It’s said that every Korean home makes kimchi a little differently. This is how they make it at Momofuku restaurants.
From Momofuku by David Chang and Peter Meehan
1 small to medium head Napa cabbage
2 tablespoons kosher salt
½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
20 garlic cloves, minced
20 slices peeled fresh ginger, minced
½ cup gochugaru (Korean chili powder)
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup soy sauce
½ cup 1-inch pieces of scallions (greens and whites)
½ cup julienned carrots
Cut the cabbage lengthwise in half, then cut the halves crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces. Toss the cabbage with the salt and 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Combine the garlic, ginger, gochugaru, fish sauce, soy sauce, and remaining ½ cup sugar in a large bowl. If it is very thick, add water ⅓ cup at a time until the brine is just thicker than a creamy salad dressing but no longer a sludge. Stir in the scallions and carrots.
Drain the cabbage and add it to the brine. Cover and refrigerate. Though the kimchi will be tasty after 24 hours, it will be better in a week and at its prime in 2 weeks. It will still be good for another couple of weeks after that, though it will grow incrementally stronger and funkier.
For radish kimchi: Substitute the cabbage for 3 medium daikon radishes, peeled, any discolored portions trimmed away, and cut into ½-in chunks.