Discover Korean Food #19: Dr. Sook-Ja Yoon’s "Bossam-kimchi"


Bossam-kimchi is brined Korean cabbage stuffed with fruit, seafood, mushrooms, vegetables and various garnishes. Bossam-kimchi is made by wrapping the stuffed cabbage with cabbage leaves, and it is also called ‘bokimchi.’ It has been popular in the Gaeseong area where good quality cabbage was grown in olden days.

* Ingredients

2.4 kg (1 head) Korean cabbage, 2 kg (10 cups) water, 350 g coarse salt, 250 g (¼ ea) radish, 125 g (¼ ea) pear, 30 g mustard leaf, 25 g small green onion, 30 g watercress, 25 g green onion
Garnish : 10 g (2 sheets) brown oak mushrooms, 3 g stone mushrooms, 30 g (2 ea) chestnut, 12 g (3 ea) jujube, 2 g shred red pepper, 10 g (1 tbsp) pine nuts
25 g salted shrimps, 25 g salted yellow corvena (salted young corvena), 200 g(1 cup) water
50 g oyster, 400 g (2 cups) water, 6 g (½ tbsp) salt, 80 g young octopus, 12 g (1 tbsp) salt
28 g (4 tbsp) ground red pepper
Seasoning : 32 g (2 tbsp) minced garlic, 12 g (1 tbsp) minced ginger, 2 g (½ tsp) sugar
12 g (1 tbsp) salt

* Preparation

1. Trim the bottom and outer leaves of the cabbage, put a deep knife slit lengthwise and split it into two parts by hands. Marinate it in salt water in which half of the coarse salt dissolved, and spread remained half of the salt in between the petioles. Let it sit cutting side up for 3 hours, and then another 3 hours after turn over.
2. Rinse the marinated cabbage under running water for 3~4 times, drain water on a tray as facing down for 1 hour (2 kg).
3. Cut the cabbage, radish and pear into 2.5 cm-wide, 2.5 cm-long and 0.3 cm-thick. Save outer leaves. (radish 180 g, pear 100 g). Cut the mustard leaf, small green onion, watercress and green onion into 3 cm-long.
4. Soak the mushrooms in water for 1 hour, remove stems of brown oak mushrooms, wipe water with cotton cloths, shred it at intervals of 0.3 cm of width. Remove belly button of stone mushrooms, wash by rubbing, shred it into 3 cm-long and 0.2 cm-wide.
5. Skin the chestnuts and slice it into 0.3 cm-thick. Cut the jujube flesh round, and shred them into the same size of brown oak mushrooms.
6. Cut the shred red pepper into 2 cm-long. Remove tops of pine nuts and wipe the nuts with dry cotton cloths.
7. Mince the solid ingredients of the salted shrimps finely.
8. Cut the flesh of the salted yellow corvena, save the heads and bones.
9. Rinse the oyster in salt water, drain water. Wash the young octopus by fumbling with salt, cut into 3cm-long.

* Recipe

1. Put water and the heads and bones of salted corvena in the pot, boil for 5 min. on medium heat, drain it on a strainer to make corvena liquid (50 g).
2. Mix the shred cabbage and radish with ground red pepper together, add salted shrimps and corvena flesh and seasoning, mix them together thoroughly. Add all the prepared stuffs and mix evenly. Add ⅔ of seafoods into it, mix them softly, then season with salt.
3. Put 3~4 sheets of cabbage outer leaves on the bowl. Heap up with the mixed stuffs, place remained ⅓ of seafoods and garnish on it. Roll the outer leaves up and wrap them tightly.
4. Put the wrapped kimchi into a jar one by one and press down. Add the boiled corvena liquid into the jar.

* Tips
– Discard a few tough outer leaves from cabbage, and use remained leaves as much as possible.
– This wrapped Kimchi has been called as ‘Bokimch’ (restorative Kimchi), because wrapped all sorts of delicacies with marinated cabbage and fermented.

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