This fiery, fermented vegetable dish is an integral part of the Korean table. There are hundreds of varieties, generally featuring cabbage, radishes or cucumber. Our variety features daikon, spring onions and ginger.
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 cm-piece ginger, finely grated
- 60 ml (¼ cup) eck jut (see Note) (Korean fish sauce)
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 (about 600g) daikon (see Note), peeled, top and bottom trimmed
- 40 g (⅓ cup) Korean coarsely ground chilli (see Note)
- 3 spring onions, cut into 2 cm lengths
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time 30 minutes
Fermenting time 24 hours
Combine garlic, ginger, eck jut and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
Cut a slice from each long side of the daikon, then cut into julienne and place in a glass bowl. Cut remaining daikon into 2 cm dice and add to bowl. Toss with 2 tbsp salt and set aside for 30 minutes.
Rinse daikon and drain. Wipe bowl clean, then return daikon to bowl. Toss with chilli, spring onions and garlic mixture.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in a cool, dark place* for 24 hours at room temperature to ferment. It will keep in the fridge for up to 1 year, but if you prefer a milder flavour, consume it within 1 month.
• Eck jut, available from Korean food shops, is a lighter style of fish sauce. Substitute Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce.
• Daikon, from greengrocers and Asian food shops, is a type of large white radish.
• Korean coarsely ground chilli is available from Korean food shops.
• Traditionally in Korea, kimchi is fermented in darkly coloured crocks that are buried in the ground. For ease and convenience, you can wrap your bowl in a clean, black rubbish bag.
As seen in Feast magazine, Feb 2012, Issue 6. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.
Photography by John Laurie.