This kimchi Sriracha recipe is inspired by the Sriracha Cookbook. It is adapted from the guide. However, by using the chili peppers from the Sriracha, you can skip some of the steps involved in making traditional Korean cabbage, baechu kimchi.
So, what exactly is Sriracha? It is a hot sauce made from red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar, all ingredients commonly used in Korean cuisine and in Asian foods generally. It stands out from other hot sauces because of its sweet, tangy flavor. If you don't normally eat spicy foods, you're likely to find Sriracha to be hot, but if you're a spice connoisseur, you're likely to find the sauce only moderately hot. So, if its heat you're looking for, you might want to kick the heat up a bit.
Sriracha is a useful condiment to have in a Korean kitchen because it has both spice and sweetness and you can use it as a seasoning for easy salad dressings and flavor for sauces. Think of it as an enhancer for noodles, dipping sauces, and fried rice dishes.
- 1 large head of Napa cabbage
- 1/2 cup of kosher salt
- 1 gallon of water
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of peeled and minced ginger
- 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 cup of Sriracha
- 6 scallions, both white and green parts sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
- Cut cabbage into quarters and then into 1-inch square pieces. Throw out the core.
- Put cabbage into a large nonreactive bowl and toss with salt.
- Let cabbage sit for a couple of hours at room temperature.
- Add all the water, making sure the cabbage is covered.
- Cover and brine at room temperature overnight.
- Drain the cabbage, rinse it out, and squeeze away any excess moisture.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage and mix with garlic, ginger, fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, Sriracha, onions, and carrot.
- Cover and store at room temperature.
- Check the flavor every few days until you get the fermented flavor you like.
- Once it's ready, store in an airtight container in your refrigerator.
A Brief History of Sriracha
Sriracha is both inspired and named after the local hot sauces in Sri Racha, Thailand, but it is manufactured in California. David Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant to the United States, began making the sauce because he couldn't find any that he liked in his new country. He arrived in Los Angles in the early 1980s.
Sriracha didn't get its start in a factory but out of the back of Tran's van. When the sauce proved to be a hit, he launched his company Huy Fong Foods. Today, more than 10 million bottles of Sriracha sauce are sold annually, and the brand has inspired a number of less successful knock-offs.