It’s getting mega hot over here in Philly, so the time has come to make summer water kimchi!
Hot weather + water kimchi = extreme happiness
It’s is cold, thirst quenching, simple to make, and refreshing!
Every summer as a kid, my grandmother would make and pack our fridge with several gallons of water kimchi. I loved how the fruit and vegetables floated and danced around in the brine. The icy cold, pink brine was and still is my favorite part of water kimchi. Why pink? Read on, you’ll find out!
It starts with napa cabbage and radish. Use the inner whites of the cabbage so they stay crispy. Water kimchi is also known as nabak kimchi. Nabak is a Korean word for thinly slicing vegetables and fruits into a square shape. So, slice like this:
Then, sprinkle salt, mix it once or twice and let it sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice and chop the other seasoning ingredients – garlic, ginger, scallions, Asian pear, and red gochu pepper.
The briny liquid in water kimchi is pink because it is tinted with gochugaru. The gochugaru adds depth and richness, while adding the tiniest bit of heat. If you have a cheesecloth, consider using it to hold the small gochugaru flakes so they don’t go dancing everywhere. If you don’t have one, don’t sweat it. Just mix it in with the water, salt and sugar. Then, strain it out later. You’ll find some gochugaru flakes in the final brine and that is just fine!
Water kimchi is great when ladled over buckwheat noodles for a simple, light, healthy lunch. It’ll also cool you off between bites of spicy wings or hot-off-the-grill Korean BBQ. Add some ice cubes directly to the water kimchi when serving to keep it cold and crisp!
Eat the crispy vegetables and slurp the refreshing brine, just remember to avoid the garlic, ginger, and red peppers! These are here purely for seasoning.
Water kimchi is a milder version of kimchi that is enjoyed during the warm summer months. The vegetables stay crispy, the pear is sweet, and the brine is light and refreshing.
Try it for yourself! You’ll love how it keeps you cool all summer long!
- 5 cups water
- 1 Tbsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 Tbsp gochugaru
- 2 cups daikon radish, sliced nabak style
- 2 cups napa cabbage, sliced nabak style
- 1 Tbsp coarse salt
- 1 asian pear (2 cups), cut into half moons
- 5 garlic cloves, cut in half
- 1 inch ginger, cut lengthwise in 3-4 pieces
- 3 scallions, use white stem
- 2 red gochu pepper, cut diagonally
- Cut napa cabbage and radish into think square pieces (nabak style) and place in bowl
- Sprinkle 1 Tbsp salt and let sit for 30 minutes
- Meanwhile, make brine by mixing salt and sugar in water and mix to dissolve. Then add gochugaru (cheesecloth optional) and let sit for at least 15 minutes
- Cut remaining seasoning vegetables and fruit (asian pear, garlic, ginger, scallions, red pepper) and combine together in large bowl.
- Squeeze excess water from cabbage and radish but DO NOT rinse. Then combine with seasoning vegetables.
- Place into air tight container
- Strain gochugaru from liquid brine, then pour over vegetables
- Seal air tight and let sit in room temperature for 1-2 days for fermentation
- Transfer into refrigerator and enjoy for up to one month