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Traditional Whole Cabbage Kimchee

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This is the most popular type of kimchee throughout the Korean peninsula and has been for many generations … the Kimchee is assembled and allowed to ferment, which preserves it during the winter months when few fresh vegetables are available 🙂


…some of the core ingredients, besides cabbage … radish, scallions/spring onions, carrots …


Whole cabbage … soak in brine for 16 – 18 hours or overnight …


I use weight to ensure cabbage is fully submerge in the brine …..


Scallions … sliced into 2″ lengths


I used a pestle & mortar to crush the ginger & garlic


Julienned carrots


Seen here are shredded radish and also radish cut into 2″ thick rounds … the latter I add to make radish kimchi 😉


I used Korean Anchovies Sauce … fish sauce or fermented fish paste may be used instead


Red chilly flakes … I bought this in a Korean supermarket


The wilted whole cabbage … squeezed dry of the brine


To make the rice porridge … dissolve 1 Tbsp rice flour in ¾ cup water, bring to the boil and set aside to cool


The red paste


Stuffing the red paste by raising each leaves of the cabbage


The whole cabbage completely stuffed with the red paste


Mix some of the red paste with the radish rounds


I used a pickled jar for the Kimchee to ferment in but it will be better to place whole stuffed cabbage flat in a storage container …but never use a reactive metal container … porcelain is best


Kimchee served up after due fermentation 🙂


Ingredients :

2 -3 fresh and firm-headed whole cabbages, about 3 kg

½ cup course sea salt

5L water

500g radish, julienned (more if you wish to also make Radish Kimchee)

1 cup julienned carrot

1 quantity rice porridge (see above)

½ cup clear fish sauce or ½ cup fermented shrimp paste or ½ anchovies sauce

¼ chilly flakes

1 tsp red hot dry chilly flakes (add or lessen according to taste)

1 tsp fresh garlic, crushed

¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and crushed

10 scallions, cut into 2″ lengths

Methods :

  • Trim and discard discoloured outer leaves of the cabbage .. cut it in half lengthwise from the top down ¹/3 of the length toward the root aend … hold both parts of the cabbage firmly and pull it into half 
  • To make the brine, mix the salt with the water in a glass, stone or plastic container and put the cabbage upright into the container and soak for 16 – 18 hours or overnight … rinse the cabbage thoroughly in cold water and drain well
  • Mi the radish with 1 Tbsp salt to wilt it … do not rinse
  • To make the red paste : in a large mixing bowl put the rice porridge, fish sauce, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger paste …mix with the wilted radish and carrots …add the scallions and stir gently to mix
  • Lift up the leaves of the cabbage which are still attached to the core and push a little red paste between the leaves in a layering process … do this until all cabbage is stuffed
  • Take two of the flexible outer leaves and fold them around the cabbage halves to wrap the stuffing inside … the leaves of the tip of the cabbage are folded over and tucked into the outer folded-over leaves
  • Place the stuffed cabbage halves flat in the storage container with the inner leaves facing up, keep in a cool, clean, shaded place or refrigerator to ferment
  • If the container is not tightly packed, fill the empty space with a light brine made from 1 Tbsp salt dissoved into 1 cup of water … the brine should completely cover the cabbage (do not expose the cabbage to any air) … cover and ferment for 3 – 4 weeks in a cool place … sample after 2 weeks to test its strength

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