Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade Kimchi

I never thought of making my own kimchi..even when i saw Elin making her own kimchi at her blog , i was telling myself.."hmm..not sure if i really know how to make it and not sure if mine would turn out tasting otherwise" , not until i got the chance to really taste Elin's Kimchi that she made again. I told her that i like it very much and i must make it my own some day. Thanks Elin, not only for the kimchi but also your helpfulness in telling me how to go about making it.

If we can get those ingredients ready, making kimchi is not really so difficult as i had imagined. One of those is the gochujang paste and the other one is the fermented shrimp paste ( cincalok). The rest of the ingredients are fairly common like cabbage of course, cooked rice, green onions, fish sauce and garlic. However, we will need to give some time for the kimchi to ferment, the best is 5-6 days in the fridge and your kimchi will then be ready for consumption. I would say my batch of kimchi turned out to be fairly good, maybe mine a little salty , the next time i know i probably will add more sugar or a little less shrimp paste. Thanks to elin again for sharing this homemade kimchi recipe!

turn in the leaves so that you see the uncovered parts of the leaves, apply and cover them with the mixture

after applying the mixture, leave them in an airtight container to ferment.

Recipe ( from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner )
Napa Cabbages ( i used around 700gm, quartered with stem attached, soak in brine)
6 heaped tbsp gochujang paste
1/2 bowl cooked rice
the kimchi mixture
i onion, chopped
1 radish ( omitted )
50gm spring onions, cut into lengths
50gm chilli flakes/chilli powder
10gm sugar
50gm minced garlic
4 tbsps fermented shrimp paste ( cincalok)
50ml fish sauce

1.Soak the cabbages in soak water about 4 hours, weighing the cabbages with with a heavy plate during the soaking process.Remove cabbages from salt water and drain well.
2.Pound the garlic and rice till fine. Transfer them to a medium size bowl and add in fermented shrimp paste, fish sauce,gichujang paste and chilli powder and mix well. Add in the cut green onions and the rest of the ingredients , mix well and leave to rest for about 1/2 hour.
3. Stuff the cabbage with the mixture, apply them starting from the innermost leaves and making sure every part of leave is covered.. Repeat until the entire cabbage is covered well with the mixture as well as possible.
4. Put the kimchi in an airtight container and let it ferment at room temperature for half a day. After than, transfer the container to the fridge( temperature below 20C) and allow to ferment for about 3-6 days. ( on the 2nd or 3rd day, you will probably find some water or juices drawing out from the cabbages in the container, just remove them or pour them away and wipe the cover of your container with a dry clean cloth and continue to ferment. Only cut the cabbages upon serving )

***Update*** from the comment i received from Lisa L : 
Lisa advises not to throw away the juices that were drawing out from the cabbages, the juices can be kept and reserved for making kimchi stew, fried rice or kimchi pajeon. Thanks lisa for the valuable feedback. Lisa also suggested we can add in pears or apples to the kimchi for more sweetness.


  1. Not into kimchi as yet.. dont know how to enjoy eating that though the koreans served it in every meal that we had in Korea..

  2. are welcome...glad you succeeded in making your own kimchi :) and thanks for the mention:) after making my own, I never buy them anymore :p

  3. Interesting but I think I might have a problem trying to get the gochujang paste!! Diane

  4. Lena, I have been looking for the organic napa cabbage these few days, but the seller did not set up stall at the market. My intention is exactly for kimchi! Your kimchi looks so good, I think I won't wait for the organic ones, I'll just get the regular ones! Drooling already! Love kimchi!

  5. kamsahamnida..dah lama Cm cari resepi yang seperti ini.Tapi bagaimana baunya bila di campur cencalok?akan cuba sebab bahan bahannya senang didapati...kamsahamnida:)

  6. I have to try this one!It looks so yummy!xxx

  7. I love homemade kimchi, I think it tastes even better than store bought one :). Yours looks so spicy and delish :D)!

  8. hubby really don't like kimchi although I don't mind it at all. Didn't know it isn't hard to make it- just patience!!!!

