This white kimchi is much enjoyed in the northern part of Korea. The unique seasoning techniques employed-ginger and garlic strips are wrapped in a cheesecloth and the red pepper threads are used in place of red pepper powder-bring out the fresh delicate tase of a rich combination of the stuffing. Here, the juicy radishes and pears are mixed with aromatic vegetables such as Korean watercress and Indian mustard leaves as well as chestnuts, dates, and mushrooms. Rice or noodles mixed in its cold juice are a winter delight, and this white kimchi goes nicely with any snack.
Ingredients for White Kimchi
Celery cabbage heads,
3 Korean radish 1 ; cut into thin julienne
Korean watercress, 1/2 bundle } cut into 1 1/2″
Indian mustard leaves, 1 bundle } (4 cm)lengths
Green onions 3; cut into diagonal pieces
Garlic bulbs, 3 } peeled and cut into
Ginger root, 1 (small) } slivers
Chestnuts and dates, 5 each }
Korean pears, 2; cut into thin strips, reserving 1
Dried forest mushrooms 3; soaked in lukewarm water and cut into julienne
Dried stone mushrooms, 3; soaked in hot water, cleaned, and cut into narrow strips
Red pepper threads
Coarse salt, 3 cups Table salt
PRELIMINARIES FOR WHITE KIMCHI
Salting the Cabbage. Trim off the coarse outer leaves from the cabbage and save them; halve the cabbage heads lengthwise. Soak the cabbage sections and the removed outer leaves in a brine prepared with 3 cups of salt and 4 quarts (4 liters) of water for about 3 hours or until softened. Rinse with cold water and drain.
PREPARATIONS FOR WHITE KIMCHI
Cut the chestnuts and dates into slivers; out one pear into thin strips, reserving the other.
Cut the softened mushrooms–the forest mushrooms and stone mushrooms– into narrow strips.
Cut the radishes into thin strips; mix the strips with the pears, chestnuts, dates, garlic, ginger, and red pepper threads.
Add the mushrooms and the remaining vegetables to the radish mixture. Season with salt and mix throughly. This is the stuffing. Pack the stuffing between the leaves by holding back the leaves and layering the stuffing under them.
Firmly wrap the stuffed cabbage with the outer leaves to keep the stuffing from coming out.
Stack the stuffed cabbage in a crock. Grate the one remaining pear and strain; mix the pear juice with salted water and pour over the cabbage. Cover the cabbage with the salted coarse leaves set aside and put a weight on top.
To serve, trim off the root-base and cut across the cabbage at 1 1/2″ (4 cm) intervals. Place them in a bowl and ladle the kimchi juice on top.
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