I made a completely different version of kimchi this week. Reader Christopher posted a link to this awesome authentic Korean food blog in the comments of my original kimchi recipe that I posted. This more authentic version wins, hands down.
My friend CJ and I salted 4 heads of napa cabbage and 2 cubed green daikon radishes. We looked at United Noodles for Korean radishes, but we couldn’t find them and figured daikons were close enough.
After making the paste, you’re supposed to spread a handful (wear gloves!) between each leaf of cabbage in each head. Then you smooth it all down and shape it into a ball and ferment 1-2 days in a covered container. However, I really wanted to use quart-size mason jars, and the cabbages did not fit. So I pulled them all apart and we just layered cabbage leaves and paste in the jars. It worked just fine.
We ended up with quite a bit of kimchi. We actually ran out of paste at the end and had to whip up a little extra for the radish kimchi (kaktugi). I could not find fresh or frozen oysters (note that I did not look terribly hard), but we used a little oyster sauce in addition to the fish sauce. I also did not have the guts to add SIX ENTIRE CUPS of hot pepper powder/flakes; I think I used 2 heaping cups.
So here’s the recipe. I definitely recommend watching the video before you try it. Makes it very easy.