Cabbage is rubbed with a handful of ingredients including chile powder and garlic in this popular kimchi.
- 1 1⁄2 cups plus 1 tsp. sea salt
- 3 medium-size Napa cabbages, quartered lengthwise with core left intact, outer leaves discarded
- 1 1⁄2 lb. daikon radishes, peeled and julienned
- 1 cup plus 2 tbsp. Korean chile powder
- 3 tbsp. Korean anchovy sauce (aek jeot) or Southeast Asian fish sauce
- 2 1⁄2 tbsp. finely chopped Korean salted shrimp
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 30 Korean chives or garlic chives, cut into 1" pieces
- 14 cloves garlic, finely chopped and mashed into a paste
- 10 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced diagonally
- 10 sprigs Korean watercress, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 2 (2") pieces ginger, peeled, finely chopped, and mashed into a paste
- 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
- 1 Asian pear, cored and julienned
In a large bowl, combine 1 1⁄4 cups salt and 2 gallons cold water and stir until salt dissolves. Add the cabbages and massage the salt water into the leaves. Drain cabbages, transfer to a baking sheet, and work remaining 1⁄4 cup salt in between the leaves down to the root. Put cabbages into a large bowl and let sit, turning occasionally, until softened, 4 hours. Rinse cabbages and squeeze to extract excess water; set aside.
In a large bowl, vigorously stir together the remaining ingredients to make the kimchi seasoning paste. Working with one quarter of cabbage at a time over the bowl of seasoning, use your fingers to work some of the paste between the leaves, starting with the innermost leaves and working outward. Repeat with remaining cabbages, reserving a handful of the filling. Transfer seasoned cabbages to a clean 6-qt. glass jar, adding some of the remaining seasoning paste and 1⁄4 tsp. salt between each layer and pressing down to compact the cabbages. Rub any remaining paste over the top of the packed cabbages and cover jar with 2 layers of plastic wrap. Let the kimchi sit at room temperature for 4 days.
Uncover the jar to release any carbon dioxide. Re-cover and refrigerate for at least 4 more days to let the flavors meld further. The kimchi will keep, refrigerated, for at least 6 months (its flavor will sharpen over time). To serve, remove desired amount of cabbage and snip leaves into 1"–2" pieces.
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