Whole Cabbage Kimchi
The traditional whole cabbage kimchi is a typical Seoul kimchi and one of the most popular in Korea. The cabbage is stuffed with a combination of aromatic vegetables, pickled fish, and fresh oysters. Here, the radishes mixed with Korean watercress and Indian mustard leaves add an aromatic taste to the cabbage, and pickled baby shrimp and yellow corvina blended with fresh oysters further elaborate the exquisite taste of the kimchi.
Celery cabbage heads, 5
Korean radishes, 2
Green onion stalks, 5; cut into narrow strips, 2″ (5 cm)-long
Green thread onion, 1/2 bundle } cut in 2″(5 cm)
Korean watercress, 1 bundle } lengths
Indian mustard leaves, 1/2 bundle
Garlic bulbs and ginger roots, 2 each; crushed
Sponge seaweed, 3 1/2 oz (100 g); cut into 2″ (5 cm)
Pickled baby shrimp, 1 cup’ chopped
Pickled yellow corvina, 1/2 cup; cut into julienne
Oysters, 3/4 lb (300 g)
Red pepper threads
Red pepper powder, 1 cup; made pasty with water
Coarse salt, 3 1/2 cups Table salt Sugar
Trimming and Salting the Cabbage. Trim off the coarse, discolored outer leaves of the cabbage and save them. Insert a knife through the bottom of the cabbage head, cutting down onethird of the cabbage length. Once the bottom part is cut through , split it apart holding each side. This way, the tender inner leaves will not be damaged. Soak the cabbage sections and the removed coarse leaves in a brine prepared with 3 cups of salt and 4 quarts (4 liters) of water for 3 to 4 hours or until softened. Then, rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain.
Preparing the Pickled Fish Juice. Cut the pickled yellow corvina into narrow strips; boil its juice and bones with a little water and strain.
Cut the trimmed cabbage heads into 2 or 4 sections and soak them in the brine.
Cut the radishes into thin julienne.
Cut the sponge seaweed into 2″ (5 cm) lengths. Wash the oysters in slightly salted water.
Mix the radish strips with the red pepper paste until the peppery red color is set.
Mix in all the remaining ingredients. Season with salt, pickled fish juice, and sugar. Finally, the stuffing is ready when the mixture is tossed with the oysters.
Pack the stuffing between the layers of leaves, holding back the leaves and layering the stuffing under them.
Firmly wrap the stuffed cabbage with the outerleaves; stack them in a crock, cover with the salted coarse leaves (PRELIMINARIES), and press down lightly.
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