Recipe adapted from Making It by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen
Yield: 2 quarts
Cook Time: 10 minutes, plus one to two days resting
6 tablespoons sea salt (or other non-iodized salt)
4 cups filtered or bottled water
1 head Napa cabbage
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cups mustard greens, chopped (optional)
A handful shredded daikon radish (optional)
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and smashed
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup Korean red chili powder (kochukaru)
1. Make the brine by stirring 4 tablespoons salt into the water. Pull apart the cabbage, stack the whole leaves in a bowl, and pour the brine over them. If the water doesn't cover the cabbage, make more brine at the same salt-to-water ratio. Put a heavy plate on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged in the brine. Let the cabbage soak overnight in the refrigerator.
2. The next day, drain and rinse the cabbage and chop into 1-inch chunks. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with the scallions, and the mustard greens and daikon radish, if using. Mix in the garlic, ginger, remaining 2 tablespoons salt, and the chili powder. Add sugar to taste, up to 1 tablespoon.
3. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a two-quart glass jar. Don't screw the lid on tightly, as the mixture will begin to ferment and produce gas. Let sit at room temperature for a day or two, then put in the fridge for long-term storage.