Mason-Jar Kimchi

Kimchi has quickly become a staple in my fridge because of its versatility: not just by itself on the side, but also in weeknight fried rice, Korean stews/pancakes, in sandwiches, even on top of tacos. For a while now, I’ve stopped buying kimchi altogether and started making my own because it’s more cost-efficient, and I can control the spice level and amount of funkiness/fermentation I like. Mild-medium spice, with just the perfect amount of fizzy crunch.

This kimchi recipe is adapted from Maangchi‘s O-G recipe. I really like her porridge-method, because it thickens up the kimchi paste nicely (better paste-adhesion to the wet cabbage leaves). I simplified and tailored the recipe to my preference by using the ingredients (and jars) I have on hand, and shortening the porridge step by using the microwave instead of the stovetop. If you prefer more spicy, you can add more Gochugaru or if you prefer a young, crunchy kimchi then you can shorten the fermentation time on the counter.

Mason-Jar Kimchi, adapted from Maangchi
Total Time: 1.5 Hour Active Time: 30 Minutes
Yield: About 2 Cups of Kimchi paste*

Ingredients:
2 Napa cabbages, cored and coarsely chopped
4 scallions, coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup kosher salt
1-inch ginger, peeled
6 garlic cloves
1 small apple or Asian pear, coarsely chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 Cup Gochugaru/Korean red pepper powder
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp glutinous rice flour
1/4 Cup water

1. Prep and salt the cabbage. Coarsely chop the cabbage into large pieces and place into very large bowl. Add half of the salt, mix together and allow cabbage to sit for approx. 30 mins.

After 30 mins, drain the excess water, then add remaining salt. Wait another 30 mins. Then, drain and rinse cabbage with cold water and set aside. The cabbage pieces will feel limp and bendable compared to rigid.

2. Make the Kimchi paste. Place fish sauce, onion, apple, ginger, and Gochugaru into blender and blend until smooth. Pour in some water if needed to get the mixture going.

With the remaining water, add glutinous rice flour and mix together in a separate bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, or until water is hot. Mix together until very thick porridge is formed, then add to blender.

3. Prep clean Mason jars (or any fermenting containers). Place plastic wrap over the jar opening, then pierce hole in the center; make sure the wrap covers the inside and outside of the opening. This prevents the lip of the jar from getting messy with kimchi paste, and provides easier clean-up when you’re filling the jars.

My preferred Mason jar size is wide-mouth 32 oz.

4. Combine kimchi paste + cabbage + scallions, then jar. Add kimchi paste and chopped scallions to the rinsed cabbage pieces, then mix with a spoon, ensuring all pieces are coated with the paste. Then pack the kimchi into the jars, pushing down with the back of a spoon and leaving about 3 cm of headspace towards the top. Loosely cap the jars. Place all jars onto a lipped plate in case of leakage, then ferment.

5. Ferment at room temperature for desired time, about 3-5 days. Once a day, examine kimchi for activity and press down kimchi with the back of a spoon. When desired flavor is achieved, fully close jars and store in the fridge. Your kimchi is now ready 🙂

Q: Will mold grow on my kimchi if I leave it at room temperature? The gochugaru will have enough spice to prevent unwanted mold from contaminating your kimchi. To stay safe, always use clean containers, and check on/press down at your kimchi daily to keep the cabbage submerged in the spicy paste. If you see any unwanted growth or no activity within 2 days, discard and try again.

Q: How will I know my kimchi is actively fermenting? When pressing down on the kimchi, you will see + hear the CO2 bubbles rising to the top! The addition of the pear/apple (aka readily available sugar) helps to kick-start the fermentation, so it’s very likely that your kimchi has become active after 1 day.

Cheers!
-Jenna

*The recipe for the kimchi paste yields about 2 cups which is enough for about 2 large Napa cabbages, or about 5 – 32 oz mason jars. If you’re using just 1 cabbage, you can make the full recipe for the paste, then keep the remaining in the fridge for readily-available kimchi paste.

Save the Scraps: From-the-Pantry Cookies

Inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar’s own Compost Cookies, these pantry cookies begin with a simple base, then any add-ins you can scrounge in your pantry. The result is a delicate, sweet + salty cookie with tons of texture, and endless pantry possibilities.

Today, I have found chocolate chips, chopped hazelnuts, tortilla chips, coffee, and honey cookies. Since we are just coming off of Halloween, I also have some candies that I’m throwing into the mix as well (from the post-Halloween 50% off section). Some of my other favorite mix-ins for this cookie recipe have been:

  • Pretzels (esp. the peanut-butter filled ones!)
  • Potato chips
  • Graham crackers
  • Dried fruit (esp. cranberries)
  • Toasted oats
  • Other toasted nuts (esp. walnuts)

From-the-Pantry Cookies
Total Time: 35 Minutes Active Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: About 1 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
140g butter, room temperature
60g granulated sugar
70g brown sugar
100g all-purpose flour
20g buckwheat flour (or another flour is fine, even corn-meal is ok)
6g ground coffee, medium grind (Baratza Encore grind: #17)
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 egg (about 50g), room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
Roughly 130g Crispy Crunchy Mix-Ins (chips, nuts, crackers, etc)*
Roughly 130g Other Mix-Ins (chocolate chips, candies, dried fruit)*

1. Prep Oven & Baking Sheets. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Prep your Mix-Ins. Place all crispy crunchy bits (chips, pretzels, crackers, toasted nuts, etc) into a ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin or hands until sand-like texture. Cut other mix-ins into bite sized pieces if needed.

3. Assemble the Base. Cream together butter and sugars in a mixer on medium speed. While butter and sugars are creaming, in a separate bowl, whisk together flours, coffee, salt, and baking soda.

Once butter and sugar is incorporated, add the egg and vanilla extract to emulsify into mixture. Then, lower mixing speed and slowly stir in dry ingredients until dough base is formed, about 30 seconds.

4. Stir in your Mix-Ins. Mix until everything is dispersed evenly in the final dough.

5. Portion and Bake. Portion cookies (~50g each) and place onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies in oven for 13-15 minutes or until golden brown.

*You can also place the portions into a freezer-safe bag to bake off at a later date!

6. Allow to cool, then enjoy! Flaky sea salt is optional, but always welcome.

Cheers!
-Jenna

*No more than 300g of mix-ins total, otherwise the batter will be too thick 😦

Today’s mix-ins: 30g hazelnuts / 60g honey cookies / 40g tortilla chips / 50g bitterswt choc chunks / 85g Reese’s
Another good combo: 85g crushed graham crackers / 60g peanut butter pretzels / 40g sea salt potato chips / 50g bitterswt choc chunks