Making Kimchi – part 1

This is going to be a multi-part series on how I made Kimchi at home, from scratch!

First out – major props to Maangchi, who’s awesome website provides step-by-step instructions with tons of pictures and the most endearing videos to go along with each recipe.

Now, to get some of the special ingredients, I rushed myself to the H-Mart downtown, which is, in itself blog-worthy!

Located at the corner of Robson & Seymour

This authentic Korean grocery store is a well-organized, reasonably priced mecca of Korean, Japanese and some Chinese food items.

While nearly all of the packaging is in Korean, the labels on the shelves do include English.  The key is to match up the UPC to the barcode number on the shelf when trying to find prices – a little tricky.

Need pancake mix?

These look so crunchy!

I was after two specialized ingredients for the kimchi: Chili powder and sweet rice flour

It was kind of hard to choose which bag to buy – I went with a coarser chili powder because I liked the look of it better.  Otherwise, price and a reasonable-sized bag were my other shopping metrics.

It was raining (big surprise), so with my loot I walked back to the Skytrain (against the flow of tourists) and headed home.

Rain-soaked boots = not fun

Okay, so here are the ingredients:

Veggies:

  • 10 pounds of napa cabbage
  • 2 medium-sized carrots
  • 2 leeks
  • 1 medium-sized daikon radish
  • 10 green onions/scallions
  • 1 cup table salt (for the cabbage)

Kimchi paste:

  • 1/2 cup of the sweet rice flour (mixed in with 3 cups water)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2.5 cups red chili pepper flakes/powder (use Korean kind only – not the stuff for spaghetti!)
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 2″ piece of ginger
  • 1 medium onion

Also – buy a plastic container which will become your dedicated kimchi bin.  I found a big lock-and-lock by Starfrit at London Drugs that holds 7 litres.  It’s just big enough.

Other equipment you’ll be using:

  • Sharp chef knife or santoku for lots of chopping, dicing and julienne-ing
  • Lots of big bowls to mix in, smaller bowls to hold ingredients
  • Wooden spoon and small sauce pan for the base of the kimchi paste
  • Other stirring/mixing tools that won’t stain bright red (I used a silicone spoonula and metal spring-loaded tongs)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Huge strainer or soaking container (I used my sink with the drain/plug stopper), even a small colander will help though.

Y’all know what most of these things look like, but here are some of the more “ethnic” items 🙂

Red Chili Flakes/Red pepper powder (about $7)

Sweet Rice Powder/Flour (about $8.50)

Fish sauce (about $4)*

* I know this one is clearly not Korean, it’s what I had in my cupboard!

The veggies and other things cost me at most $10 at Osoyoos, our local greengrocer.

While I’m not going to nerd it up and breakdown the cost of what 1/2 cups of a 3 lb bag of flour would cost given that the bag was $8.50, I’d still say that this is an inexpensive way to get kimchi compared to the price of the jars of pre-made stuff.

Alright!  That’s it for today – next time; chopping ingredients and getting mise-en-place ready!

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4 Responses to Making Kimchi – part 1

  1. Pingback: Making Kimchi – part 2 « parkerpages

  2. Pingback: Making kimchi – part 3 « parkerpages

  3. Pingback: Kimchi Soup « parkerpages

  4. Pingback: Dai Jang Kum | parkerpages

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