Doing It Herself: Learning How To Make Kimchi From My Aunt

Bok choy and daikon in a kimchi fermenting pot

We all have a starting point for how we got good at the stuff that we do now, stuff we do without thinking too much about it because it’s like second nature to us, whether it’s driving, singing, or dancing for you or cooking Korean food for me.  My starting point is my mom and aunt, my mom’s older (and last remaining) sister. They came from a family of 11 kids, grew up in the fertile northern part of Korea, but lost everything to the communists during the invasion.  I learned the most important thing about being a good cook from them: make do with what you have (and they really know what they’re talking about!)

Learning from the best: My aunt makes a fast kimchi with bok choy and red pepper flakes

This bok choy and daikon version that my aunt often makes is really simple and a time saver.  She makes and stores it in a kimchi ceramic pot so it is a one-pot kimchi from start to finish.

The ingredients:

  • bok choy, chop up a bunch or two
  • daikon or other kind of radish cut into bite size pieces (you can just stick to bok choy if radish is not your thing)
  • salt
  • fermented shrimp paste
  • red pepper flakes (Korean or whatever is in your pantry)
  • ginger, grated and juiced
  • scallions, chopped
  • water
  • honey/sugar (optional)

The steps:

1. Assemble the following ingredients in a large bowl or your kimchi danji (a large ceramic pot with lid fashioned for kimchi fermentation):

  • chopped bok choy
  • shrimp paste
  • a solution of water and salt
  • chopped scallions
  • red pepper power
  • ginger juice
  • honey/sugar (about a teaspoon)

2. Mix the ingredients.  Let sit in a dark, cool place for 24 hours then refrigerate.  Check on it in about 2 or 3 days to see if it’s reached your preferred level of fermentation.  If you want a higher level of pungency, go ahead and give it a few more days.

Fermented shrimp

Is pretty funky


4 thoughts on “Doing It Herself: Learning How To Make Kimchi From My Aunt

  1. Pingback: The Not-So-Great Pretender | DIY Korean Food

  2. Pingback: The Not-So-Great Pretender | DIY Korean Food

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