Kim chi is a Korean dish that has become popular in the West owing to its healthy properties. Kim chi can be made with a variety of vegetables, but the most popular kim chi is the one made with Napa cabbage.
It is this cabbage which has indole 3 carbinol known as I3C which not only protects the body but also fights cancer and tumor cells. You can buy a bottle of Kim chi from any nearby Korean market but then nothing is healthier than a ‘homemade’ bottle of kim chi.
- Basic ingredients – Napa cabbage (two), one cup sea salt, crushed and powdered red chili flakes (one cup), Fish sauce (2 tbsp), thinly sliced green onion (6-8), garlic paste (from one whole), sugar (4 tbsp) and water. We also need apple, yellow onion and apple pear (half portion each). Make a paste of apple, onion and pear using water.
- Chop the Napa cabbage leaves into bite size pieces and put them in a bowl. Do not cut the leaves into tiny pieces.
Mix sea salt (a quarter of a cup) into a small bowl of warm water until it gets dissolved. Add this salt water mixture to the bowl containing chopped cabbage leaves. Make sure all the chopped leaves are coated with the salt water properly.
- Keep the bowl (at room temperature) for 4-5 hours. This step is needed to make sure the leaves stay long for consumption. Once done, the chopped cabbage leaves will look all dried up and the salt brine will be deposited at the bottom of the bowl. Wash the cabbage leaves many times with water to remove the salt content. Strain the leaves and put them back in a clean bowl.
- Add powdered red chili flakes (one quarter of a cup) to a quarter cup of warm water. Mix well using a spoon to make a paste. Put this paste along with one tablespoon of garlic paste to the cabbage bowl. Next add the thinly chopped green onions along with the fish sauce (vegetarians can avoid the fish sauce part). Finally put the paste of apple, onion and pear to the cabbage bowl. You can add sugar also (optional).
- Get a pair of gloves and mix all the ingredients thoroughly using your hands. You will need gloves because it is dangerous to mix using bare hands as we have added red chili powder to the mix.
- Put the mixture in a glass bottle (leave some space on top) and cap it tightly. Let it rest for one whole day at room temperature for fermentation. Next day refrigerate the bottle and use when needed. Your kim chi will stay good for one whole month.