Eat it alongside Korean barbecues or any type of Asian-grilled meat
1 head of Napa cabbage (about 2 pounds), separated into leaves
1/4 cup coarse salt
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
8 large scallions, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 fresh red chilies, minced
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons Korean chili powder, or more to taste
3 tablespoons hot water
2 tablespoons Korean salted shrimp, chopped (optional)
1. Place the cabbage leaves in a long pan or on a deep tray. Sprinkle the coarse salt over the cabbage leaves, and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours.
2. Remove the cabbage from the pan and rinse it with running water. Squeeze the cabbage in your hands to press out the liquid.
3. Cut cabbage leaves into coarse chunks (coarser chunks at the frilly top, thinner slices near the root). Taste for seasoning; if all the salt flavor has been washed away, sprinkle cabbage with a little coarse salt.
4. Mix together the garlic, ginger, scallions, chilies, fish sauce, chili powder, and hot water. Toss with cabbage. Add salted shrimp, if desired. Place kimchi in tightly covered jars.
5. Refrigerate kimchi for a few days for a crunchy, fresh taste; refrigerate for 1 week or so for a soft, pickled taste.
One of the glories of Korean cuisine is the range of pickled vegetables (and sometimes fish) that are collectively known as kimchi. There are hundreds of kinds, and at a good Korean restaurant a dozen different kimchis will turn up on your table. The one most often seen in America is cabbage kimchi, a spicy red condiment made from frilly heads of Napa cabbage. Eat it alongside Korean barbecues or any type of Asian-grilled meat -- or just by itself as a great snack. You may add salted Korean shrimp (saewoo jut) to this dish for a little extra flavor, though they are normally added to kimchis other than this one. Makes 2 to 3 cups