Creative cooking is about experimenting with new ingredients and learning from the outcome. Instead of Korean red pepper, I am using cayenne red pepper. Perhaps, I will locate the korean spice some day and try making Kimchi with it.
Ten months after making my batch of Kimchi with cayenne, I have learned that it only gets better with age. I have also read that a batch can last 2-3 years in the fridge. It is still spicy and flavorful, but I am liking it more and more just the way it is.
One big head of Chinese cabbage (chopped into bite size pieces and placed into a large bowl or two)
About 1/4 to 1/2 C. Salt
1/4 C. Sweet rice flour
1 1/2 C. of water
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. garlic cloves
1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
1/2 an onion chopped
1/2 C. fish sauce
Ground Cayenne pepper 1/2 C. for mild, 1 C. for spicy. ( Feel free to use less. For it is very, very spicy) Note: that when someone is having a heart attack, make a tea of 1 tsp. of ground cayenne and put it in a cup of warm to hot water. Have the ill person sip it slowly until help arrives or they get to hospital. I read this and I think it to be good info. but it is not a prescription. Use your best judgement.
1 leak (opt.) chopped
1 cucumber cut into thin bite size (opt)
5 green onions chopped
1-2 carrots cut to thin bite size
(opt) 1/4-1/2 cup of whey (it is not needed. Traditional Kimchi does not use whey).
Take the chopped cabbage in the bowl and salt all of it real good. You will use about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of salt. Fill the bowl with water to cover cabbage. Soak for 1 1/2 hours. Rinsed and fill with water every 30 minutes during this soak. which will be twice. Drain at the 1 1/2 hour mark and put back into bowl.
Now take the Leak, cucumber, green onions and carrots and add them to the cabbage bowl. Mix.
In a food processor add the garlic, chopped onion, ginger, and fish sauce. Blend for one minute. Pour into cabbage and veggie bowl. Mix.
Add ground cayenne to bowl and mix.
Take a medium pot and add water, rice flour and bring to boil stirring. Mix in the sugar. Lower heat to medium and mix/cook for 5 minutes. Now add this to cabbage mixture and stir well. Add whey if you want, but not needed.
Put mixture into glass jars with lids. Make sure to have the mixture a good inch below the top. Fermentation will cause a bubbly rise. Place the tops on loose. to let it burp but not let air in. You can let it sit on the counter away form heat and light for two days then stick in the fridge or cold storage. Or just put directly into fridge/cold storage. I let mine sit for two days, then put it into my mini fridge.
You can eat it fresh,but It gets better with age. Eat a small bit over rice, sprinkled with sesame seeds. You can just snack on it to for a happy tummy. Lacto ferments are good for intestinal happiness and health.