Like any other Asian mom, we at SFMart would be happy to give you advice on how to cook practically!

Kimchi is not so simple to prepare, even if you get all the best Asian ingredients from SFMart. So, how do you make sure you don’t fail in this Kimchi quest?

We asked the Asian moms who frequent our stores to provide us with their tips. Here’s all you need to know.

-         Take A Day Out

Kimchi is not an hour’s errand to do during laundry time and the minute until your kid wakes up. You want to make good kimchi, take out a day, and focus on what you’re doing.

It takes about an hour to prepare kimchi before its set to be fermented. However, since it’s your first time, it makes sense to be mindful of all that you do, like spooning out the ingredients and preparing jars. Especially if you’re making more kimchi than just a jar or doing so in a busy household, it makes sense to make a day of it, so you’re not run off your feet.

-         Know What Your Ingredients Are

Kimchi isn’t one recipe. There are many ways you can make kimchi, so research before you start cooking something. You don’t want to get confused with ingredients for white kimchi when you’re making baechu kimchi.

An essential kimchi recipe calls for one medium head of napa cabbage. With that, gather the following ingredients:

  • Four medium scallions
  • 8 ounces daikon radish
  • 1 – 5 gochugaru or Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or 2 tsp water
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger (grated and peeled)
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic
  • Distilled and filtered water
  • ¼ cup kosher salt or iodine-free sea salt

Follow this for starters and see how the recipe turns out. Only experiment when you know you’ve gotten the hang of it.

Kinchi Salad Korean Food

-         Know The Seasons

 There are seasonal recipes for kimchi as well, start by making those. If you’re making kimchi in the summer, use cucumbers and radishes, if its spring, use fresh greens. Be a little adventurous.

As stated before, kimchi isn’t just one recipe. It’s separated by regions, areas, seasons, and more. So, if you’re sure you can make good kimchi, there’s no reason why you can’t grab seasonal produce that sparks your interest. Remember, kimchi isn’t just food — it’s a way of preserving ingredients while they’re in peak season.

Chinese cabbage kimchi and ingredients on a wooden table

-         Be Careful With Salt

Don’t make it taste like the ocean. Salt is vital for kimchi, but its flavors and fermentation depend on how much salt you add.

Numerous kimchi recipes call for just two necessary steps: make short dry brine which you can use to rub the vegetables with, so they break down, soften and open up. Next, use long wet brine that’s as salty as seawater. Rinse off the salt from the first brine completely then soak it in the second brine.

Make sure to use kosher or coarse sea salt. Stay away from basic iodized salt. Otherwise, the iodine will inhibit the fermentation process.

Don’t Worry!

Making kimchi is not rocket science. It’s fun and requires just enough attention so you can get through the process. So, take the chance.

Make your kimchi. Buy ingredients for Korean kimchi online if you’re too busy from SFMart, and try it out. You’ll be surprised at how addicted you get to the flavors!

If you’re looking for other Asian grocery products, we’ve got those too. Our online store has a wide range of products, including Korean snacks, Chinese snacks, as well as plenty of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese grocery products.