Traditional kimchi gets its flavour from fermenting for days, preferably buried in a pot in the yard, but if you need some of the pungent, spicy cabbage right now, ChefSteps has a way to make it in mere hours.
Two hours is not really enough time to ferment anything, so to get that sour, funky zing without fermentation, you’re going to need to cheat, and you’re going to need a whipping siphon and lactic acid.
First, you have to brine some roughly chopped Napa cabbage for 20 minutes to draw out excess moisture. Next, make a sticky rice paste (12g rice flour + 100g water) as a base for your chilli paste — this will help the tasty chilli goodness stick to the cabbage. Now you’re ready to assemble the rest of your chilli paste. Though you could technically use this method with any chilli paste of your choosing (just make sure to add 4g of lactic acid for every 300g Napa cabbage), ChefSteps recommends the following ingredients:
- 40g green onions
- 20g garlic chives
- 150g oysters, shucked
- 50g dried shrimp
- 19g garlic, minced or grated
- 14g Korean chilli flakes (gochugaru)
- 12g ginger, grated
- 12g fish sauce
- 10g sugar, granulated
- 10g sesame seeds
- 4g lactic acid
Chop up the onions, chives and oysters, mix everything together and toss your paste with the cabbage to coat. Get all of that into a whipping siphon, charge it twice with carbon dioxide, shake it up and pop it in the fridge for an hour. After letting the flavours develop under pressure, de-gas the siphon (it will smell quite funky) and enjoy your flavour-packed, effervescent, pungent kimchi. If you’d like an even more detailed breakdown of the process or access to similar recipes, click the link below. (Warning: this particular recipe is part of ChefSteps Premium, and thus behind a paywall, but there’s some really good stuff behind that paywall.)