Discover Korean Food 152: Dr. Sook-Ja Yoon’s “Baek-kimchi, White Cabbage Kimchi”


Baek-kimchi is a type of Kimchi made of brined Korean cabbage that is fermented with various seasonings and garnishes. It does not contain ground red pepper so it is white in color and not spicy. Baek-kimchi cannot be stored for a long period of time due to the absence of ground red pepper as a preservative, but it is preferred by the elderly and others who cannot eat spicy food.

[Ingredients & Quantity]
2.4 kg (1 head) Korean cabbage, 2 kg (10 cups) water, 350 g coarse salt
200 g radish, 25 g green mustard leaf, 25 g watercress, 30 g small green onion
250 g (½ ea) pear, 100 g (5 ea) chestnut, 12 g (3 ea) jujube
10 g (2 sheets) brown oak mushrooms, 2 g stone mushrooms, 10 g (1tbsp) pine nuts
15 g (3 cloves) garlic, 5 g ginger, 2 g shred red pepper
50 g salted yellow croaker (young croaker)
10 g (2½ tsp) salt
boiled salted yellow croaker liquid : 20 g salted croaker bone, 100 g (½ cup) water
white Kimchi liquid : 900 g (4½ cups) water, 30 g boiled salted croaker liquid, 12 g (1 tbsp) salt

1. Trim the bottom and outer leaves of the cabbage (2.2 kg), cut in half lengthwise and split it into two parts by hands. Marinate it in salt water in which half (175 g) of the coarse salt dissolved, and spread remained half of the salt in between the petioles. Let them sit cutting side up for 3 hours, and then another 3 hours after turn over. Rinse the cabbage under running water for 3~4 times and drain water on a strainer for 1 hour (1.6 kg).

2. Trim and wash the radish and shred into 4 cm-long, 0.2 cm-wide (170 g). Trim and wash green mustard leaf, watercress and small green onion, Cut them into same length of the radish (mustard leaf 25 g, watercress 16 g, small green onion 24 g).

3. Skin pear and chestnut, shred them into 3 cm-long, 0.2 cm-wide. Wipe jujube with damp cotton cloths, cut the flesh round and shred into 0.2 cm of width (pear 146 g, chestnut 54 g, jujube 9 g).

4. Soak mushrooms in water for 1 hour, remove stems of brown oak mushrooms, wipe with cotton cloths, then shred into 0.2 cm-wide (20 g). Wash the stone mushrooms by rubbing, remove belly buttons, and shred into 0.1 cm-wide (3 g).

5. Remove tops of the pine nuts and wipe them with dry cloths.

6. Shred the garlic and ginger into 0.1 cm of width. Cut the shred red pepper into 2~3 cm-long. (garlic 12 g, ginger 4 g).

7. Slice the flesh of salted yellow croaker and leave the head and bone aside (flesh 18 g, bone 32 g).

1. Put water and the head and bone in the pot, heat it up for 2 min. on high heat. When it boils, reduce the heat to low, boil it for 15 min. then strain and cool down for white Kimchi liquid.

2. Put the sliced croaker flesh into the prepared stuffs and season with salt to make Kimchi filling stuffs.

3. Pack the filling stuffs between each leaf of the cabbage, fold over the outer leaves to hold the filling stuffs. Place it in a jar one by one, cover the top with marinated outer leaves and press down. Then add Kimchi liquid just up to the top of the Kimchi.

* Less salty, less spicy Kimchi may spoil easily. The Kimchi should be covered with outer leaves and pressed down everytime when you take some Kimchi out.
* When marinating cabbage, turn over upside down 2~3 times.


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