Kimchi, when made right, is an easy crowd-pleaser. This is by far one of my favorite vegetable ferments for several reasons. The flavor is great, the ingredients are commonly found and the turnips that grow so easily but are eaten so begrudgingly are converted into a form our whole family loves.
Shred the cabbage thinly using a knife and cutting board or a mandolin.
Add the cabbage and all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well with hands to combine.
Pound the cabbage with a mallet or potato masher to release the juices. Alternatively, allow to sit, covered, for 1 hour to allow the juices to be released.
Pack kimchi tightly into a half-gallon (2-L)-size jar or 2 quart (1-L)-size jars, leaving at least 2 inches (50 mm) of headspace.
Add the fermentation weight of your choosing. Check that the brine is above the level of the fermentation weight. If not, mix 1 cup (236 ml) of water with 1. teaspoons (8 g) of salt and pour this brine into the jar until the fermentation weight is completely covered.
Place at cool room temperature (60 to 80F [16 to 27C], optimally) and allow to ferment for at least three weeks.
If you haven’t used an airlock, then during this period, especially during the first 5 to 7 days, you will need to burp the jars by quickly opening them to release the built-up gases that result from the fermentation. To do so, carefully and quickly open the jar, listen for the release of gas and close the jar back up with just a bit of the gases still remaining inside.
Author’s note on salt for recipe: use 4 Tablespoons salt if the temperatures exceed 80 degrees F.