I Made Kimchi Without a Recipe. (reverse-engineering)
100 Comments


This video is brought to you by Skillshare. Hi guys! Salut, this is Alex. So in this episode I decided that I was gonna teach you guys how to make kimchi. Now, of course there’s a subtlety … I never ever made kimchi before. It’s nothing. It’s nothing, right? If you think this is bad, well I think the opposite, I it’s amazing because you will get to see The way I learn a recipe. You will get to see the recipe, for a recipe. So right now I’m on my way to a Korean grocery store Where I’m gonna get my hands on the super legit stuff. So there is this whole cabbage kimchi And there is also this cut cabbage kimchi I’m gonna take one of each If you don’t know where you’re going, how can you know… if you’ve arrived basically? So everything starts with a proper tasting session. I just realized, I said kimchi probably a thousand times… But I never ever said spicy fermented cabbage. That’s what it is. The ingredient list at the back of the package are listed by decreasing order of importance. Cabbage, radish, red pepper powder, starch, garlic, leek, salt, ginger onions, kelp extract, fish sauce, fermented shrimp, lacto bacillus, sesame I knew cabbage would be the first one, but I didn’t know radish would be the second one. We learned something already. So with this you’ve got a very clear, neat, organized overview of the… ingredients you need to make kimchi that tastes like this. Ok let’s give it a taste. Ahhhh f***! Kimchi all over myself! Mer*e! So it smells a bit like dry aged beef. Tangy, spicy, juices, cruch, soft, *burp* The garlic, ahahahaha Perfect on timing Cut cabbage kimchi First of all this is this is way easier to pick up. Looks very similar to be honest. There is some funk to it, but it’s easier, I would say, for somebody who never had kimchi before. And that might be related to this. The best before [date] is… more than a month ago. Those bacteria inside have time to process and to turn it into complex flavors. Three months makes a HUGGEE difference. Absolutely disgusting. The only thing left is just to learn more about the process itself. And I know basically only one place on earth where you can learn any process immediately. Youtube. I’m looking to break down the principle. Teach them how to fish, instead of just handing them a fish. Real sound, mukbang, kimchi. She’s going in! She’s using gloves! I’m a bit confused. I’m not even criticizing because I would love to eat that thing. Anyway let’s move onto another one. Easy kimchi. That sounds good, I like that this. Loads of napa cabbage. She’s making a brine. Cabbage… Clean and brine. So that’s the starch we have seen on the ingredient list. Slurry Tons of garlic. Go heavy on the chilis. So that was a very helpful video this one. *gaspssssss* It has the word kimchi in it… Ahhhhhgh noooo! Don’t look! My video is gonna get demonetized. Whooooo what was that sound? *Disgusting, chomping, chewing*
Ahhhhhhh! I’m gonna start making kimchi. And I need this. The salt. Ok so it’s been about an hour, a bit more than this. I’m gonna wash that thoroughly to remove the excess of salt And then we will keep on with the recipe. I mean the… the no recipe if you ask me . I was about to drain that liquid off. In a box with a tap. Which means that I could basically make myself a little shot of that juicy liquid. Terrible idea? It’s the salt. Let’s never do this again. So I’ve got my cabbage washed, brined and rewashed. It’s time to work on the next step: the slurry. A syrupy liquid made out of water and rice flour. It’s very, very sticky. It’s that sticky. Don’t go one to one ratio. Ok? Instead maybe go eight parts water, one part flour. We’re going to dilute a bit of water. Sugar It’s not sweet enough. Like a sweet pudding, if you want. Now, I need to get the salt right. So for the salt I’m not gonna use plain salt. I’m gonna use fish sauce instead. This has no salt at all so we need to balance it out. If you just season it, then the whole thing will be under-seasoned afterwards. So it needs to be slightly over-seasoned. This is very good, man! Taste and adjust. It’s time to move onto the flavors. Something to keep in mind when you’re working with spring onion. These I’m going to keep them for later to incorporate directly in the kimchi. But, these are gonna be blitzed up very finely just to get that oniony flavor to the slurry itself. *sniff* It makes me wanna cry. Actually it’s probably the smell. I want to add more ingredients to give more complexity to the kimchi. Radish, that’s number one. Leek, number two. Ginger, number three. Onion, number four. And I reckon that’s it. The leek is definitely gonna be stronger, so cut it finer. The radish on the other hand is gonna be softer and juicier so you can get. more. thick. pieces! Mmmmm It’s very