Quick Kimchi

Submitted by: Bacalao Restaurant
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Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: More than 15 Minutes
Total Time: More than 1 hour

1 medium head cabbage
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 – 3/4 cup rice vinegar (choose unseasoned)
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp hot chili paste (e.g. sriracha) or 2 tbsp chili flakes or, if you can find it, Korean chili powder
2-inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped or grated
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
4-5 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, finely shredded
8 red radishes, finely sliced
Zest of one small orange
1 tbsp fish sauce (optional – avail. at Asian grocers or imported section at most supermarkets)
Fresh red chilies, sliced (optional – if you dare)
Wash and have ready eight 250ml mason jars (or equivalent in larger sizes if you prefer). Remove any limp outer leaves from the cabbage before slicing it in 1/2-inch strips, discarding tough core. Place in a large (non-aluminum) bowl, sprinkle with salt and “massage” the salt into the cabbage. Let sit for two hours, massaging several times during the process.

The cabbage will wilt and give off liquid. Transfer cabbage to a colander, rinse well with cold water and drain well, pressing down to squeeze out excess moisture. Squeeze it with a clean kitchen towel or paper towel. Rinse the bowl and in it, mix together the rest of the ingredients. Toss in the cabbage and coat well. Pack into mason jars and refrigerate.

Wait at least half a day before you serve it. It keeps for weeks and the spiciness increases over time. Use more or less chili paste (or powder) to your taste. The fish sauce replaces the salted shrimp paste traditionally used and gives an extra subtle umami quality. But the recipe won’t suffer if you can’t find it or choose to omit it. The addition of the orange zest is not traditional, just my little twist. I love the subtle perfume it adds. Makes about 8 cups.

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