Traditional baechu (Napa cabbage) kimchi only takes a day or two of fermentation before it’s ready to eat, but it will continue to ripen and become more sour as it ages. It never really goes bad as long as it’s refrigerated, but you’ll want to eat it within a few months. Super-ripe kimchi is perfect for kimchi stew or added to ramen—the ideal balm for a frigid winter day (and the common cold).
Sprinkle the salt on the cabbage, massage it in, and set aside in a large bowl or tub for an hour, then drain off the liquid and mix in the radish, carrot, green onion, and garlic chive.
In a food processor, puree the onion, ginger, and garlic. Scrape the puree into a large bowl and stir in the remaining slurry ingredients until you’ve formed a smooth paste. Massage this into the vegetable mixture and leave covered with a towel in an undisturbed place overnight (or loosely pack it into a pickle crock or traditional hangari). The next day, stuff the fresh kimchi into jars, apply the lids and store in the fridge.
*To make a vegan version (safe for folks with shellfish allergies), substitute kombu (aka dasima) stock for the fish sauce AND water, and doenjang or miso for the fermented shrimp. To make kombu stock, simmer a 4” square piece of kombu seaweed in 2 ½ cups water with 1 teaspoon kosher salt for 10 minutes, then remove seaweed and allow to cool to room temperature.