  9. Lena,
    Can you convert me into a Kimchi lover?
    I am still trying very hard to enjoy it.
    My MIL adds apples to hers but no gojuchang, just Korean Chilli powder. But don't ask me how it taste like, I've never eaten hers. LOL. So bad of me.

  10. Hi Lena, first of all, I cannot help exclaiming, HOLY SMOKE!
    I refer previous blog posting.
    That is you? One more time, HOLY SMOKE!

    Lena, first time I see who you are.....and now I'll say, where were you when I was handing out my resume?
    Ha ha, I guess still in standard 6.

    Wow! To be honest, all the time I thought you a mature lady, maybe a grandmother too, ha ha ha.
    As never seen your pic before.
    Wow! You sure looking good, real traffic stopper looks too.

    And your friends.....all stunning beauties.....can make men forget mother's name too.
    That lady on the right in blue jeans sure a looker!

    Okay, where was I? Oh ya, your kim chi!
    Koreans are the most healthy people on earth, they eat kim chi everyday!

    We too keep a bottle bought from a Korean supermarket, and on and off will have for dinner with other dishes. We love it!
    And yours looks real good.

    Lena, you not only have the looks, but a black belt in baking and cooking...every man's dream of a wife, every mother's dream of a DIL.
    Once again, WOW! Love that smile of yours, *wink*.

  11. I seldom have Korean food, kimchi once or twice. Can't remember much of the taste though XD But I know kimchi is served in every meal in Korean restaurant.

  12. Hi Lena,
    Your kimchi looks great, you are a genius, but I have yet to learn to love kimchi, I have still learning to adapt to my new oven especially the temperature, the top of bread, cakes always brown first before the time, any advise, also do you think it is advisable to bake two trays at a time for cakes, bread or anything. TQ.

  13. U made kimchi with cincaluk? U r such a great creator.

  14. Lena, I'm a kimchi lover, I can eat rice with kimchi! Thanks for sharing the recipe, can I know where you get the gochujang paste?

  15. your kimchi looks marvelous, i like kimchi a lot too, especially using it for kimchi pancake and steamboat...they taste so great...:)

  16. it will be a waste throwing out the juices. you can actually keep it and continue to ferment. you can use the fermented juice for whatever cooking that involves kimchi like kimchi jiggae, kimchi fried rice or kimchi pajeon. you can even reserved the juice for next batch.

    i add korean pear whenever i'm making it. you can also add in apple puree for sweetness.

  17. Eileen@Hundred Eighty DegreesNovember 14, 2011 at 4:16 PM

    I am not ready for this yet! Yours look tempting tough..

  18. claire: so no kimchi during your last korea trip?

    elin: i cant thank you're always so helpful towards me, i have to learn more from you..thank you!

    diane: if you want to do this, maybe you can try at the asian/korean groceries stores.

    joyce: really? i'm really looking forward to see yours too!

    cikmanggis: kak, rasa mixture tu tak berapa rasa cincaluk kerana ada bahan2 lain sudah tercampur dalamnya. Hapar cm akan cuba bila ada masa nanti.

    lenia: hope you will like it!

    cooking gallery: thank you! my version here is quite hot!

    daphne: yes, that's true..not too difficult..just got to wait and wait..!

    wendy: no need to convert! dont force yourself to like something which you think you do not enjoy. But you really never even tasted your mil's kimchi? not even a bite? you never give face! LOL! but good to be genuine! haha!

    lee: oh, i'm now wondering why i'm giving you the impression that i might be a grandmother? alamak, i think i got to change my style of writing..LOL!

    yvonne: yeah, maybe you do not like kim chi so much that's why you cant remember the taste..

    delphine: hi! it's okay..give yourself some time to learn about your oven..really takes some experiments and testings. I guess if i take a new oven, i will experience the same problem. i'm not really an experinced one, but sounds like your oven might be a bit too hot still that cause the cakes to brown first or fast. Try reducing by 10c or 20c, put in the centre rack. I heard that putting a dish of water at the rack might help, see if you want to try this. I'm not sure..but i did tried on my normal oven to prevent them from overdrying. Let me chk with some of my friends regarding this and come back to you at this comment section later.

    angeline: i'm not the creator, elin is ! she's great!

    sherleen: heard a lot of the kimchi pancakes but yet to tried on them. one day..but had eaten with my instant noodles like steamboat..!

