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White kimchi refers to any style which does not contain red pepper powder. It pre-dates spicy kimchi in Korea by several hundred years. There are many ways to make white kimchi.
This is the “mak” or sliced cabbage style. We also have a more “formal” white kimchi in quarters recipe.
This recipe includes a lot of the zingy components of spicy kimchi, but no red pepper powder. Kids will love it!
- 4 lbs/2 kg (about 1 medium-large head) Chinese (Napa) cabbage
- 1 lb/ ½ kg Korean radish, daikon or other radish
- 3 oz./100 grams Asian pear (about 1 small or ½ medium fruit)
- 1 carrot or small beet root, about 50 grams/2 oz.
- 30 grams (1/2 cup/125 ml) fresh mushrooms, chopped, any variety
- 40 g garlic cloves, about 4-6 cloves
- 30 grams (3-inch/13cm) fresh ginger root
- 4 green onions
- 1 Tbsp./15 ml tamari (gluten-free) or regular soy sauce
- 6 Tbsp./120 grams/90 ml fine sea salt or kosher salt
- 2 quarts/liters filtered water
- Stir salt into water until it dissolves.
- Wash and rinse cabbage with fresh water to remove dirt. Remove any outer leaves from the cabbage and set aside. Chop cabbage into 1-inch chunks/strips. Slice the core very thinly. (Some discard the core, but you can slice it and include it).
- Peel and cut stems off radish. Cut into ¼"/ 6mm coins using a mandoline or knife.
- Add cabbage and radish pieces to the brine in a large container or mixing bowl. Cover with a something to weigh the veggies down so that the contents submrege under the brine. Put a bowl or plate underneath the container to catch excess overflowing brine.Let soak for 3 to 6 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
- Drain the veggies through a colander, reserving 1 cup/ 250 ml of the brine.
- Chop scallions into ½" /13mm slices. Add to work bowl of a food processor or blender.
- Peel and roughly chop the garlic and peel and chop the ginger. Add to work bowl.
- Roughly chop the carrot and the mushrooms and add to work bowl.
- Roughly chop the Asian Pear and add to work bowl.
- Add soy sauce to work bowl.
- Run food processor until ingredients are all incorporated and a thick paste forms. You can adjust by adding more tamari/soy sauce or reserved brine to make it smoother.
- Now the fun part! Wear a latex or plastic glove to protect your hands from getting stinky.
- Mix the veggies and paste together thoroughly with your hands, coating each piece.
- Pack mixed veggies into the fermenting container.
- Secure container with a weight and airlock (follow airlock kit instructions if using).
- If not using airlock, add a weight on top of the veggies to keep the contents down underneath the brine. Cover container with a dish towel or tea towel to keep out flies and dust. Secure with a rubber band, twist ties or elastic strap.
- Store in a dark place in your kitchen for at least 5 days. When you like the taste and texture, remove any airlock or weights, seal lid tightly and transfer to a refrigerator.
- Cabbage kimchi will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months. After that, it may lose its crunch, and soften up. It's still perfectly fine to eat, but some people prefer to use old kimchi for cooking.
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