Mak Kimchi (pronounced “mok”) is one of the many varieties of Korean kimchi and according to my mother-in-law, the easiest to make. Once finished, you may enjoy it right from the container as a side dish, grilled, or added to other dishes such as kimchi chigae (a spicy Korean stew).
- Quarter cabbage. Cut into big pieces, approximately 2″ x 3″.
- Wash cabbage in cold water.
- Mix salt in a big bowl of water and allow it to dissolve. Move a handful of cabbage to another large bowl. Pour a portion of water over it, then sprinkle it with a large pinch of salt. Repeat with handfuls of cabbage until all cabbage is in the large bowl and salt water is used.
- Allow the cabbage to sit in the salt water for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Flip the cabbage in the bowl, then let it sit for another 20 to 30 minutes. By the end of the hour, it should be not quite crisp, but not limp. Just slightly limp.
Cabbage sitting in salt bath
- While the cabbage sits, cut off roots from the green onions. Cut them into 5 sections and slice into strips. Peel radish, cut into thin slices, then into matchsticks.
Korean radish cut into matchsticks
- Place the onion and radish into a separate bowl from the cabbage. Evenly shake red pepper powder on top. Add garlic and ginger pastes, optional pepper paste, fish sauce, and honey powder (or sugar).
- Wear a disposable glove (or a plastic bag) over your hand and mix the green onion/radish mixture very well.
Green onion/radish mixture after mixing
- After 1 hour, taste the cabbage. It should be just a little salty. Rinse the cabbage quickly by draining out the salt water from the bowl, filling it with water, then draining it out again.
- With glove or bag on hand, place the green onion/radish mixture on top of the cabbage and mix very well. Taste and add a little more honey powder, salt or fish sauce if necessary.
Mixing it all together
- Pack kimchi tightly into jars/containers. Add a little water and swish out the rest of the red pepper sauce from the bowl and pour into container. Push down when placing in another layer of kimchi. Cover opening with plastic wrap before screwing on lid. Keep refrigerated. Kimchi can be eaten immediately.
Mission accomplished! This kimchi is packed tight and ready for the fridge.
Special Note: When you want to enjoy your kimchi, be sure to use a clean utensil to remove it from the jar. Never return uneaten portions back to the jar. Keep leftovers refrigerated separately in a smaller container. This will make sure you are not introducing any bacteria into your kimchi and it will last longer.