My passion with Korean started with the Korean movies. For several years I watched unbreakably almost all Korean series and Korean channels from cable tv. Then, I commenced to try some Korean food, and have found several Korean restaurants in Jakarta that became my family's favorite to dine for the weekend. Later on, I have tried Korean's dishes at home, and believe it or not, my family and I love it so much.

Friday, February 1, 2008



This is the most popular type of kimchee throughout the Korean peninsula and has been for many generations. This kimchee is prepared with a combination of herbs, spices, aromatic vegetables, fermented fish or shell-fish sauce, and fresh oysters. The kimchee is assembled and allowed to ferment, which preserves it during the winter months when few fresh vegetables are available.

2-3 fresh and firm-headed whole cabbages, about 6 lb (3kg)
¾ cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt (granules)
1 galon (5 liter) water
1 radish, about 1 lb (500g), julienned
1 cup julienned carrot (optional)
1 quantity rice porridge
½ cup clear fish sauce or 1/3 cup fermented shrimp paste
1 tsp finely ground red pepper powder
¼ tsp red hot dry chili flakes
1 tsp crushed fresh garlic
¼ cup fresh ginger, peeled and crushed
10 scallions, cut into 2 in (5cm) pieces
1 cup Indian mustard leaves, cut into 2 in (5cm) pieces (optional)
1 cup Korean watercress (minari), cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths (optional)
1/3 cup sponge seaweed , cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths (optional
¼ cup red dry chili threads

How to make:
1.Trim and discard the discolored outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half lengthwise from the top down 1/3 of the length toward the root end. Hold both parts of the cabbage firmly and pull it in half. (Do not cut the cabbage all the way through since this will damage the tender, inner leaves, which are the tastiest part. The inner leaves will still be attached to the cabbage core when the cabbage is torn in half.) Repeat the process with the remaining cabbage.
2.To make the brine, mix the salt with the water in a glass, stone or plastic container. Put the cabbage upright into the container and soak for 16-18 hours overnight. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly in cold water and drain well.
3.Mix the radish with 1 tablespoon salt to wilt it. Do not rinse.
4.To make the red paste, in a large mixing bowl, put the rice porridge, fish sauce, red pepper powder, red chili flakes, garlic, and ginger paste. Mix with the wilted radish and carrots. Add the scallions, mustard leaves, watercress, red chili threads, and oysters. Stir gently to mix.
5.Lift up the leaves of the cabbage which are still attached to the core and push a little stuffing between the leaves in a layering process. Do this, using all the stuffing, with all the cabbage. Take two of the flexible outer leaves and fold them around the cabbage halves to wrap the stuffing inside. The leaves on the tip of the cabbage are folded over and tucked into the outer folded-over leaves.
6.Place the stuffed cabbage halves flat in the storage container of your choice with the inner leaves facing up. Keep in a cool, clean, shaded place or refrigerator to ferment.
7.If the container is not tightly packed, fill the empty space with a light brine made from 1 tablespoon salt dissolved in 1 cup of water. The brine should completely cover the cabbage (do not expose the cabbage to air). Cover,and ferment for 3-4 weeks in a cool place. Sample after 2 weeks to test its strength.

Note: Several ingredients are optional since they are not indispensable to the fermentation of the kimchee, but add an authentic flavour. MSG is popular in Korea and Japan, but its use is controversial elsewhere.


This is seasonal specialty kimchee-special, uncommon and expensive. Ginseng, considered a pharmaceutical plant, is cultivated and sold under a government monopoly in Korea. Fresh ginseng is impossible to find outside of Korea. It is available dried or bottled from some Asian grocers or from Chinese medicine shops, but is expensive. Use the bottled for this recipes.

2 lb (1kg) fresh ginseng, split and cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths
2 radish, 2 lb (1kg), thinly sliced and cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths
2 cucumbers, 1 lb (500g), thinly sliced and cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths
½ lb (250g) carrot, thinly sliced and cut into thin 2 in (5cm) lengths
2 oz (60g) shredded ginger
1 oz (30g) sugar
4 oz (120g) salt
1 oz (30g) white sugar
5 cups water

How to make:
1.Rinse the ginseng in water until thoroughly clean. Drain and place in a container. Add the radish, cucumber and carrot.
2.Top with the ginger, sugar, salt, and vinegar. Pour over the water, and stand for 1 day in a cool place (or in the refrigerator) before serving.