Homemade kimchi

You might not know this, but I’m a ‘kitchen Korean’: I just eat Korean food, minus some Scottish oats in the morning. I just made up that expression but it’s succinct, isn’t it?

Korean cuisine is all the more delicious because thanks to it, and in no small part the breastfeeding efforts of my little 6 month-old, I’m back to wearing my size 38 RTW trousers 🙂 I thought it would take months longer (9 months up, 9 months down) . Phew!

My first batch of napa cabbage kimchi turned out okay, but it needs work. Maangchi’s pictorial and YouTube recipe I took liberties with the recipe: cutting the cabbage to actually make Mak Kimchi (cut kimchi), stirring in the radish cubes since I made a half recipe for this first foray, and using 2 grated carrots instead of julienned radish because that’s what I had in the kitchen. The big problem though, in my opinion, is substituting soy sauce for fish saice to make it vegetarian. The sauce looks like ketchup colour instead of a proper bright red kimchi. Back to the cutting board when this batch is finished (2 litres or so from now!)

and I made Maangchi’s kimchi jeon for lunch, and it was respectable! My flipping skills need work though. It’s probably the consistency of the batter since I eyeballed the measurements–Madeline was interrupting constantly and I had to improvise. The jeon pancake was the shade of raw steak blood from the soy sauce experiment.

Any ideas on vegetarian substitutions for fish sauce in kimchi?

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4 thoughts on “Homemade kimchi

  1. I like cabbage and eggplant based kimchi with my Turkmen plov. In fact, Korean kimchi is pretty popular in Turkmenistan and also Russia and other former soviet countries, as you may know. I have never made one myself, but I know my family always try making them for special occasions. Turkmen food is pretty plain when it comes to flavoring, so they use a lot of vinegar, pepper and salt. I recommend going to some cooking blogs. My favorite on Asian food is Steamykitchen.com. Maybe something there?

  2. Thanks for the link! I love internet recipes sites 🙂 I didn’t know that kimchi is popular in former Soviet republics… but there are only a few ways to preserve vegetables in the cold months, so it makes sense that what works will be popular where it’s cold. Go kimchi! Turkmen food can’t be that bland anymore with that fiery concoction alongside.

    • Thanks Patricia 🙂 Funny that we enjoy the same sites, I was reading Just Hungry yesterday. Good idea to substitute kombu, with salt added to make up for the salinity of fish sauce, since kimchi is a fermneted product the salt ratio has to be respected or it will spoil.

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