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Old 08-11-2010, 04:49 AM   #1
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Kimchee

Anyone out there make kimchee? I've promised a batch for some of my friends and am waiting for them to bring me some extra mason jars before I start. I got up to Madison so I could find a Korean grocery store to get the right kind of peppers. This is something I learned by word of mouth (many, many Korean military wives in my life). I first chop, then salt the cabbage. Let it "bleed" for the day, strain, and rinse if too salty. Pepper flakes, green onions and garlic. I'm not fond of the kimchee made with fish. Anyone have any other hints?

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Old 08-11-2010, 06:22 AM   #2
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You can also add some Korean radish Korean cooking ingredients: Korean radish - Maangchi.com salt it like the cabbage. Diakon can also be used.

Minari makes gives a fresh taste but it is hard to find. Korean cooking ingredients: Water dropwort - Maangchi.com
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:16 PM   #3
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Claire, I tried to make kimchee a couple of times and gave up. When I saw Maangchi's video I started making some great stuff. I make the cut up cabbage variety and I don't use the rice powder because I can't find any. I also add some cayenne pepper. I don't like the idea of adding raw oysters but I do add fish sauce. When you have made a batch you like be sure and try PowerPlantOp's ripper hot dog with kimchee. It's the best hot dog I've ever eaten.
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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Hot dog with kimchee? Yum!

Here's my recipe, it's received rave reviews from Korean friends and others....
The Korean chili powder is really important for flavor, and is worth finding in an Asian market.

1 large head Napa cabbage, cut into small squares
1 bunch green onions, chopped to size desired
1/2 head of garlic, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, chopped or grated
5 inches Daikon radish, shredded
1/2 cup of Korean kimchee chili powder
Thai hot peppers.... I add 5 of these, but would recommend just 1 for most.
1/8 cup Fish sauce plus 1 tablespoon
1 TBSP sugar
1 tsp Shrimp paste, very optional, can use Anchovy paste instead or leave out.

Cut the cabbage and brine it. I dissolve 1 cup Kosher salt into enough water to cover and let sit overnight. You could also just salt the cabbage well, mix well and
let sit for a few hours. Taste test it and when it is softly crunchy to your taste its brined.

Meanwhile, make your flavoring. Mix all other ingredients well, cover and refrigerate.

When the cabbage is brined, drain it and rinse well. I rinse three times and squeeze the cabbage well each time, because it is still plenty salty for me!
Mix very well, don't want any cabbage to miss out on the flavors!

Pack tightly into a jar. Leave at least 3 inches of head space, because it will ferment, make juice and expand. Cover loosely, place in a cool spot in the house and let it do its thing. For me, that's about 1 week. My wife says when you walk in the front door and smell it, it's ready, LOL!

If you don't want the fish sauce, just leave it out, it will still be good, just not as good! ;)
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:02 AM   #5
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When I lived in Hawaii, I swear, they'd put kimchee in everything! So kimchee as a hot dog condiment sounds ... good! Kimchee omelets were a specialty at some breakfast places.

Believe it or not, the last time I made kimchee it wasn't salty enough! I thought the guy I was making it for had blood pressure issues and tried to go light on the salt. It never tasted right (and yes, I do rinse and squeeze; if way to salty, I add more cabbage and let sit again!). Plus I didn't have the right kind of peppers. I have to say, the couple I gave it to scarfed it in one night. The jar I kept for myself (once you bleed the cabbage, one head will only make a couple of jars) stayed in the fridge until I threw it out. And my husband LOVES kimchee.

I happen to have a little Vietnamese fish sauce, and may put a dab or two in the kimchee this time. But I made a trip to Madison to get the right kind of peppers this time, and my canning friends are bringing me extra mason jars tomorrow. So I'll buy a couple of heads of napa, several bundles of green onions, ...

Oh, a shortcut? Some pickled garlic is perfect for adding to kimchee, and it cuts out the step of removing the "paper" from the cloves.

