ok. the kimchee's not quite done yet, but i keep tasting it anyway. it's nice and crunchy, and it's spicy and a little bit fermented and less salty than it started out as. i put it in a jar because i realized it was much more elegant than putting it in a bowl with three bowls and a can of beets all covered in a plastic bag.
here's a rough recipe. it's very easy and i think you can go wild and put other vegetables in it if they are safe to eat raw. (i think that means don't put potatoes in it.) also, don't put any thing with preservatives in it (like that tempting jar of saracha sauce. put it down. do it. don't do it.)
this is what i used:
1/2 head of cabbage (nappa or savoy if you can get it)
1 daikon (like 8 inches of daikon)
1 bulb of garlic
about 3 inches of ginger (i didn't do this, some friends are allergic)
about 1 tbl cayenne pepper
5 whole dried cayenne pepper
about 3 tbl sea salt
1 cup of water
this is what i did, or in retrospect should have done:
chop everything up into the shapes and sizes i wanted them to be in.
put everything in a big bowl.
pound down everything in the bowl with a bottle, for like ten minutes.
shove it all into a jar or two jars and then put saucers or cups inside to put the vegetables below the water level. more liquid will be made as the salt pulls water out of the plants. close the jar. leave it alone in a dark place. check on it every day until you like the way it tastes. in a hot nyc apartment where you can't really adjust the heat, it should take 5-7 days.