Since last Autumn, we had been experimenting with making our own kimchi at home. The first attempt was way too garlicky, which made the whole thing past the edible zone. Over time, the experiment has come a long way and we are happy with the latest batches that we made.
Once you get the hang of it and the right amount of ingredients, kimchi is very easy to make.
Simple Homemade Kimchi
A simple recipe to make your own kimchi.
- 1kg Chinese napa cabbage
- 70g coarse sea salt
- 4-5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
- 200g daikon radish, julienned
- 4 Spring onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- Cut the cabbage into strips roughly 2-inch wide. The core should be removed. Place the cabbage strips into a large bowl and sprinkle the salt on top. Massage the salt into the cabbage using your hands until it starts to soften. Add water until the cabbage is submerged. Put a plate on top and something heavy on top and let it stand for 2 hours.
- Transfer the cabbage to a colander, rinse it properly under cold water and let it drain.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl mix together the garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and gochugaru. This should form like a paste.
- Gently squeeze the cabbage to remove any excess water and return to a clean bowl. You can use the same bowl you used before but make sure you rinse it well from the salt water.
- Add the radish, spring onions and paste to the cabbage and mix all ingredients together, preferably using your hands, until all vegetables are well coated with the paste.
- Transfer the kimchi into jars and press down the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch on top.
- Seal the jar and let it stand at room temperature for a maximum of 5 days. Make sure that once a day you press down the vegetables to keep them submerged under the water.
- You may use the kimchi right away at this point but it is better if you transfer it to the fridge and let it ferment there slowly for another week or so.
So basically, we were eating quite a lot of kimchi dishes recently, adding it to stir fried vegetables and fried rice dishes. We also made these kimchi pies, which I guess are our favourite amongst them all.
I used my Shortcrust Pastry recipe for the dough. However, you can opt for store bought puff pastry if you like. That would be awesome too! I used my empanada maker to form these pies but if you do not own one of these, you can also roll out the dough into circles and fold it in half, while crimping the edges with a fork. The aesthetic results will also be great! 🙂
With regards to the filling, I am just giving a rough indication of what to put in. The aim is to have a balanced mixture between spinach, mushrooms and kimchi. When you are mixing all ingredients together, you may want to add more of one thing and less of the other depending on you taste and preferences.
These pies are great as party food too and now that the weather is getting better, they are also ideal to take with you on a picnic to share with your family or friends. Any leftover pies (if there are any!) are great the next day for packed lunches.
If you make a bigger batch, you may also want to freeze them so they are ready in advance.
Spinach, Mushroom and Kimchi Pies
Mini pies which are great to share during this picnic season.
- Shortcrust pastry (I followed the recipe here)
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- Sesame seeds, to sprinkle (optional) For the filling
- 300g fresh spinach leaves
- 200g button mushrooms
- 150g oyster mushrooms
- 300g kimchi
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Prepare the shortcrust pastry if you are making your own and let it sit in your refrigerator until you prepare the filling.
- Start by finely chopping the garlic, slicing the button mushrooms and cutting the oyster mushroom into strips.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the garlic. Once fragrant, add the mushrooms first and sauté them for 3 minutes. Pour in the soy sauce and fish sauce and cook for another minute. Add the spinach leaves and mix all ingredients together. Cook for 2-3 minutes until all spinach leaves are wilted. Season with freshly ground pepper and salt (be careful with salt here since you already included the soy and fish sauce which are both on the saltier side!).
- Remove from heat and set it aside to cool completely.
- In the meantime, drain the kimchi. Once the mushroom spinach mixture has cooled down, add the kimchi and combine well.
- Roll out the dough into circles (approx. 15cm in diameter). Place 1-2 tablespoons of the filling on one side of the circle, brush the edges with some water and fold over the other half. Using a fork, crimp the edges. Put the mini pie on a baking paper, brush with the egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Repeat until you use all of the dough and filling.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 175 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
- Leave them on the baking tray for 10 minutes to cool slightly before transferring to your serving dish.