I've also made cucumber kimchee. I like that as well.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:37 PM   #6
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Oh I hope this thread stays active through the fall. I love kimchee and only learned to make it a few years ago. I don't have a perfect recipe so this year will be an adventure again.

Canning it--let me say, don't pressure cook it, it will be terrible, don't ask me how I know.
I'm wondering if I can use the same method used for pasturizing fermented pickles or saurkraut? Anyone with experience?
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:05 PM   #7
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I will say I do not properly can kimchee and the women I've learned it from (yes, Korean women) certainly did not. I have on occasion boiled jars and lids when making more than a jar or two for personal use. But I've never had a jar where the cabbage has been boiled (or cucumbers, or radishes). They were raw pickles (and, yes, I keep in the fridge). I've never had any go bad on me, but then I like "fresh" kimchee (actually husband, who lived in Korea, says what I like is summer kimchee, the winter stuff is older, especially towards spring, and I've had it ... it was quite fermented, fizzy and strong).
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:18 PM   #8
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Oh, Blissful; I haven't seen it lately, but sometimes people used to keep a line active just by opening it and writing "bump" or some such, so it wouldn't fall away from disuse. I'm going to write more because my friends finally came through with mason jars .... huge mason jars. I'm going to have to make at least three heads of Napa cabbage, a couple or three bunches of green onions, and who knows how much garlic to fill them! And I thought I'd bought too much pepper flakes when I went to Madison (the nearest town that has a Korean grocery store)!
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Old 08-28-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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Oh I hope this thread stays active through the fall. I love kimchee and only learned to make it a few years ago. I don't have a perfect recipe so this year will be an adventure again.

Canning it--let me say, don't pressure cook it, it will be terrible, don't ask me how I know.
I'm wondering if I can use the same method used for pasturizing fermented pickles or saurkraut? Anyone with experience?

You can either save the link to this thread or just copy and paste the recipes to a word processing document.
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:38 PM   #10
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Claire and Andy, thank you.

I understand that kimchee and saurkraut and fermented pickles have those good bacteria, and canning them stops their activity, and for good reason many people just keep them in a cool place instead of canning.

I'll still be canning saurkraut and pickles successfully with a pasturization process instead of boiling, per university extension methods. I like having them available without the upkeep of taking care of them daily when they ferment.

I was just thinking back to visiting Baltimore and they sold kimchee (kimchi) canned--jars in the refrigerator section, and since then I've wanted to put some away for winter. I think I'll try to keep the kimchee in the fridge for now. There are so many available veggies in the garden, now is the time to use them for fresh kimchee.
I've noticed that there are meat/shellfish/fish additions, that would change the equation if I was thinking of water bath canning it.
I've seen fish sauce and anchovie sauce, oysters...I can't quite fathom my kimchee with those things yet, mine is vegetables/fruits only at this point.
When I was lost on the internet I even found some advice to pressure can it, but, that's just bad advice, I've done it, it resembles nothing you'd want to eat. It's mushy, the coloring distinguishing veggies is gone, texture is terrible, can't imagine anyone wanting to eat it.

Claire-tell me more about the spice you bought for your kimchee. Madison WI? Right up the road from me. I've seen dozens and dozens of different recipes for kimchee, it's quite the adventure!
I saw an interesting youtube video on kimchee too--for me, it is a better learning experience to see it and hear about it, than even a recipe. (though I love recipes too)

Thanks to you both again.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:30 AM   #11
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Blissful, there is a Korean grocery store in the same strip mall right next to Penzey's spices, across the street from Whole Foods, on University. You walk into the store and go to the far left aisle, and the bags are on the bottom shelf on the right side (the first time I went, years ago, I missed them because they are so low!). There are several brands, I bought the smallest bag simply because I only make a few jars at a time. If the youngest gal is there, her English is excellent, and she can guide you to which brand would be best for your needs. The bag I bought is a pound, says "crushed red pepper" (in addition to the Korean words), and actually has a recipe in English on the back (I've been making it for years and just do my own thing based on taste). The brand is Haitai, but they carry several brands and since they all just contained chile flakes, I doubt there's that much difference.

