Pine Street Kim chi - AM Musings
 
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The finished Kim Chi
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Kim Chi Ingredients - napa cabbage, kosher salt, garlic chives, red pepper powder, jut, ginger, and garlic
Ingredients
  1 large head of Napa Cabbage Cut into 2" x 3" pieces
  1-1/2 cups shredded daikon (optional - I didn't have any on hand for these photos)
  2 cups of garlic chives cut into 3" lengths
  Kosher salt

In a large stainless steel bowl add single layers of cut cabbage.  Sprinkle the cabbage with a generous handful of salt so that is is a light coating on the cabbage leaves.  Alternate layers of cabbage, daikon,  and salt until cabbage and daikon is used up.  
Set cabbage aside for about 3-4 hours or overnight.  Warmer temperature will require less time.  After 3 hours, rinse a piece of cabbage and taste.  The cabbage should be wilted, taste pleasantly salty and the raw taste should be gone.  You will learn the taste to look for.  If it still tastes raw, then allow to sit longer.

When it tastes right, you are ready to proceed.  At this point you can rinse the cabbage, drain, return to the pot and add the cut garlic chives  and let it sit for another hour or so.

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Kim chi seasonings in blender
Seasoning Mix
 
Ginger - 2" piece peeled and cut into rough pieces
  Garlic  - 8  cloves peeled
  Granular Red Pepper Powder - 1/3 cup
  Jut - 3/4 tsp. (optional)*
  1 cup water


In a blender add the Seasoning mix ingredients and blend for about 3-4 minutes.  The mixture should have the consistency of oatmeal.  Add water if needed.  If the pepper powder is not too old, the color of the seasoning mix should have a slight orange tinge. 

*Jut is brined shrimp sold in jars in Korean stores.  It is very salty with a strong fermented smell.  You may grow recognize and love the slight seafood undertone in kimchi made with jut. 

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Mix in the seasonings by hand
Taste the rinsed kim chi again and add a bit of salt if necessary and mix.  Pour about 3/4 of the blender ground seasoning mix over the cabbage and with your hands (use gloves if you want) mix and slightly squeeze the seasonings into the cabbage.  Taste.  Add more seasoning if needed.
In a clean 2 quart glass jar, press the kimchi into the bottom and the jar.  One cabbage head should fit into the jar.  Rinse the blender container and stainless steel bowl with a little water and add water to the jar until the water level comes up to about midway point of the jar.  Cover the jar with the lid.

When is it ready to eat? If you want to have some right away, you can season some with sesame oil, mix and serve.  If you want it to ferment quickly, let it sit on the counter.  It should be ready in about a day or two.

Best to wrap the jar in a plastic bag (to contain the smell) and let it ferment in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.  It should reach its peak in about 5 days when it still has a "fresh" quality and hopefully - effervescent bubbles.  After it reaches this peak, then it will start to go "stale" and you should finish it rather quickly or use it to cook another dish like kimchi fried ric




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