Kimchi is probably Korea's most famous food product, and its popularity in the West has soared. Not that all kimchi has to be buried in the backyard for a couple of months to mature, fresher versions are just as delicious. I like both types, from the pungent and bitey to this one, which fits into a fresher mould.
1 wong bok (about 1.5kg)
70g sea salt
3 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli powder)
130g ginger, finely grated
5 garlic cloves, finely grated
5 long red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
4 spring onions, white part only, finely sliced bunch of chives, cut into batons
2 tbsp raw sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp dried shrimp, pounded or finely chopped
You will need enough sterilised jars and lids for 4 cups of kimchi
1. Quarter the wong bok lengthways and slice away the thickest part of the core. Cut the wedges crossways at four-centimetre intervals. Rinse well, drain and place in a large bowl.
2. Dissolve the salt in 200ml of warm water and pour over the wong bok. Toss thoroughly. Set aside for two hours.
3. Drain the wong bok, rinse in cold water, drain again and squeeze out a little of the excess liquid.
4. Add the gochugaru and two and a half tablespoons of warm water to a large bowl and mix into a paste. Add the wong bok and toss through until well coated. Add the remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly with your hands for a couple of minutes – use some disposable gloves for this, as the chillies will burn.
5. Pack the kimchi firmly into the jars, leaving a three centimetre head space at the top, and cover with the liquid in the bowl. Cap and refrigerate. The kimchi is ready now, but it will intensify in flavour over time. It will keep for about one month.
Edited extract from Karen Martini's New Kitchen. Pan Macmillan, $44.99
- Serve with Karen's brioche rolls with crayfish.