Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hungry Gopher's Delicious Kimchi

Do you like Kimchi? I do! Kimchi is one of my favourite! I love kimchi soups, and would usually have it at Korean restaurants. If you like pickles, chances are you are a fan of Kimchi.

I have been meaning to make Kimchi for ages, but could not find "gochugaru" (Korean chilli pepper flakes). When Hungry Gopher contacted me to inform about her Korean cooking blog, complete with videos on how to cook delicious Korean food, I wasted no time in visiting her blog right away! I saw her delicious Kimchi and knew then that I just have to make that! I then enquired about using "gochujang" (Korean Chilli Pepper Paste) instead of "gochugaru", and Hungry Gopher is so kind as to advise me that Kimchi is made using "gochugaru", instead of "gochujang" as the later is a chilli paste that is made with a mixture of ingredients, and it might affect the overall taste of the kimchi. "Gochugaru" is made from sundried Korean dried chilli peppers that has been milled into flakes or powder, and is an important ingredient in making Kimchi and other Korean dishes.

I have been looking for "gochugaru" for quite awhile, and finally found it at Aeon Big. Bought it and a few days later, after buying a large napa cabbage, I finally made my Kimchi!

"Gochugaru" (Korean Chilli Pepper Flakes). It is stated as powder on the pack...

but they are actually chilli flakes, bright red and vibrant! 

The napa cabbage. Did not take any photos on the making of the kimchi, as my hands are smudged with the kimchi paste! I wore a pair of disposable plastic gloves, as the kimchi paste is spicy hot. For the full tutorial on how to make your own kimchi, please do visit Hungry Gopher's delightful video from her blog, with step-by-step instructions and useful tips. She has other delicious Korean recipes, and I have already bookmarked her other recipes to try.

My first batch of kimchi... finished within two weeks, after giving some to my sisters.

My second batch which is fast finishing, am left with a small container. Going to make my third batch soon! Yum! Yum! My sister already made "bookings" for it! 

This Kimchi is really yummy! I have been nibbling pieces of it. Crunchy, spicy, a little sour, salty and just delicious! For the first batch, I left mine to ferment for 48 hours on my kitchen counter, until the sourish taste from the fermentation is to my liking. It was a long wait for me, as I was really eager to eat it! Well, I did taste a small piece on the first day, another piece after that, then one more piece! wink! Once the sourish is to my liking, I keep the kimchi in the refrigerator. You may however refrigerate it as soon as it is made, up to your preference. It will ferment further in the refrigerator, at a slower rate. I like mine a little sour, so I left it on my kitchen counter for two days before I refrigerated the whole container.

For the second batch, I fermented it for only one day, it all depends on the temperature and humidity of the day, how fast the fermentation takes place. As you know, our weather has been really blazing hot for the past few months!

I have been making some dishes using kimchi, and will be sharing those dishes in the coming weeks. And there's more recipes that uses kimchi on my list to try. Waiting for my third batch of kimchi making soon.

I'm only listing the list of ingredients needed for making the kimchi, for the full steps and directions and lots of useful tips, please visit Hungry Gopher and say hi! And if you have used this recipe (do try it, it's delicious!), please link it back to Hungry Gopher.

(source from
1 medium napa cabbage (4-5 inch/10-13cm diameter of head)
coarse sea salt for brine

Starch Mixture :
1 cup water
3 tbsp all-purpose flour or sweet rice flour

Seasoning Mixture :
1-1/2 cups peeled, julienned Daikon radish (substitute with red radish if needed).
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup gochugaru (Korean chilli pepper flakes)
* adjust amount to your preference of spicy level
1/4 medium onion
2-1/2 tbsp minced garlic
2-1/2 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp & 1/4 tsp fish sauce
(skip fish sauce if vegan recipe is required)
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
*use extra 2 tsp coarse sea salt if fish sauce is not used


  1. I liked seeing the process of making it but it may be a tad too spicy for me. I've never had kimchi but I do like cabbage!

  2. all limbs up for you... i'd heard that this is a very labour intensive job but homemade kimchi is great because we can control the amount of sugar that goes into it.. kudos to you Joyce

  3. I love kinchi!!! It is delicious. I would love to try this soon. Catherine

  4. Joyce, since your sister made advance bookings, your kimchi must be very good hah..hah... It does look good, just like it was made by a Korean! I am not exactly a kimchi fan but I do eat it. I will go visit Hungry Gopher as I love Korean Food!

  5. Wow kimchi looks fabulous, now i know where to come if i want to make them at home.

  6. Hi Joyce, I like kimchi noodle but I haven't thought of making homemade kimchi as I don't have supporters. Can place orders with you?

  7. I've never tasted kimchi but I think it would be something I would also enjoy. Thanks for the link and recipe!

  8. Your kimchi looks really great! I like them in the fried rice.

  9. Hi Joyce!
    Although I am not a huge pickle fan, I absolutely adore kimchi. I've been wanting to make it for what seems like forever. I must compliment you for not only trying it once but oh so many times. I have a feeling the same would happen to me, lol...Good thing my sisters don't live close though:)

    I don't see me making this any time soon but I think I better save the recipe. You just never know about these things, lol...thanks so much for sharing, Joyce...I better Pin this too:)

  10. Your kimchi looks very tasty^^... Thank you so much for trying my recipe and such nice compliments, Joyce!

  11. hi joyce! pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease help. i got the same gochugaru as u from aeon big. same brand same packaging. fine powder for cooking purpose.i had poured in 4 big spoons to my soup for two person but it is not spicy at all. not even a slight taste of hot. what is the problem? from your recipe here i could see u used nothing else than gochugaru for spicy flavour.

    1. Hi Anonymous (it would be nice if I know who I am adressing to),
      I have not tried using gochugaru straight into a soup before. Usually for soup or stew, I would use gochujang (Korean hot chilli paste), adjusting the amount to how spicy you want your soup to be. So far, I have only used gochugaru for making kimchi and salad.
      I find that gochugaru is not as spicy as I thought it would be, but maybe it all depends on the brand, and also the level of spiciness that one is used to.