Take off the outermost leaves from the napa cabbages that are dirty and wilted. With a knife, cut the head down the middle for about 2 inches and separate the rest of cabbages in half with your hands. Fill the big bowl with cold water, and wash the cabbages while separating each layer carefully. Wash in between the leaves thoroughly to rid of all the dirt hidden within the leaves.
Once the leaves are clean, drain well, chop the leaves in one-inch widths and put them in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle salt evenly - about 1 teaspoon of salt to a hand full of cabbage, in layers until all the cabbage pieces are mixed in salt. Cover loosely, and store the cabbage in a cool place overnight - or for at least 5 hours.
There will be a little bit of liquid formed in the bottom of the bowl when the leaves get marinated in salt. Mix the cabbage mixture and then, rinse under cold water to taste. If it's salty enough, then, you are ready to proceed but if it's not, then, add more salt, one teaspoon at a time. If you add more salt, wait another a couple of hours, and then, taste again. If it's too salty, rinse the cabbages before adding the rest of the ingredients.
If you are happy how salty it is, then, you are ready to add the rest of the ingredients.
If you want to use the rice slurry, add ½ white rice with 1 cup of water to the blender with these ingredients. If you want to use sugar, use 3 tablespoon of white sugar. If you want to use fruits, cut them in big chunks and add with the rest of the ingredients in the blender.
Add fish sauce, fermented shrimp, garlic, onion, ginger, gochugaru, and rice slurry or sugar or fruits, if you're using, to a food processor or a blender (don't use the jar you use to make margaritas, otherwise, your guests won't like the garlic tasting margaritas after making kimchi in it) and puree. If the mixture is too thick, add more water until the consistency becomes like ketchup.
Cut the carrots into matchsticks shapes.
Slice the red chili peppers into thin slices.
Add the puree gochugaru mixture, carrots, chili peppers, and chopped scallions to the cabbage mixture and mix well. You may want to wear a pair of disposable food safe gloves for mixing since your hands may get stained from the gochugaru. And smell like garlic.
Place the cabbage into a large glass jar - a large mouth glass jar works really well since you'll be taking out kimchi every time you want to eat it.
Take a large spoon and push down the cabbage until all are submerged in the liquid.
Store in room temperature ( 75 ºF) for a couple of days. Don't put the lid on too tight. Burp the bottle after a day or two or when you see bubbles forming on top.
After a day or two, depending on how warm the room temperature is, move the jar to the refrigerator for future consumption.
Fermented Baby Shrimp can be found in any Korean grocery store. They are tiny baby shrimp that's salted and fermented. It adds umami to kimchi and aids in speeding up the fermentation process. If you're making a vegan kimchi, you can definitely leave it out. Serving Size: This recipe card only has "serving size", as in portion per serving. However, kimchi is one of those foods that a serving size can't be determined, since it depends on the person's consumption habits. However, 3 cabbages made ¾ gallon of kimchi. For some people, this can last 2 weeks while for others, it can last one week. See how it's tricky?