WHITE/BAEK KIMCHI • Easy Vegan Recipe
Hey Kale Sandwichers! With summer just around the corner, we always start craving Baek kimchi aka white kimchi. Most people know kimchi to be red and spicy but this variety of kimchi is refreshing and not so spicy. Baek kimchi is an explosion of flavour with crunchy cabbage in a slightly sweet and salty garlicky brine. Dee’s mom’s friend Su Ji showed us this method which incorporates Asian pear, onion and garlic as slices instead of blended up. It’s super easy to make (no blender required) and can be ready in as little as 2 days depending on the room temperature. See note below for details*
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1.5 lbs napa cabbage (about 15-20 leaves)
3 tbsp Korean salt or coarse sea salt (iodine free is best)
1/2 Asian brown pear or 1 bosc pear
1 inch Korean radish
4-5 cloves garlic
3 inch of ginger
1 tbsp Korean chili pepper flakes (optional, more for colour not spice)
2 cups water
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sweetener (we used maple syrup)
Cut cabbage into bite size pieces. Rinse and drain. Sprinkle salt all over cabbage leaves and massage for a few minutes. Set aside for 2 hours mixing every 30 minutes. The cabbage should be wilted and a bit translucent. If you’re not sure if it’s salted enough just add an extra 30 minutes of salt time. Rinse cabbage leaves 3 times and drain well.
Prepare other ingredients. Peel pear if desired and cut into thin slices. Cut off a chunk of radish and peel skin. Cut into thin pieces. Thinly slice onion, garlic and ginger. Add everything plus chili pepper flakes to drained cabbage in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
Make brine by combining water, salt and sugar/syrup.
Transfer cabbage mixture into a container or jars and leave at least a 1-2 inch gap. Pour in brine until cabbage is just covered. The liquid content will increase as the radish and pear in the kimchi ferments.
Ferment at room temperature away from direct sunlight for 24-48 hours. Fermentation will depend on the temperature of the room. Carefully open lid after 24 hours to release air pressure.(*IMPORTANT: The kimchi will release gas as it ferments so this must be done so jar does not explode. If fermenting in warmer temperatures, open the jars every 12 hours. Open slowly… the jar may make hissing noises, do not be alarmed, it is not angry. Place jar or container upright in a shallow tray just in case kimchi juice leaks from the jars while fermenting.)
Taste the kimchi after fermenting for 24 hours. Move to the fridge once kimchi tastes sour/slight tang, it will continue to ferment slowly in the fridge. In warmer climates it will be faster (about 24 hours) in cooler temperatures it may take up to 2 days (48 hours).
You can eat all parts of this kimchi, even drink the probiotic brine. White kimchi does not last as long as red kimchi so it’s best consumed within 3 months for optimum freshness.
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