If you grow your own chile peppers, dehydrating them is a great way to preserve them and use them for future batches of kimchi!
A few summers ago, I planted lots of pepperoncini plants with the hopes of making lots of pickled peppers. As it turns out, they’re not that great for fermenting. (They’re better quick pickled, dare we admit!) So I let the fruits (normally picked when green) get very ripe on the plant, then picked them slowly until I had enough to make a batch of kimchi powder.
Then, last year, I found the real Korean pepper plant seeds at my local Asian market!
I was fairly successful growing them, however, you need a lot of plants in order to make a decent amount of gochugaru! The yield appears to be a little more than 10% of the fresh pepper weight. A recent batch of 150g peppers yielded about 18g of dried powder.
Then you’re ready to make some amazing kimchi!
Homemade Kimchi Powder (Gochugaru)
- food processor or high speed juicer
- 1 kg (2 lbs.) fresh red chile peppers (any variety, especially Korean peppers)
- Cut a slit in the bottom (the "pointy" end away from the stem) of each pepper.
- Lay them out on dehydrator trays, so they don't touch.
- Set the dehydrator to the "vegetable" setting (varies by model), about 125°F/52°C.
- Let peppers dry completely, until they are brittle (about 24 hours).
- Break them open, separating the stem and seeds from the flesh.
- Add to food processor or juicer.
- It's helpful to wear a mask over your nose and mouth, as the dust from the powder can be quite irritating to inhale!
- Pulse the flesh until it is a medium powder consistency.
- Transfer to an airtight container like a jar or a zip-top bag. Store in a cool, dry place.