More evidence of my obsession with pickles and fermented foods. This kimchi is more like a pickle in that it uses vinegar to speed the process up. The cabbage is also steamed briefly to soften the leaves and, again, speed things up. If you like, you can omit the cooking and allow the cabbage to marinate for about 8 hours, even longer. Carrots are called for, but try beets as well–red beets will give a pinkish hue to the dish, while golden will add sweet yellow bursts of color.
8 c or so chopped napa cabbage (chopped between coarse and fine)
2 – 3 cloves garlic
1/4 c water (only for steaming)
3 scallions, sliced
1 or 2 medium carrot(s) or beet(s), (peeled), grated; or a combination
chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 T rice vinegar, or any vinegar
1 T toasted (dark) sesame oil; or regular sesame oil, or other vegetable oil
2 t peeled, finely chopped fresh ginger, or 1/8 t powdered ginger
1 t salt
1/2 t sugar
1/2 t red pepper flakes; or other chile powder; or to taste
1. If steaming cabbage, place in a large pot with the garlic (or not) and water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring a few times. If not steaming then put cabbage into a bowl with the garlic. Add the scallions, carrot(s), and cilantro.
2. Remove steamed cabbage to a bowl. Add scallions, carrot(s), and cilantro. Toss to combine.
3. Whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, salt, sugar, and red pepper flakes. Add to the bowl and toss to combine.
4. Allow the steamed kimchi to sit for about half an hour before serving. You can refrigerate it if you like for a nice crunch. Nonsteamed kimchi can sit out for several hours before refrigerating and serving.