WHOLE CABBAGE KIMCHI
2 large napa cabbage (baechu)
For the brine:
250g coarse salt 5L cold water
For the rice paste:
3 tbsp sweet rice flour (chapssal garu)
3 tbsp hot water
For the marinade:
1 ¼ cup Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
1 daikon, julienned into matchstick-sized pieces 8 scallions, cut into 1 inch pieces 10 garlic chives, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 head of garlic, finely minced 4 tbsp finely minced ginger
60ml fish sauce
2 tbsp Korean salted shrimp (saewoo jeot)
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted Salt, to taste
1. Remove any wilted or bruised outer leaves and wash the cabbage.
Slice each cabbage into fourths lengthwise.
2. For the brine, dissolve a ¾ cup of the salt in the water in a very large container.
3. Separate each cabbage leaf individually and sprinkle the remaining salt on the inside of each leaf. Use more salt on the thicker parts of the leaf. Place the salted cabbage into the brine. If necessary, place a pot on the cabbage so that it is entirely submerged.
4. Let stand overnight, or at least 5 hours. The cabbage should be limp and taste extremely salty. Remove the cabbage from the brine and rinse under cold water. Drain the cabbage for a couple of hours. 5. For the rice paste, stir the sweet rice flour into the 3 tbsp hot water until smooth. In a medium saucepan, place the 500ml of water and the flour mixture. Stir on high heat until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken. Keep stirring to prevent the mixture from sticking to the pan. Once the mixture creates a thick coat on a wooden spoon, remove from the heat.
6. Mix 1 cup of the resulting rice flour mixture with the remainder of the marinade ingredients in a very large bowl. Mix well and season with salt to taste. Using your hands (covered with plastic gloves!), spread the marinade onto each leaf of cabbage and around the outside of each piece. Make sure every bit of the cabbage is coated with the marinade.
7. Pack the seasoned cabbage tightly into a clean glass jar. Make sure there are no air pockets in the jar. Leave at least an inch or two of room at the top; fermentation creates carbon dioxide and if your jar is full, you may have an explosion of kimchi all over your kitchen. Seal the jar and leave outside at room temperature at least one day, or 2 days if the temperature is cool. Then keep it in the refrigerator, ideally a separate refrigerator from the rest of your food like all good Koreans do. Be sure to keep your berries and other permeable foods in a closed drawer so they don’t taste like kimchi!