good. So I’ve got myself some Korean chili flakes. And I reckon you could use any chili flakes, as long as they are not like habanero chili flakes. Something mild. Ok, let’s add them to the mix. Ahh, an ocean of pleasure… It’s just like a massage for my hands. The kimchi preparation is over. I can’t resist, like… tasting a little. Mmm, juicy, spicy, sweet salty, but not too much. Garlicky as well. Lacking the tang, but the tang is… gonna come during the fermentation process. So, at this stage, I think it’s really not bad. Well, I reckon it’s time to place everything in a jar. Everything has been sterilized with Milton tablets. Another thing I learned during the beer series. You’ve got a jar, you got a lid with a hole, where an airlock fits perfectly. Ok, let’s fill it up. Nice… Ah haha! Food porn at its best. I’m gonna leave it like this for at least three days at room temperature… for, for the fermentation really to kick in. And then I’ll probably place it in the fridge, as I’m going to be tasting the kimchi periodically. I just want to see for myself how the flavor profile of that product evolves over time. This is gonna be fascinating. Alright guys, a quick word about today’s sponsor Skillshare. Skillshare in an online learning community with over 28,000 classes in design, business, lifestyle but obviously cooking. Trying to understand more. This will basically be the baseline on this channel Eventhough there should be the word food somewhere. Skillshare is just the perfect place for me to learn new skills. At the moment, I’m following two classes. The first one is about making meatballs. I have been basically making meatballs my whole life. But, very recently I started questioning… the ratios, and the way that I actually form those meatballs. You can poach them, you can grill them, you can broil them, there are plenty of options. And this course is very interesting. Now, the second class I’m following at the moment is about a BIG project of mine. It’s about making fresh pasta. I’m really questioning everything in the pasta making process. So that course is very helpful. Skillshare has a premium membership which at less than ten bucks a month is, I think, pretty affordable. Especially since you get unlimited access to all the classes you want to follow. If you want to give it a try, use the link in the description below and get two months of free trial. Thank you Skillshare for sponsoring this video. It’s the next day, eh… The fermentation doesn’t seem to have started yet. So, it’s day number two. It’s fermenting like crazy, which is good! But, the volume has increase and basically the liquid has pushed the lid up. I’m gonna have to clean the whole mess. Ohhh nooo! Ohhh, ahhhhhh! There’s kimchi juice everywhere. I mean, at the end of the day, I do the mistakes… *chuckles* so you don’t have to. Let’s give it a little test. So I’m starting to get the… *chews* the sour vibe. This is very good! After two days, I’ve already got some tang. So, it’s been about a week since I started this experiment. Cabbage is becoming less and less present. It’s smells more like chilis and garlic and ginger and scallions. More than it smells, *clears throat* farty. Mmmm! Tangy, flavorful, I thought initially it wouldn’t be salty or seasoned enough. But that’s plenty. That’s just good. The juices, the freshness. It’s making me salivate. It’s just…. It makes me wanna eat something. I’m f****** starving. Anyway, I still want to compare my stuff to this fresh one. And then also to a piece of that old kimchi. WOWWW! It’s kimchi madness! Young, commercially available kimchi. It smells fresh as well. But there is a hint of brandy or rice wine maybe. It’s a bit more firm, maybe. Ok, I’m gonna say it. I do prefer mine. It’s more tangy than this one. In terms of heat, I’m spot on. I’m on the money. Now this one… cavey… It smells like a cave. It feels like something has worked more on this one. And we’re just talking about bacteria I think. Wow! This is a more satisfying experience. Packed with umami The only thing I would say about the old kimchi is that… it’s so powerful and so pungent That I might eat less of it than the fresh kimchi that I made. The week old kimchi that I made. Right. So overall I must say that I’m pretty pleased with the experience. I loved my kimchi, which is a good sign. And I think I learned a lot. I really wanted to make this video…. Not a recipe. I wanted to share with you guys that learning overall principle is more long lasting, if you want, that learning the ratios and the grams, and the proportions of this and that. And most importantly, because I know the principle, I will be able to adapt, whatever comes my way. I can only encourage you guys to come up with your own way to make that kimchi. Yours. So, uh, until then, take care. Bye bye. Salut.

