While so many aspects of Korean culture failed to take root in me, kimchi is one of the few things Korean that has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.

There are so many types of kimchi. I grew up eating it almost every day. Normally, our family would buy it in huge glass bottles from our local Korean grocery store. Occasionally, there would be a sale on cabbage or radish, and I would wake up to find my grandmother squatting over huge bowls of pickled vegetables. In later years, I remember my parents would make water kimchi as well. When I actually visited Korea after college, I found out that kimchi was served at no additional charge at Bennigan's - that was a shocker.

Okay, another disclaimer according to the Revised Romanization of Korean. It should actually be romanized as "gimchi", but for some reason it's typically spelled with a "k".

My Attempt at Making Kimchi

Recently, I made my first attempt at Kkaktugi - a type of radish kimchi. I can't say it was perfect. It was actually a little salty, but other than that, I thought it turned out pretty good. I ate more than half of it on the day I made it. This recipe will only produce a small amount of kimchi, which is perfect if your spouse can't handle spicy foods too well. Anyway, here it is... (I'll be tweaking this recipe as I gain more experience.)


1 small korean radish
1/8 cup sea salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 cm piece ginger minced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 medium onion minced
1 tbsp sweet rice flour ("Mochiko" Brand)
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup fish sauce (Three Crabs Brand)
1/4 cup red pepper powder/flakes
1 green onion chopped
3 chinese chives (buchu) chopped

Prepare the radish:
Cut radish into small cubes (about 1.5 cm thick).
Sprinkle with the salt, and let it sit for 2 hours in room temperature.
Rinse the salt off thoroughly. Otherwise, the kimchi may be too salty.

Prepare the paste:
Mix the sweet rice flour with the water.
Add the following to the mixture: sugar, fish sauce, pepper powder, garlic, onion, ginger, green onions, chives.

Combine the paste and the radish cubes. Eat immediately and/or store in an airtight container.

Additional Notes:
The "Three Crabs" brand of fish sauce was key to the recipe. My aunt stressed this brand when she suggested I try making my first batch of kimchi. I'm glad I followed her advice.

Hmm... I think I'll try to document all the different types of kimchi that I've encountered so far. Then make another quiz? heh...

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