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After perusing the Korean market’s fresh vegetable aisle, I found some mustard greens, which resemble green kale. A common type of kimchi, mustard leaf (gat) kimchi (갓김치) is made from these deep green, pungent leaves which carry similar spicy notes of which their seeds are well-known.
After a two-hour salt brining, these hearty leaves didn’t wilt much.
- 1 bunch fresh mustard greens
- 2 quarts/liters filtered water
- 6 Tablespoons (90ml) fine sea salt
- 8 oz (by volume) "Make-ahead kimchi paste", OR (remaining ingredients)
- 5 scallions (green onions)
- 1 Tbsp./15ml tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp./30ml by volume /1 ounce by weight (15g) red pepper powder
- 1¾ ounces by weight (50g) ginger
- 2.5 ounces by weight (75g) garlic, peeled
- Dissolve 6 tablespoons sea salt into 2 quarts/liters of water.
- Rinse dirt off leaves. Add leaves to brine and submerge using a plate or weight. Let them sit in brine 2 hours.
- Peel garlic and clean any dirt off ginger. Chop both roughly.
- Cut stems off scallions, and slice them (white and green parts) into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces.
- Add ginger, garlic, and scallions to work bowl of a food processor, along with red pepper powder and tamari.
- Start the food processor, and mix together until a thick paste forms and it "rolls" together when the machine is running. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. You may also need a little extra tamari to get the right texture.
- Drain greens.
- Cut greens into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Cut the larger leaves lengthwise as needed (down the spine) so the pieces are about 2-inches square. Use the stems as well as the leaves.
- While wearing gloves, coat the greens with paste.
- Pack into a wide-mouth quart-sized glass jar or crock.
- Add any residual paste to jar/crock.
- Cover with a plastic lid or plate, and weigh down so that the contents stay under the brine.
- If using smaller (quart) jars, find a weight such as a small glass jar (filled with water) that closely fits inside the diameter of the jar. Add to jar.
- Cover jar(s) with a cloth and rubber band to keep flies out. Alternately, add airlock to top of jar.
- Ferment for 4-5 days. Transfer to refrigerator to slow fermentation. Flavors will continue to develop. Enjoy within 1 month.