I’m obsessed with fermented foods, from sauerkraut and pickles to kombucha and kimchi. I visited Mama O’s Kimchi headquarters in Brooklyn on an episode of Bizarre Foods and was instantly hooked. Kheedim Oh started Mama O’s in 2008 because he was craving his mom’s homemade kimchi he grew up on. Made with garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, lime and chiles, this version of the Korean staple is the real deal. And now with their awesome DIY kimchi kit, you can easily make it at home. Once it’s ready to eat, try it on my kimchi fried rice, a recipe I adapted from a Korean Hawaiian family I visited in Kona. You’ll love it.
First, cut the head of napa cabbage in quarters. Cut the head of napa cabbage lengthwise, by sticking your knife in the middle and cutting down towards the stump. Take each half and rip apart. Cut each half lengthwise. After you cut the cabbage into quarters, cut each piece width wise, making the pieces about two inches wide. Discard the stump.
Mix the packet of sea salt with one gallon of water. Whisk to dissolve.
Put the cabbage pieces in the brine, and cover to submerge the cabbage completely (a large upside bowl works well). Put something heavy on it so the cabbage stays submerged. Brine overnight at room temperature.
Remove the cabbage from the brine and rinse with fresh water. Discard the brine. Let the cabbage drain in a colander while you prepare the green onions and cilantro. Take 2 green onions and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Mince a few sprigs of cilantro and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the cabbage, green onions, cilantro, the entire jar of kimchi paste and 6 ounces of water. Put on your gloves, and mix everything together with your hands.
Transfer everything into your the glass jar. Screw on the lid with the hole for the airlock. Fill the airlock up to the water line and place in the hole in the jar lid. Let kimchi sit at room temperature for 2 days. Remove airlock, and put the regular lid on the jar. Refrigerate and enjoy!
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What do I do with kimchi most often? Eat it from the jar with leftover sticky rice. It was after a visit with some Korean Hawaiian families in Kona that I got addicted to the stir-fried kimchi and rice dish here. It’s an awesome side for any Asian-inspired meal…or perfect on its own for lunch with a crisp salad. Get the Recipe >>>