    Lisa L : hi, nice to hear from you and thank you for telling me abt the kimchi juice. I never thought of that, to reserve that for my next batch or to save that for other dishes. I did made some fried rice..of course not so much of using the kimchi juice, just a portion of kimchi and of course ythat comes with a little juice. Really appreciate you telling me this! I shall update this info in my post later.

    shaz: thanks, i'm still learning..should be better next time!

    eileen: thank you! always so supportive! yes, only do it when you are ready and really love kimchi!

  19. hi lena, hey i have been discussing on this with my sis 2 days you did it.. i must learn from you...many thanks, bookmarked :)

  20. I'm a kimchi lover, this kimchi looks so delicious! thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. Haven't tried making this before....should be interesting

  22. Its been 2 years since I wanted to make our own kimchi but I have not yet make any attempt on it. Yours look good. I can have many bowls of rice with that kimchi.

  23. Kimchi's a rather acquired taste but thankfully I did "acquire" this taste this year! :)

    Must have not had good kimchi all the prior years but I had me some really good ones in Hong Kong earlier in the year and now I am addicted!

    Have you tried kimchi fried rice? Since every kimchi is different due to varied preparation, I bet your kimchi fried rice will taste loads better than the commercial kind. :)

  24. This really sounds so good. I need a day with more hours in it so I can try all the dishes that catch my interest. You asked about adds at the bottom of my posts. The answer is no. That is actually for the group whose photos are displayed just below. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  25. okay so I might not be able to get all the stuff to make this but it is on my to do list for some day when I do have the stuff.It looks simply gorgeous and delicious!

  26. My mom love kimchi but I have never give it a thought to make some for her as each year, my hubby's korean friend will dhl a box for us. now it gets me thinking whether I should make some coz it will definitely save our friend some money. hahaha

  27. I have been wanting to try my hand at making kimchi forever! My next shopping trip I will be checking for the ingredients for sure!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Lena...

  28. I like kimchi but never made it...yours look delicious, mouthwatering...beautiful pictures as well Lena...
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

  29. Lena,
    Thank you so much for your kind advise, really appreciate, take your time, also, please check if I could bake 2 trays at a time for cakes, bread or etc. TQ.

  30. Lena, you are very clever making your own kimchi. I wanted to do that but I'm the only person that eat kimchi in the I dropped the idea! *sign* Yours is fantastic!

  31. I read your last post, I know finally how you look like. I know how you feel about reconnecting with old friends. I also did that on last weekend with friends that I haven't seen for 5 years.

    Homemade kimchi, even after my trip to Korea, I'm not a big fan of it. I realised that BBQing it makes it delicious. Have a nice day, Lena!

  32. I never try Kimchi before, but i think i will like it.

  33. I love kimchi and have bookmarked Elin's recipe too. Will sure give it a try soon and yours look so good. Yums..

  34. I love kimchi and your look so mouth-watering! Quite versatile dish, eat on it own or used it as seasoning, fry with rice, steam with pork ribs...yummy!

  35. Hehe. Now that I've gotten a hint on what your next food post might be - oh do hurry! I'm quite excited... :D

  36. I am not a huge fan of kimchi, but this..oh man...makes me drool.

  37. Your kimchi looks really nice, love the rich color. We have a Korean store within walking distance from my house that makes the best kimchi. I was in there once when they were mixing it in this huge smelled so good.

  38. I have yet to acquire the taste for this dish, but your photos really makes me want to give this dish a try!

  39. wan: hi, you wanted to make kimchi too? i wld like to see your version too.

    tze: you're welcome!

    pete : hi, how are you? long time no hear..

    malaykadazangirl: hi, you shld try making it some day.

    yummylittlecooks: give me 5 !

    kenny: me too..didnt really know how to appreciate that when i was in korea long time ago..every meal comes with kimchi but now like that in various forms. why hurry? i havent drafted that post yet..

    mary : thanks for coming back and tell me abt the ads.

    jessica: oh, i'm sure you can make this kimchi to suit your taste if some day you were to make this.

    edith: yes..can consider it now..

    louise: yeah, try make this if one day you are able to get the ingredients there..should be available from asian /korean groceries stores.

