J:

This is not, strictly speaking, a Sunday Dinner recipe. But I
served a little with the BBQ ribs and Shepherds Pie *just* to
make it official. So, I don't know if you even like Kim Chee.
It's Korean spicy pickled cabbage, and I think it is quite
tasty. It's non-fat, low calorie, and very flavorful so a
little bit makes a good snack to tide me over between meals or
whenever. It's sold in little pint jars for about three bucks
here, and I have to go to an Asian market to find a brand that
isn't made with shrimp. I was going through about ten bottles
a month when I decided it would be easier and cheaper to make
my own. I did a little reading and went through a few
experimental batches and here is what I came up with.

You need a gallon jar, like you'd use for pickles.

2 medium heads napa cabbage, rinsed and cut into 1 inch by 1
inch pieces
3 medium carrots, sliced very thin or grated (optional)
1/2 cup kosher salt
6 green onions, cut into 1 inch lengths and then sliced
lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
1/2 cup Korean dried red pepper powder, or to taste (*)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 more tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Water

(*) I found this in an Asian market *right* next to the
refrigerated case where all the Kim Chee is sold.

Toss cabbage and carrots in a bowl with 1/2 cup kosher salt.
Let stand for two hours, tossing occasionally. Rinse and drain
three times in cold water. Add green onions, garlic, ginger,
all pepper, and salt. Mix well. Spoon into jar, add soy
sauce, and water to cover.

If you prefer not to have minced pieces of spices, do this
instead: put garlic, ginger, all pepper, salt, soy sauce, and
about 1 cup of water in a blender or food processor and blend
until smooth. Add to the jar with the cabbage, carrots,
onions, and add water to cover.


Cover with plastic and a rubber band and let sit on a counter
until it is done; stir once a day. Don't seal the lid or you
might get an explosion.

How do you know when it is done? Well that's the tricky part.
Here are a few ways to know.

1. The pH drops to 3.5. This is the method I use and is the
most accurate. I acquired some of those little strips that
are used in a chemistry lab.

2. It stops making bubbles. For the first few days, you'll
get a lot of air bubbles at the bottom of the jar that push
the cabbage up. When it's done, you'll go to stir it and
there will be no bubbles.

3. It doesn't smell all fermenty any more. It will just
smell spicy.

4. Wait four or five days.

When it's done, cover tightly and keep in the refrigerator. It
should keep for at least a month. It'll probably keep forever,
but it never lasts more than a month at my house. I transfer
it to four one quart jars so I can start another batch before I
run out.