100 thoughts on “I Made Kimchi Without a Recipe. (reverse-engineering)

  1. Its very important that you do not use CHINESE Napa Cabbage. There is a huge difference with Chinese and Real Korean Cabbage. The kimchi will taste bitter if you use the chinese one. The korean cabbage is much more sweeter and crunchier and won't turn too soft.

    PS MUST BE KOREAN CHILI FLAKES… We can tell…

  2. Hello there! As always you made another great video! I've a question for you! In Italy, especially where I live, it's impossible to find a Napa Cabbage, in your opition what's the best substitute for it? Thank you so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I love this cause you reverse engineered. It can show your effort in different angle and also different fun.
    If you did not refer youtube at all, it could be great masterpiece.

  4. You're insane. You choose fishes sauce instead of salt to season. Because it's a good choice, I'm so surprised by a western person.

  5. Omg White Supremacist detected. At 0:06 till 0:14 he has been signaling his fellow white supremacist fellows; happens again at 0:34! Racist Content! XD

  6. 'a shot of that juicy liquid' aka salt water lmao what

    but that aside that kimchi looks legit AF man and you didn't put any typical european ingredients in like other youtubers cos that just makes it some random chilli pickle not kimchi

  7. ํ•œ๊ตญ์—์„œ๋„ ๋Œ€๋ถ€๋ถ„ ์‚ฌ๋จน๋Š”๋ฐ ๋Œ€๋‹จํ•˜์‹œ๋„ค์š”^^

  8. I really recommend you to put some fermented shrimp in your kimchi. I know it would be hard to find it near your place. But it is very essential and makes a big difference.

  9. Btw, Koreans actually have a Kimchi-refridgerator. They serve as a simulator for the claypots used to store the kimchi in and buried underground. Those modern kimchi-fridges by Samsung and LG are pretty advanced hi-tech and are also great for storing fruits and veggies. Just saying.

  10. Omg… you should def use the big sea salt for kimchi hahaha the processed ones you use for eggs and stuff are going to be way too salty

  11. Words: 8 part water, 1 part flour
    Fingers: 5 part water, 1 part flour
    Annotations: 5 = 8, 6 = 1

    what.

    Do you mean 5 part water, 6 part flour, by any chance? Or the opposite?

  12. Nice video! When I was little, my mother cooked with kimchi that was too old (or sour). In kimchi pancakes, stews, fried rice etc etc, old kimchi works better. It's also great in perilla or lettuce wraps with grilled meat.

  13. This was fun to watch! I laughed when the very first thing you did was chopping up the cabbage. That's literally the very last thing you do when you finish making kimchi haha ๐Ÿ™‚ But great job! The outcome is pretty impressive

  14. Literally watches Maangchi's recipe for a video labeled "no recipe" Fake news. Maangchi is the angel of Korean food. I want to see some credit where it's due!!!!

  15. ๊ตฌ๊ธ€์ด ์ด๋Ÿฐ๊ฑธ ์ถ”์ฒœํ•ด์ฃผ๋‹ค๋‹ˆ ใ…‹ ์•Œ๊ณ ๋ฆฌ์ฆ˜์ด๋ž€ ใ…‹ใ…‹
    ๊น€์น˜๋Š” ์ˆ™์„ฑํ•˜๋Š” ์‹œ๊ฐ„์— ๋”ฐ๋ผ ๋ง›์ด ์ฐจ์ด๋‚ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
    ์ข€๋” ์ €์˜จ์—์„œ ์‹œ๊ฐ„์„ ๋‘๊ณ  ์ตํžˆ์‹œ๋ฉด ๋” ํ’๋ถ€ํ•œ ๋ง›์„ ๋Š๋ผ์‹ค๊ฒ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.
    ๊ทธ๋ž˜์„œ ํ•œ๊ตญ์‚ฌ๋žŒ๋“ค์€ "๊น€์น˜๋ƒ‰์žฅ๊ณ "๋ผ๋Š”๊ฑธ ์‚ฌ์šฉํ•˜์ฃ  ใ…Ž

  16. So interesting ๐Ÿ™‚
    I would really recommand you to stir-fry kimchi with bacon or fork belly.
    And Kimchi is really better with sort of noodle than rice.

  17. One tip: People generally use fruits for sweetness in Kimchi. Most common fruits are Korean pears or apples. And don't chop up the cabbage! I don't know about other people, but my family ferments it in a cold environment

  18. ๊น€์น˜๋ฅผ ๋ฆฌ๋ฒ„์Šค ์—”์ง€๋‹ˆ์–ด๋งํ•˜๋‹ค๋‹ˆใ„ทใ„ท

  19. The go-to way of eating kimchi via age:
    1. Day 1: Paired w/ boiled pork belly(๋ณด์Œˆ), a must event to celebrate the day it was made
    2. Day 3~: As side dish. Hot rice+spam/salty sausage+kimchi is also much liked fusion way.
    Kimchi paired with fresh or sizzled tofu
    3. Day 14~: Kimchi stew, broiled kimchi, kimchi jeon / also great as โ€˜theโ€™ side dish, kimchi fried rice is best from here
    4. 3 months~: Kimchi stew/jjim with fatty meat.
    5. 1 year~(called moogeunji): rinsed kimchi as condiment, or cooked with fatty meat.

    Like cheese and wine, cabbage or radish kimchi keeps on aging and some people seek for kimchi jjim made with 3, 5 or even 10 year old kimchi. – just saying because it he said he wants to eat smth during the testing.

  20. korean confirmed your recipe.
    really no joke. awesome.

    in korea, we make kimchi as alsmost same as you did.
    i guess one difference is using fermented seafood instead of fish source…? but we also use kind of korean fish source as well.

