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Remove any undesirable outer leaves of the napa cabbage, then quarter the cabbage long ways. Remove the core from each quarter and roughly cut the quarters of napa cabbage into ½-1 inch pieces.
Wash the cabbage in cool water, 2 to 3 times, to remove any sand or dirt. Drain and place the washed cabbage into a large bowl. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the cabbage and toss in between to disperse the salt. Let the napa cabbage sit for 20-30 minutes, then flip the top cabbage to the bottom and vice versa and let it sit for another 20-30 minutes.*We used about ¼ cup of kosher salt to salt our cabbage, but it can really vary from one cabbage to another. Also, the amount of salt used can determine how long the salting process will take, so less salt means longer salting time and more salt means shorter salting time.*
Once the second salting period is complete, rinse a piece of the napa cabbage stalks under fresh water. Squeeze out the excess water on the cabbage stalk and taste it to see if it's to your preference of saltiness. If the cabbage is not salted enough, give the cabbage a flip and let it continue salting until desired saltiness has been reached.*The saltiness is really up to personal preference. We usually let our cabbage salt until it's like a well seasoned vegetable that still tastes sweet. Remember that your kimchi paste will also have some saltiness to it.*
If the cabbage has reached your desired level of saltiness, drain the cabbage, then rinse the cabbage under cool, fresh water to remove the excess salt. Repeat the rinse 2-3 times. Make sure to gently squeeze out some of the excess water after each rinse and squeeze a bit firmer on the last rinse to remove most of the excess water to prevent the kimchi from becoming watery.
While waiting for your napa cabbage to salt, make the kimchi paste. Combine everything for the kimchi paste, EXCEPT for ½ cup of gochugaru (the Korean red pepper flakes), into a blender. Blender everything together until it's a well combined paste. Don't worry if the paste isn't smooth. Transfer the kimchi paste to a large bowl and add the remaining ½ cup of gochugaru. Mix until incorporated. Set the paste aside until needed.
If you are adding the shredded carrots, radish, and buchu to the kimchi, add it to the paste now. Give the shredded vegetables and the paste a good mix and set aside.
Once the napa cabbage are properly salted, rinsed, and squeezed, add it to the paste and mix until all of the napa cabbage are well coated.
Enjoy the kimchi fresh for up to 7 days or pack them tightly in a clean jar to store and ferment if you have leftovers.