Making Baechu Kimchi / 배추김치 (Whole Cabbage Kimchi)
There are many variations to Lee Sung Min’s Hansik, but whichever you choose to make, always remember that there is no messing around with Korean red pepper powder.
I’ve always thought I could handle spicy food really well - maybe even too well, but a little restrain and self-control is needed when you’re dealing with this red gunpowder.
Always, always start with the smallest amount of gochugaru, because once you’ve put too much the whole batch could become inedible. I’d say 1/2 cup is a safe bet (I put 1 cup in mine). Oh and when tossing the cabbage, make sure you put on a pair of gloves because the pickling mixture can really irritate your skin. Only after all these safety precautions are taken care o should you commence with making some kimchi, because being sensible doesn’t hurt.
In any case, today this first time kimchi-maker has just made an airtight container full of kimchi and watched an episode of Running Man - I feel like a Korean ahjumma. So here’s ahjumma sharing a kimchi recipe with Janey and the Sungmin stans and others out there.
Other Hansik Series (6 members down, 4 more to go):
BAECHU KIMCHI (recipe adapted from Eating & Living)
[ 1 napa cabbage (about 6 pounds) + 1 cup coarse sea salt + 5 cups of water + 1-2 carrots, cut into matchsticks + 3 - 4 scallions, sliced diagonally ]
In a large bowl, dissolve 1/2 cup of salt in 5 cups of water.
Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters.
This step is usually done by cutting the stem end in half only about 3 - 4 inches in. Then, slowly pull apart to separate into two pieces by hand.
Do the same for each half to make quarters. Running the knife through all the way would unnecessarily cut off the cabbage leaves.
Thoroughly bathe each cabbage quarter in the saltwater one at a time, shake off excess water back into the bowl, and then transfer to another bowl.
Using the other 1/2 cup of salt and starting from the outermost leaf, generously sprinkle salt over the thick white part of each leaf. Try to salt all the cabbage quarters with 1/2 cup salt, but you can use a little more if needed. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage quarters.
Pour the remaining salt water from the first bowl over the cabbage. Set aside for about 1 - 2 hours, rotating the bottom ones to the top every half an hour.
The cabbages should be ready to be washed when the white parts are easily bendable. Rinse thoroughly 3 times, especially between the white parts of the leaves. Drain well, cut side down.
Meanwhile, prepare the other seasoning ingredients for the pickling paste.
[ *Flour paste (1 tablespoon glutinous rice powder + 1/2 cup water, simmered over low heat until it thickens to a thin paste and cooled) + 1/2 cup Korean red chili pepper flakes, gochugaru (adjust to taste) + 1/4 cup saeujeot (salted shrimp), finely minced + 3 tablespoons myulchiaekjeot (fish sauce) + 3 tablespoons minced garlic, about 5 cloves + 1 teaspoon grated ginger + 1-2 tablespoon sugar + 1/2 cup water ]
Mix all the seasoning ingredients, including the rice paste and water, well. Set aside while preparing the other ingredients (cut the carrots and spring onions) in order for the red pepper flakes to dissolve slightly and become pasty.
Transfer the paste to a large bowl and combine with the carrot matchsticks and scallion slices.
At this step, it is recommended that you wear a pair of
surgical rubber gloves, unless you want spice burns all over your hand.
Mix well by [gloved] hand. Taste a little bit. It should be a little too salty to eat as is. Add salt, more salted shrimp or fish sauce, if necessary.
Cut off the tough stem part from each cabbage quarter, leaving enough to hold the leaves together. Place one cabbage quarter in the bowl with the pickling paste.
Spread the pickling paste over each leaf, one to two tablespoons for large leaves. (Eyeball the stuffing into 4 parts and use one part for each cabbage quarter.) Make sure to spread the paste in between the leaves too.
Fold the leaf part of the cabbage over toward the stem and nicely wrap with the outermost leaf before placing it, cut side up, in a jar or airtight container. Repeat with the remaining cabbages.
Once all the cabbages are in the jar or airtight container, press down hard to remove air pockets. Rinse the pickling paste bowl with 1/2 cup of water and pour over the kimchi
The gloves can now come off.
Leave it out at room temperature for a full day or two, depending on how fast you want your kimchi to ripen. Then, store in the fridge.
Although you can start eating it any time, kimchi needs about two weeks in the fridge to fully develop the flavors. It maintains great flavor and texture for several weeks.
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- capetowntocanada said: Wow! Thank you peegaw, thank you. I’m going to try it next week and follow your recipe step by step. And add the following: Put toilet paper in fridge too! : )
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