White kimchi refers to any style that does not contain red pepper powder. It pre-dates spicy kimchi in Korea by several hundred years. There are hundreds of ways to make white kimchi. This autumn seasonal recipe is light, fresh, and has just a hint of sweetness.
It’s so mild, dare we say you could even eat this kimchi, for breakfast?
White Kimchi (Autumn)
Yield: About 1 quart
- 1 head Napa (Chinese) cabbage
- 1 Asian pear
- 4" fresh ginger
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 green onion
- 2-3 chives or garlic (Chinese) chives
- 4 shiitake mushrooms
- 4 leaves mustard green, chard, or other greens
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 strip kombu (dried seaweed)
- sea salt
Soak the Cabbage
- Make a cut from the stem end of the cabbage about halfway the length. Tear the two halves apart the rest of the way with your hands. Repeat with each half, so that you have four quarters.
- Add 5 Tablespoons sea salt and 3 pints/ 1.5 liters of filtered water to a large mixing bowl or other large container. Stir until salt is dissolved.
- Add cabbage quarters to brine and soak for up to 4 hours.
- Remove the cabbage quarters from brine and let drain while preparing the stuffing.
Make ginger-garlic "Stock"
- Peel and slice the garlic cloves.
- Roughly chop the ginger.
- Cut the stems from shiitake. Reserve for later use.
- Add ginger, garlic, and mushroom stems to a saucepot with 3 cups water.
- Simmer 15 minutes. Let cool down.
Make the "Stuffing"
- Pour ½ cup of near boiling filtered water over the kombu strip into a glass or bowl. Let steep for 10 minutes.
- Once kombu is rehydrated, cut into ½" strips. Reserve the brine and let it cool.
- Peel and core the Asian pear. Cut into julienne (matchstick) slices.
- Julienne the carrot and shiitake caps.
- Cut the green onion into ribbons.
- Cut the chives into 4" pieces.
- Remove thick stems from greens, and chop the leaves into ¼" strips.
- Add veg to a bowl along with 1 tablespoon sea salt.
- Once cooled, add stock to veggies. Add reserved kombu soaking brine to veggies.
- Take a cabbage quarter in one hand, and carefully add some of the veggies in between each leaf. Pack stuffed cabbage quarter into a crock or jar.
- Repeat with other cabbage quarters until you use all the stuffing.
- Add any remaining brine from the stuffing to the crock.
- Add a cover (a plate or plastic lid that fits inside the diameter of the container), and a weight on top to keep the contents down underneath the brine.
- Cover with a dish towel or tea towel.
- Store in a cool place for at least 1 week, and up to 2 weeks.
- Transfer to a refrigerator.
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