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- Separate cabbage leaves and chop into bite-size pieces.
- Dissolve a quarter cup of sea salt in a bowl of warm water, then pour salt water over cabbage leaves. Give cabbage a gentle toss to distribute salt water. Allow salted cabbage to sit for at least four hours.
- Give cabbage a good rinse to remove excess salt, then transfer cabbage to a large bowl.
- Combine a quarter cup of fine red chili flakes with warm water, stir gently with a spoon to create a red chili paste, then transfer chili paste to cabbage.
- Add minced garlic, minced ginger, green onions, and fish sauce.
- Blend yellow onion, apple, and pear with one cup of water, then add this natural sweetener to the cabbage.
- Put on a pair of plastic gloves and give everything a thorough toss and rubdown. You want to evenly distribute all ingredients, especially the red chili paste.
- Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle.
- Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well - this liquid will become kim chi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them as they are stacked in the bottle.
- Be sure to leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the bottle before capping it tightly with a lid. Allow bottle of kim chi to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
- Your kim chi is now ready to eat. Refrigerate and take out portions as needed. The refrigerated kim chi will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator over time. So long as you use clean utensils to take out small portions, it will keep for up to a month in your refrigerator.