Friday, November 27, 2009

White Cabbage with Garlic and Ginger

White Cabbage With Garlic and Ginger (Baek Kimchi)

Baek Kimchi
Kim Yong-ja

White Cabbage with Garlic and Ginger

This is a rare non-spicy kimchi. It should be served cold to enjoy its refreshing flavor.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

1 CHINESE CABBAGE (2¾ lbs/1.25 kg)


2 GARLIC CLOVES, crushed fine

1"/2.5 cm GINGER, cut into fine strips

3 SCALLIONS, cut diagonally

1 heaping tablespoon PINE NUTS

small amount SILGOCHU (chili thread)

1 cup WATER

⅓ teaspoon SALT to add at the end on top

1. Trim the cabbage and wash outer leaves. Slice the middle of the bottom about 4"/10 cm deep. Put your thumbs in the slit and pull it apart to divide it into two. Then divide each half into two parts.

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt over the stem area. Soak all cabbage leaves in salted water (1 tablespoon kosher salt for 1 cup water ratio) for about 4-5 hours. Salt has many different strengths, use your own judgment as to the amount of salt to use in wilting the cabbage. When the leaves are wilted, press gently to squeeze out the excess water.

3. While the cabbage is wilting, prepare garlic, ginger and scallion and mix together.

4. Cut off the two large pieces of the cabbage stems and set aside. Sprinkle the scallion mixture, pine nuts and silgochu (chili thread) in between the cabbage leaves.

5. Put them in the jar. Press down to reduce any air pocket. Add a cup of water to the bowl where you mixed the garlic and scallion. Season with 1 tablespoon salt. Pour down the side of the jar to soak ¾ of the kimchi.

6. Cover the top with the large pieces of cabbage that you had set aside. Sprinkle salt on top. Close the jar and leave at room temperature for 1½ days to ripen. Then store in the refrigerator.

7. When serving, set aside the top layer, pull out a cabbage piece and cut into bite sizes. Always put the top layer back before you close the lid.

This is an excerpt from “Korean Cuisine: Healthy Food, Full of Flavor,” (Yekyong Publishing, 224 pp., 28,000 won). The book is on sale at major bookstores such as Kyobo Bookstore, Youngpoong Bookstore and Bandi & Luni’s. ― ED.

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