    Juliana: thanks for your nice words and thanks for visiting!! you have a nice day too!

    Delphine: hi, i'm coming back to you on the oven. Yeah, oven's too hot. now one thing you can check is that take the lowest and the highest temp of your oven and divide by 2..that will be your oven moderate heat. For eg..if the lowest is 50 and the highest is 250, then your moderate heat shld be 150 but then it's just a guide. Maybe you can try not to on the fan function when baking cakes and see how. My friend advises it's best to use fan for baking cookies when you have 2 trays, you can also use fan for bread when you have more than one tray and sometimes you can swap the pans halfway thru baking. Try reducing the temp by 20C..can i know what's the temp you've been using when you said your cakes browned fast? butter cakes or sponge cakes?

  40. zoe: have to thank elin actually!

    victor: BBQ kimchi? you mean? i must find out how it looks like..

    sheoh yan: hot and sour..maybe pickled too!

    bellygoodcooking: oh really? try it then!

    kenny: why so excited? you want to make for devil?

    lyndsey: actually we can get kimchi easily here too but out of fun and hobby, so make them myself!

    jeannie: haha! can understand that..not many people love that.

    angie: thanks!

  41. That cincalok is unusual in kimchi. I always thought cincalok is so "Teochew"! ha!

  42. Hi Lena,
    Thank you so much for taking the trouble to find out for me, really appreciate your kind help. Ya, my oven highest is 250 & lowest is 50. I tried using the fan function before for baking chiffon cake & was abit wet. Ya, I think for cookies I can use 2 trays, thanks to your friend’s advise. I also baked sponge cake before using the fan & was abit wet & looks not well cook. Last night I baked sponge cake again at 160C for 35-40mins & it turn out fine without Fan. I also baked bread in 2 trays, top tray looks nice BEFORE time & the bottom tray top not well brown. It could be the upper tray block the top element. Also, the base of my bread was abit wet, could it be that I greased the pan with corn oil. I baked cup cakes in 2 trays, top tray & bottom tray also brown and looks burn BEFORE time, the bottom tray cup cake also don’t seems rise high as top tray. So I do not know whether I should bake cakes & bread in 2 trays or not. Also, I do not actually know when should I use the fan function, all the time think to bake all in one go. I think at times, I should swap the pans halfway through for baking bread. All in all at times it browned fast before time & am worried not well cooked or I think have to cover with foil. Once again, thank you so much. Enjoy your baking.

  43. My fridge has very limited space ever since I started baking. haha.... I tried making my own kimchi but not as red. Maybe I need to get myself those gochujang paste too. Oh and you added in cincalok too! But I prefer it vegetarian. So that I can even enjoy it during 'zhai' season.

  44. favourite. Makes me want to cook instant noodles now...hehe. Have you tried that? It's so good...mmm

  45. tigerfish: not so teochew but malay or nyonya to me!yeah, this method uses cincalok..a bit different from the traditional recipe.

    delphine: hi again,sometimes i do encounter wet bottoms for breads..yeah, you dont need to grease so much or otherwise after the grease, you can also sprinkle some flour on it and remove the bread from the tin immediately after baking. personally i dont think there shldnt be much problem baking cupcakes 2 trays at a time if you are used to your oven. do you mind to give me your email address?

    kristy: yeah, this recipe calls for cincalok . I've seen some korean recipes for making kimchi, it's kind of different method. You're a vegetarian on 1st and 15th monthly?

    mary: yeah, i've tried that with my instant that too!!

  46. Hi Lena,
    Really appreciate & thank you so much for the trouble, my email: TQ.

  47. nice opinion.. thanks for sharing....

  48. Hi,
    i love your recipe and wanted to try it out.
    just want to check with you after you drain the cabbage from the salted water, do you need to wash the cabbage with clear water? thanks a lot