We love kimchi. Along with Korean food in general. When I am feeling hungover, or gloomy, I always crave mung bean pancakes, sizzling beef, and little sides of pickled sprouts and tofu.
The husband's kimchi trials started several years ago. There were horrible days of burning hands, pungent smells, clay pots, and many fights around kimchi making. The cons always outweighed the pros when it came to this process. I would often throw my arms up, and say, "let's just buy it at that market already!" We did have a tiny Korean near us that sold homemade delicious kimchi. For $5 a jar, you get all the flavor, without any of the headaches. I was all for it.
After several failed efforts, and probably to keep marital harmony, the husband put his clay pot up in the cabinets above the fridge, and there was a long sabbatical from Korean pickling. Then, we came across The Korean Kitchen: Classic Recipes from the Land of the Morning Clam. We found this book at our local library bookstore. When we moved, the clay pot made an appearance again. And the third factor was that the husband planted rows of Daikon radish at one of his satellite gardens.
What do you do with 10 lbs of radish? You make kimchi. I tried making it on my own. It didn't turn out so well. Then, the husband made a small batch, and I was impressed. We decided, we would use the entire 10 pounds, and make a giant batch, together. After peeling and trimming the radish, we ended up with close to 8 lbs. We followed the recipe, making minor adjustments. The second fridge in the garage was a lifesaver.
Below is the recipe straight out of the book. Enjoy. But beware, making a successful batch can only lead to more kimchi making in the future.
Kaktugi Kimchi (Pickled Radish)
Makes 1 quart
1 lb Diakon radish, peeled, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 scallions, cut into 2 inch strips
1 head of garlic, minced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
3-4 tbsp of hot red Korean chili powder
1 tbsp fine-chopped salted tiny shrimps (or fish sauce)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Mix everything together and store in a glass or pottery container with a tight cover. Allow to ferment for 24 hours, then refrigerate. It is ready to eat immediately, but it may be stored in the refrigerator for several months.