I am making a salmon teriyaki with ponzu sauce and I like to have a variety of pickled side dishes with any Japanese style meal. One of the dishes I made used the ponzu sauce and another I made with just the yuzu skin (the citrus part of the ponzu sauce). I wanted some contrast between my side dishes, so I decided to make a quick spicy kimchi. Real kimchi should be fermented for days or even weeks, but I wanted some of the flavor with none of the waiting.
Note: Like many quick pickles this dish is best made the day before. For a Sunday Japanese dinner, I will spend much of Saturday making pickles.
Karl’s Quick Spicy Cabbage (Kimchi)
3 cups Napa cabbage, coarsely chopped
½ tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. black sesame seeds
1. Separate and stack the cabbage leaves.
2. Slice the cabbage in half along the thick rib down the center of the leaves.
3. Slice across the stacked leaves into ¾ inch strips.
4. Put the cabbage slices in a medium bowl and sprinkle them with salt. Let the cabbage sweat for 30-40 minutes.
Tip: Toss every five minutes to redistribute the brine that forms.
5. Squeeze the liquid out of the cabbage and drain any brine remaining in the bowl.
6. Add the chili garlic sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, shaoxing, ginger, and sugar to the bowl and toss to coat the leaves thoroughly.
7. Allow the salad to meld in the refrigerator for 1-3 hours.
Tip: Toss occasionally to redistribute the dressing.
8. Drain the excess liquid and place in a serving bowl.
Tip: If you feel that too much of the chili has been lost to the liquid, toss in another teaspoon of chili garlic sauce.
9. Serve chilled garnished with the sesame seeds.