You do not need to weigh the cabbage before use, just adjust the salt quantity if you have more or less cabbage. Use approximately 1 tablespoon of sea salt per ½ kg cabbage.
Rinse all the vegetables. Chop cabbage into bite-sized pieces, and slice the radishes and carrots. Julienne the apple and slice the spring onions.
Put all the prepared vegetables into the large bowl/container.
You can either use a food processor to make a paste with the garlic, ginger and chilli first, or you can just finely chop those ingredients and add them to the vegetables.
Add the salt and then use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. You have to work at squeezing everything and mixing vigorously for about 5 minutes to get the vegetables to release fluid. I use my hands at first to distribute the ingredients evenly and then I pound them with a wooden rolling pin for a few minutes to help to break them down further.
Taste the mixture – it should be pleasantly salty. If it does not taste salty like a pickle, add an extra pinch of salt until it tastes right.
When you can see some fluid is released, pack the vegetables neatly and weigh them down. They might not be fully covered at first, but check on them after about an hour or two and you will notice the water level rise as the salt draws more fluid out.
Cover the top of the container loosely with a cloth to prevent anything from getting inside, but not with a tight-fitting lid – you want carbon dioxide to escape.
Leave the jar on the counter for 2-5 days and taste it every day to see how it changes. You can leave it there for 2 weeks or more if you want a full fermentation and maximum benefits, but the first time you try this you might prefer a fresher taste. If the kimchi goes bad you will know immediately because it will look, smell or taste really terrible, so don’t worry, you will notice! If that happens, just throw it out and try again.
Once the kimchi has reached a stage of pickling that you like, you can transfer it to the fridge, either in the same container with a lid, or into closed glass jars, where it will keep for several months.
Recipe reprinted with permission of Kelly Schreuder.
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