We found Korean chili powder (medium or coarsely ground is best for kimchi) and Korean salted shrimp at H Mart in Falls Church.
Make Ahead: The vegetables need to soak in saltwater for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight. The kimchi can sit at room temperature for up to 2 days and is ready to eat after 2 to 3 days. For longer fermentation, refrigerate. It is best eaten within a month. It is ideal after about 2 weeks.
Servings: 2 quarts
- 1/2 cup sea or kosher salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 medium head Napa cabbage
- 1 Asian radish (nu or daikon)
- 6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced (2 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon jarred (wet) Korean salted shrimp (see headnote)
- 6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces (1/2 cup)
- Leaves of 1 bunch mustard greens, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons coarsely ground Korean chili powder (see headnote)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
Dissolve the salt in the water in a liquid measuring cup.
Rinse the leaves of the cabbage and cut into 2-inch lengths (12 to 14 cups). Peel the Asian radish and cut into quarters, then cut into 1/2-inch slices.
Combine the cabbage and radish in a large bowl and pour the saltwater over them. Soak for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.
Drain the soaked vegetables in a colander, squeezing out as much water as possible. Place the vegetables in a large bowl.
Combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce and salted shrimp in a food processor or blender; process until finely minced.
Add the scallions, mustard greens, garlic-ginger mixture, chili powder and sugar; toss to coat evenly. (If you use your hands, wear food-safe gloves; the chili might sting or stain your hands.) The mixture will have the consistency of a well-dressed salad.
Pack into glass jars or a large food-safe plastic container. The kimchi will be ready in 2 to 3 days. It will grow increasingly pungent as it sits. It is ideal after about 2 weeks and best eaten within a month; if you plan to let it ferment for longer than 2 days, refrigerate it.
Adapted from "Eating Korean: From Barbecue to Kimchi, Recipes from My Home," by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee (Wiley, 2005).
Tested by Jane Black.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.