Most of you probably know the normal red spicy kimchi. At least that’s how it was for me until I ate Baek kimchi for the first time. It was like a whole new world!
I really love spicy food… But white kimchi, with its fresh, somewhat sweet taste, adds the finishing touch to many dishes. Especially full-bodied dishes, which already weigh a little heavy in the mouth or belly, get a very special touch with White Kimchi as a side dish.
Baek kimchi is literally translated from Korean as “white kimchi” and gets its name from the natural color of the Napa cabbage. This is because unlike the popular red kimchi, the cabbage here is pickled in a clear liquid, without red pepper or so called gochujang. So for anyone who doesn’t like to eat spicy: Definitely try white kimchi! And another bonus: my basic recipe is also vegan!
In Korea, such small side dishes called banchan are served with all kinds of main dishes. They are usually pickled or marinated vegetables.
Probably the most known is spicy pickled Chinese cabbage, called kimchi in Korean. How you can make the rarer white version at home very easily, you can find below.
- 1 large napa cabbage
- 3 tablespoons sea salt
- 30 grams / ½ cup onion
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 Korean pear
- 1 radish
- 1 carrot
- ½ red bell pepper
- 50 grams / 1 cup Asian chives
- ½ red chili
- To begin, quarter the stalk of the Napa cabbage at the bottom. Then tear apart the cabbage and wash thoroughly.
- Spread sea salt between each leaf and then let it sit for a few hours or overnight. The cabbage will then draw water and become soft.
- After the cabbage is soaked, you can wash it with plenty of water to remove the remaining salt.
- Peel and chop 1 pear, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp ginger and 30 grams of onion. Puree everything together with a blender until you get a creamy sauce.
- With the help of a kitchen towel or a very fine sieve, squeeze out the concentrated liquid from the creamy sauce and mix it with 800 ml of water and 40 g of salt.
- Cut 1 radish, 1 carrot, half a red bell bell pepper, Asian chives and half a red chili into fine thin strips and spread them between each leaf of cabbage.
- Place your cabbage in a container and spread the liquid from step 5 over the cabbage. Close the container and leave it at room temperature for about a day.
The homemade white kimchi will last for about a month in the refrigerator and should always be served cold.