend did not give any specific measurement for the ingredients. Sorry for that ;( I tried to remember the approximate amount of ingredients she put on the kimchi but I think after couple of attempts, you can adjust to what you like.

For the main ingredient:
- Chinese cabbage (or another name in wikipedia: napa cabbage), size medium

Cut this cabbage into 2 (as shown on the picture). Put in a big bowl and pour it with coarse Guérande salt (my friend said it's possible to use any salt at home but the best one is 'gros sel de guérande'. The salt must be spread evenly even on the inside part of the cabbage. Add a little water if it looks dry. Set aside for around 4-8 hours or until the cabbage harder part (stem) is becoming soft and not easily broken when we fold.

Note. In this cabbage part, it is important not to choose one that is too big because the process of salting will take so long (up to 12 hours for a big cabbage). 

I prefer to prepare this cabbage early in the morning and then continue the rest after my lunch time. But once again, it depends on the result of the cabbage after salting.

For the fish stock (picture above):
  • water
  • half of apple
  • half of onion
  • fish sauce (nuoc-mam can be used)
  • thick alga (I don't know where we can find this since my friend brought it from her country - in the picture, you can see it inside a bowl)
  • 2-3 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 cm of ginger
  • 4-5 dried anchovies

Boil all of those ingredients above in a pan with a slow heat. We have to make sure that the fish stock is enough boiling. 

While waiting, we can have lunch or anything else... :D 

Now for the other vegetables (and fruit) that accompany the chinese cabbage:
  • a half red bell pepper - slice long and fine
  • a half green bell pepper - slice long and fine
  • a half chinese white radish - slice long and fine
  • some chives (I used around 6 stems) - cut 3-4 cm
  • a half of carrot - slice long and fine
  • a quart of apple - slice long and fine (apple is optional)
  • one onion - slice long and fine
  • 5-6 big cloves of garlic - slice finely
  • mix of coarse Guérande salt and 'fleur de sel' (the difference of them can be seen in here)
  • sugar (powder)

Mix all those ingredients above in a big bowl and set aside to marinade for around 1-2 hours.


When everything is ready, follow this YouTube video to put the mixed sliced vegetables (and apple) inside the chinese cabbage.


So now the chinese cabbage is already in the plastic container. Last step is: take the fish stock and pour it into the plastic container. Fill the container with the stock until it's all covering the cabbage. 

Voilà! It's done now. We just need to close the container and put it at the room temperature until the next day when we can store it inside the refrigerator for, I don't know, couple days. Because at the end, it depends on us when we want to eat that kimchi. The longer we keep it, the taste will develop differently. People say, the taste is better if we keep it longer at the fridge. My friend often makes a big batch of kimchi in a big container and then she keeps it for one or two months. Every time she needs to serve a little part of it, she just takes a little portion and put it into a small container. The rest stays in the big container.

I hope it's quite clear. I'm sorry if I miss some parts. You will find your way, I'm sure of it.

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