White Kimchi for amateurs and Kimchi Cabbage Salad

    A week we waited. Today had the moment of truth arrived.


    Open the jar we did. Saw some white stuff on the top layer that initially worried us but turned out to be just bits of ground garlic. Off we scraped them anyway, and to check the pickle juice that heavy jar we tilted. Little Mom, who more than anyone I know carrots and bean sprouts and bokchoy pickled has, to me revealed that if the juice is cloudy, the smell “sour in a bad way” and the cabbage disintegrating, into the trash go the kimchi must. But clear is the juice, garlicky and sour in a good way the smell, and crunchy the cabbage. Few moments in life there are when I feel so happy that I get quiet for fear of having mistaken. This is one of those. Followed by a high five and a hug with Kristen.

    And yes, being someone who hardly ever cooks then succeeding at making kimchi on first try will make you speak like Yoda. On our side the Force is today.


    Okay, so we tried to follow Dave Chang’s recipe in Lucky Peach #2, but we bought a head of napa cabbage big enough to hatch a T-Rex, so we scaled things up a tad (although Chang didn’t specify how heavy “a head” of cabbage weighed).

    White Napa Cabbage (Baechu) Kimchi (white because it’s not red – no chili massacre)

    - 1 head of napa cabbage (our receipt said 1 lb, but I could’ve sworn it really didn’t feel like 1 lb, more like 3)
    – 1 bulb of garlic (~15 cloves)
    – 2-inch piece peeled ginger (to puree)
    – Another 2-inch piece peeled ginger – julienne this one
    – 3/2 cups corn syrup
    – 4 tbs salt
    – 3 tbs sugar
    – 1/2 cup soy sauce
    – 1/2 cup rice vinegar
    – 2 carrots, julienned
    – 6 scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces

    Follow our 9 steps to a jar of crunchy, sour, fresh kimchi-like napa cabbage! ;-)


    Bonus Recipe: KIMCHI CABBAGE SALAD
    Julienne cabbage. Slice up baechu kimchi. Mix. Garnish with Kewpie Mayonnaise, salt and okonomiyaki sauce. Nom.

    Why okonomiyaki sauce? More on that later.

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    4 comments to White Kimchi for amateurs and Kimchi Cabbage Salad

    • I’ve still got to try that Momofuku recipe. Your rendition definitely has me salivating. Love that crisp, spicy condiment. Goes with practically everything.

    • Mai

      Yes, the result is definitely worth every minute I put into making it, which wasn’t that many. Hopefully it’ll stay good for months as it should. :-D

    • xm

      congrats on the success! wonder if i could skip the garlic in the recipe and still turn out the same? shall try it out when got the time! :D

    • Mai

      Thank you xm! I don’t know if you could skip the garlic entirely, in every movie I’ve seen the Koreans always put in puree garlic into this kind of kimchi, or whole garlic in a cheesecloth in the water kimchi (clear water, no syrup). It would be very interesting to find out! :-) Let me know how it turns out for you! :-)

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