  21. I'm glad you made my country's traditional dish ๐Ÿ™‚ Kimchi is really good with Ramen! and usually we use kimchi frige for get right temperature! Thank you for your video! Love ya

  22. ใ…‹ใ…‹ใ…‹ ํ•œ๊ตญ์‚ฌ๋žŒ๋“ค์€ ๋ณดํ†ต ํ”„๋ž‘์Šค์™€ ์ค‘๊ตญ์ด ์„ธ๊ณ„์—์„œ ๊ฐ€์žฅ ์Œ์‹์„ ์ž˜ํ•œ๋‹ค๊ณ  ์ƒ๊ฐํ•ฉ๋‹ˆ๋‹ค.

  23. I really enjoyed this! I've been making kimchi for about 10 years and every batch is different. I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks again Alex for your videos.

  24. I just love Kimchi, i ate it first time at a Korean restaurante 10 years ago and since that day it became one of my favorites "snacks", i just can't get tired of this godly food.

  25. 3:13 โ€œsheโ€™s going in…what, sheโ€™s using glovesโ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  26. Would love to see you try experimenting with other vegetables and ingredients. I can imagine kimchi being made with different types of pepper flakes which would produce different flavour. Some regions in Korea also put things like oysters in kimchi. Great video!

  27. Maangchi easy kimchi ๋Š” ๊ธด์‹œ๊ฐ„ ๋ฐœํšจํ•˜์ง€ ์•Š๊ณ  ๋น ๋ฅด๊ฒŒ ๋จน๋Š” ๊ฒƒ์„ ์ „์ œ๋กœ ํ•œ ๊น€์น˜๋‹ค.

  28. ๊น€์žฅ๋งจ ใ„ทใ„ทใ„ทใ„ท ๊น€์น˜๋‚จ์ธ ๋‚˜๋„ ๊น€์žฅ์€ ์•ˆ ํ•ด๋ดค๋Š”๋ฐ

  29. Premiรจre vidรฉo je dois t'avouer avoir รฉtรฉ un peu perturbรฉ au dรฉbut j'ai l'impression que tu passes de l'accent anglais ร  l'accent franรงais constamment ce qui me cause un bug du cerveau xD

  30. HI, I was very interested in your video, As a Korean, Kimchi is very important food with our pride. so thank you so much for your challenge

  31. I am eating almost 3~5kg per month. and I don't have kimchi now.
    Because Kimchi is SOO FUkin expensive recently.
    The months of oct and nov maybe to dec are making Kimchi days.
    Our whole families members made kimchi last weekend. about 400~500kg. We made kimchi for next year.

  32. I've been watching since the beef wellington video. I gotta say, as a korean perosn watching the video, you are spot on!

  33. i love your thorough explanation and descriptions every video. And such amazing analogy with your palette! you get a double korean thumbs up my man.

  34. i love alex. Because most Europeans/Americans need to you know measure their spices and all that. But Alex does it the Asian way. Gut Instincts. <3 from Cambodia

  35. I don't know, why people pack Kimchi in a jar… maybe because you think that'a kind of pickle..? but in Korea, at I know, we keep them in somewhere dark… it's because of bacteria blabla, but anyway, my mom and grandmother and every mother know that

  36. Dear Alex, thank you. You have inspired me to try kimchi… it is an acquired taste, but once one learns to enjoy it (lemon juice and soy sauce make it palatable for me) the health benefits are second to none, from better intestinal health and balance which improves immune function to weight loss. There is just one thing in your video that I found reproachable, the girl eating Asian food on youtube… Her name is Dorothy (westernized) she is the top Mukbang performer on YT muk-bang if a type of food challenge (originally from South Korea) where the video host eats massive amounts (or extremely spicy or both). In my view, this promotes unhealthy eating habits not to mention that a 45kg woman just does not need to consume 10k calories in one sitting while others may be starving around the world. I like your content, you are funny, informative, and (I believe) inform us of healthy foods and eating habits, but I cannot continue to be subscribed while this (fairly recent, and disturbing, trend "muk-banging" circa 2010) is treated as a joke in your channel as Greta Thunberg said at the UN to my fellow "boomers" it is insane to think that we can continue to consume the resource of this world and imagine that they will never end.

  37. When you ferment anaerobically be sure to Leave space between the cap And the liquid but don't Leave too much of it or co2 will not. be concentrated And mold or bad stuff could pop up

  38. Random korean passing by: "I swear, if u cook old kimchi(which is sour), u will find another world. I really love cooked old kimchi, that I would gladly just waiting for a month or more, so could my kimchi get fermented"

    If u cook kimchi jjigae(kimchi stew) or some other dishes with kimchi, there will be a huge difference between using fresh kimchi and fermented kimchi

  39. I once ate Kimchi because I saw it in a korean drama and I was like " wooohaaa loooks sooo delicous I want to try it".

    I didn't like it … at all.

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