Are you short on storage space for your jars but keen to whip up some tasty Korean Kimchi? Why not try making Kimchi in vacuum bags? It’s not only a space-saving solution, but it also allows you to create smaller batches tailored to your liking. Moreover, this recipe is straightforward, making it ideal for anyone eager to craft their own delicious Kimchi at home. So, dive in and get started on your top-notch Kimchi recipe today!
- Space-Saver: Swap bulky jars for vacuum bags and free up kitchen space.
- Just Right: Make the exact amount you want, avoiding waste.
- Easy-Peasy: A beginner-friendly method for quick and tasty Kimchi.
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Understanding Kimchi: Its Origins and Preparation Techniques
The Essence of Korean Kimchi
Kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish, originates from fermenting vegetables with a mix of seasonings, primarily using Gochugaru chili flakes. While Napa cabbage stands out as the primary vegetable in kimchi, additionally, radishes, carrots, and scallions enhance the texture and flavour. Not only does kimchi serve as a beneficial snack for the gut microbiome, but you can also pair it with a main course or incorporate it into soups, stews, and stir-fries.
Variations and Regional Differences
Throughout Korea, every region has its distinct kimchi recipe. While some recipes include seafood ingredients like salted shrimp or fish sauce, others notably omit chili elements, resulting in a milder variant known as White Kimchi. Beyond these, there are other types of kimchi such as “kkakdugi” (cubed radish kimchi), “oi kimchi” (cucumber kimchi), and “pa kimchi” (green onion kimchi). Each type has its unique ingredients and preparation method, reflecting the rich diversity of this iconic dish.
A Glimpse into Kimchi’s History
Tracing back to the Silla Dynasty in the 7th century, the earliest kimchi recipes involved burying vegetables underground for fermentation. This preservation technique was crucial during the extended winter months when fresh produce became a rarity. As the years passed, the recipe underwent transformations, leading to the diverse kimchi variations we relish today.
Kimchi in Modern Times
Kimchi is not only a treasured staple in Korean cuisine but also enjoys worldwide recognition for its unique flavour and health benefits. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, kimchi supports digestion and strengthens the immune system. With its low-calorie count and high fiber content, it serves as a healthful addition to any dish. Indeed, kimchi stands out as a superfood for the future!
The Chef’s Passionate Odyssey with the Dish
Growing up, I relished the taste of sauerkraut and have always held it dear. I strongly believe in the vast benefits of fermented foods and constantly seek out new flavours. Once you get the hang of it, making Kimchi becomes a breeze. I’ve tried the vacuum-sealed method to save space and craft perfect batch sizes. Kimchi’s flavours captivate, offering more versatility than sauerkraut. I encourage you to give it a shot; it won’t let you down. Moreover, investing in a vacuum sealer introduces a world of culinary opportunities.
Preparation – Dry Salting or Brine, Which to Choose?
When making Kimchi, you have two primary salting techniques for cabbage: dry salting and brining. I suggest trying both to discern the flavour and preparation differences:
- In the dry salting method, you apply salt directly to the cabbage. If you use a smaller amount of salt, you can skip rinsing it off (like in my recipe). Otherwise, you’ll wash it off after salting.
- For brining, you create a brine solution with 15% salt. Then, soak the cabbage in this brine for 3-6 hours. Alternatively, you can use a milder 5-7% brine solution and soak for 12 hours.
Historically, people salted cabbage for up to nine days, shifting it to different containers with varying brine strengths daily. Many believed a longer salting duration enhanced the Kimchi’s unique taste.
How to prepare Kimchi in Vacuum Sealed Bags:
Kimchi in Vacuum Bags
- 2 Napa Cabbage (Baechu), medium-sized (Chinese Leaf Cabbage)
- 0.07 oz Sea Salt (Per 3.5oz of cabbage) (2g per 100g of cabbage)
Kimchi Paste Ingredients:
- 2 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Flakes) or Gochujang paste (Gochujang paste is already fermented and can be used as a substitute. Skip chilli altogether for white Kimchi.)
- 8 Garlic Cloves minced
- 2 tbsp Fresh Ginger minced
- 2 tbsp Sugar
- 3 tbsp Fish Sauce (skip for vegetarian version)
- 10.6 oz Radish (Mu or Daikon) (300g)
- 1 Carrot, medium size peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 Scallions (Spring onions, washed and sliced)
- 1 tsp Salted Shrimp (Saeujeot) (skip for vegetarian version)
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 4 tbsp Gochujang paste is already fermented and can be used as a substitute for Gochugaru for a different flavour profile
- Cut the cabbage into thirds and place them in a large container. Add the salt and mix thoroughly. Allow the cabbage to sit for approximately 3 hours, or until it becomes soft, stirring occasionally every hour.
- In a separate bowl, combine the minced ginger & garlic, sugar, fish sauce, and Korean red pepper flakes. Mix well to form a paste. Add in the sliced green onions, julienned daikon radish and carrot. Mix until all ingredients are well-combined.
- Once the cabbage is ready, squeeze the liquid out and mix it with the Kimchi paste (Wear gloves)
- Divide the Kimchi equally into vacuum sealer bags.
- Using a vacuum sealer, securely double-seal the bags. Store them in a shaded area of your kitchen at room temperature. Allow the kimchi to ferment for at least 3 days before consuming.
- After the initial fermentation, move the bags to the refrigerator. The cold will slow down the fermentation, and the kimchi will continue to develop its flavours over time.
- Sealing for Optimal Fermentation: Ensure the bags are sealed tightly, twice, to prevent air ingress. This establishes an anaerobic environment conducive to fermentation.
- Ideal Storage Location: Position the bags in a dimly lit area of your kitchen, maintaining room temperature. Ensure they are not exposed to direct sunlight or subjected to extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold.
- Regular Inspection for Integrity and Freshness: Inspect the bags frequently during the fermentation process to ensure there are no leaks or indications of spoilage.
- Monitoring and Adjusting Fermentation Duration: The vacuum-sealed environment can speed up the fermentation process, so it’s essential to monitor the bags closely. Adjust the fermentation time based on your taste preference.
FAQ for Kimchi in Vacuum-Sealed Bags:
- What if my vacuum-sealed bag inflates during fermentation? Some gas production is normal during fermentation. If the bag inflates, it’s a sign of active fermentation. However, if it inflates too much, you might want to release some gas to prevent the bag from bursting (Never happened to me yet 🙂
- How do I know if my kimchi has spoiled? Signs of spoilage include an off or rotten smell, mould growth, or an unusually sour taste. Always inspect the bags for any leaks or indications of spoilage.
- What if I don’t have a vacuum sealer? If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can still make kimchi using traditional methods in jars or containers. The vacuum-sealed method offers a unique approach, but it’s not the only way to enjoy kimchi.
From the Chef Lukasz
I’m sure you’ll relish this unique Kimchi recipe! Did you incorporate any special ingredients or variations? Perhaps you paired it with a specific dish or topping? I’m excited to learn about your culinary journey with this Korean staple. If it tantalized your palate, remember to leave a star rating! Enjoy!