To those who are going for it for the first time, the main difference between the "right" chili flakes and the one readily available in the U.S. is that Korean ones do not contain seeds. I've made kimchee using the Vietnamese sauces and the regular American chili flakes, but it doesn't seem right!
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:33 PM   #12
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Hi Blissful, when you say that you are planning on putting some kimchee away for the winter, do you mean in the fridge or some cold root cellar? I've not seen canned kimchee outside the fridge section and I am not sure that even those are formally canned. You will have to let me know how that works out. I like to put shredded carrots and small dried shrimp in mine. I had an oriental grocer tell me that there wasn't a difference between Korean chili powder and cayenne, the only advantage from buying from an oriental grocer, is that you can buy it in bulk. I've used both and cannot tell a substantial difference. good luck!
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Old 08-29-2010, 12:54 PM   #13
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Hi Blissful, when you say that you are planning on putting some kimchee away for the winter, do you mean in the fridge or some cold root cellar? I've not seen canned kimchee outside the fridge section and I am not sure that even those are formally canned.
I've seen canned kimchee by mail order--I'm certain it's not refrigerated, though, I have no idea what kind of quality someone would find in it since I've not tried it.

I WANTED TO put some up-can it, but, I don't see a way to do it without using premium shelf space in the fridge, or keeping a fermented batch in the basement root cellar. I wanted to can it without refrigeration but it doesn't seem possible.

I've come to the conclusion, that some things cannot be canned, even though some food producers have ways of canning them. For instance, chicken noodle soup, I've not heard of a way to can that because of the noodles, it's too specialized a process for the home canner. Also, thick consistency things like mashed pumpkin/hubbard squash--it's too thick to can safely.

Claire, again, thank you for your experiences with this. :)
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:28 PM   #14
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On the bright side.... every Asian market I have been to always has the ingredients needed for kimchee, and always at prices significantly below common grocery store prices. Like napa cabbage is 89 cents/pound vs $1.69....

So you can just make it as you want it if there is such a grocery around! :)

Just bought some Haitai pepper today too. I personally believe that this chili has a significant taste difference vs cayenne, as well as being coarsely ground... kimchee isn't the same without it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:07 AM   #15
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Thanks for all the answers!

I made some kimchee (kimchi) yesterday, with chili and red peppers, cabbage, green onions, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar.......and it's fermenting. It smells good and is just starting to ferment a little. I watched at least 10 videos on making kimchee.
I'm looking forward to eating it.
Now I'm thinking of growing some ginger, they say it takes 10 months.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:17 PM   #16
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Foolish me.... a local Korean grocery store is having a kimchi contest, and I am going to enter it.
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Old 09-09-2010, 12:19 PM   #17
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Foolish me.... a local Korean grocery store is having a kimchi contest, and I am going to enter it.
Sounds like fun, let us know how it goes!!
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Old 09-26-2010, 06:03 PM   #18
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I am now an AWARD WINNING kimchi fermenter, LOL!
Tied for 3rd place, got a $50 gift certificate to the store.
Not bad for the only non Oriental entrant that I could tell.
(And the only winner who had to show their ID, hahahahahaaha!)
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:12 PM   #19
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I am now an AWARD WINNING kimchi fermenter, LOL!
Tied for 3rd place, got a $50 gift certificate to the store.
Not bad for the only non Oriental entrant that I could tell.
(And the only winner who had to show their ID, hahahahahaaha!)
Congratulations!
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Old 09-26-2010, 07:26 PM   #20
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I am now an AWARD WINNING kimchi fermenter, LOL!
Tied for 3rd place, got a $50 gift certificate to the store.
Not bad for the only non Oriental entrant that I could tell.
(And the only winner who had to show their ID, hahahahahaaha!)
Congrats on the win!
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