An easy version of the popular Korean ferment.
*If you are new to fermented foods, introduce to your diet gradually!
1 medium chinese leaf cabbage
1/4 cup iodine-free sea salt (iodine can interfere with fermentation)
1 tbsp grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1 tsp grated ginger
1-2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce or salted shrimp paste*
1 to 5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
220g Korean radish or daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the stem into quarters. Cut each quarter crosswise into 2-inch-wide strips. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt.
Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften.
Cover the cabbage with water. Put a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar.
Leave to soak for 1 to 2 hours.
Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times. Set aside to drain in a colander for 15 to 20 minutes.
Make the spice paste.
Add the garlic, ginger, sugar, and sh sauce, shrimp paste, or water and stir into a smooth paste. Stir in the gochugaru, using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy.
When the cabbage is ready, add the spring onions and radish. Using gloves, mix in the spice paste and coat the vegetables thoroughly.
Pack the kimchi into a large jar. Press down on the kimchi until the brine rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 1 inch of space at the top.
Seal the jar and leave in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, for 1 to 5 days. Check it daily and refrigerate when ready (check by tasting it).
*For vegan kimchi substitute with 3 tbsp water