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.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


An all season style kimchee with a light, crunchy texture, this pickle may be compatible with most Asian and Western foods.

2 large Napa Cabbages, about 4 lb (2kg)
7 oz (200g) coarse sea salt
1 gallon (5 liters) water
2 julienned radishes
2 cups scallions, cut into 1 ½ in (4cm) strips
1 medium-sized carrot, julienned
5 large cloves garlic, finely shredded
1/3 cup finely shredded fresh ginger
1 cup Korean watercress (minari), cut into 1 ½ in (4cm) lengths
4 chestnuts, boiled, peeled and shredded
3 Korean or Chinese dates, thinly shredded
½ Korean pear (nashi) or Beurre Bosc pear, peeled, sliced and julienned
1 tsp dried cloud’s ear mushrooms, soaked in water until soft and shredded
1 tsp pine nuts
1 tsp sugar

1. Trim and discard the cabbage’s outer leaves. 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. Repeat the process with the remaining cabbage.
2. To make the brine, dissolve 5oz (140g) salt in the water. Soak the cabbage halves in the brine for 16-18 hours or overnight. Cover the container with a saucer to completely immerse the vegetables. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again.
3. To make the stuffing, in a large enough mixing bowl, mix together gently the radish, scallions, carrot, garlic, ginger, watercress, chestnuts, dates, pear, mushrooms, pine nuts, sugar (if desired) and the rest of the salt (teaspoons). Toss gently.
4. Fill the cabbage leaves in layers with the stuffing. Take 2 of the outer leaves of each cabbage half and wrap around the cut side to hold everything together. Place in the pickling container. Cover, and sit for 2-3 days for fermentation in a cool spot. The kimchee ferments rapidly.

Note: “Cloud’s ear mushrooms”(Auricularia polytricha) are know as stone mushrooms in Korea. These grow on mountain rocks and stones, and are usually sold dried from Asian grocers. (they are sometimes available fresh). The thin and small, black, crinkled pieces swell up to three times their size when soaked in cold water.



The slender Asian eggplant is chewy rather that having the crunch of a cucumber. The stuffing of carrot, radish, and scallions provides additional texture to this popular kimchee.

5 lb (2.5kg) slender eggplant
5oz (140g) coarse sea salt
½ cup chopped garlic
¼ cup fresh chopped ginger
½ cup fish sauce, fermented anchovy, or shrimp extract
2 oz (60g) red chili powder
2 quantities rice porridge
2 carrots, 1 lb (500g) very thinly julienned
1 radish, 1 lb (500g) very thinly julienned
6 scallions, very thinly julienned
1 tsp sugar

1. Rinse the eggplant in cold water (do not peel or trim). Make a 2 in (5cm) incision almost all the way through from one side to another, keeping the eggplant whole. Do the same with all the eggplant. Turn halfway and make another incision on the side. Sprinkle the slits with 2oz (60g) salt and let stand for 1 ½ hours to wilt. Then rinse with cold water, drain, and gently squeeze to eliminate any excess liquid. The eggplants are now ready to stuff.
2. To make the stuffing, combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and chili with the porridge. Add the carrot, radish, scallion, 3oz (85g) salt, and sugar. Mix everything together gently.
3. Gently open the incision in the eggplant and stuff with 1 tablespoon of stuffing.
4. Stack the stuffed eggplant container and sprinkle over the excess stuffing. Press the eggplant down with a heavy plate, cover and let the kimchee ferment in a cool spor for 2 days, during which liquid will accumulate. To serve, cut the eggplant into 4 in (10cm) lengths. Refrigerate any leftover kimchee.



This is a gourmet kimchee that makes use of cleaned crab shells for presentation purposes.

12-15 large fresh crabs
5oz (140g) coarse sea salt
1 Napa cabbage, about 2 lb (1kg), cut into 1 ½ in (4cm) pieces
1 radish, about 1 lb (500g), julienned
1/3 cup crushed garlic
¼ cup crushed fresh ginger
3oz (85g) red hot chili powder
1oz (30g) red hot chili flakes
½ cup fish sauce
4 scallions, cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths
½ cup Korean watercress (minari), cut into 2 in (5cm) lengths

1. Rinse the crabs well, pull off the top shells, and reserve. Remove the roe and set aside. Crack open the crab legs, remove the meat. Mix the roe and meat together with 2oz (60g) salt. Blanch the top shells turn red, then dry thoroughly.
2. Toss the cabbage and radish with 3oz (85g) salt and allow to stand.
3. To make the stuffing, mix together the garlic, ginger, chili powder and flakes, and fish sauce. Add the scallions and minari, and toss together. Add the cabbage and radish and mix well.
4. Stuff the crab shells generously. Pile them neatly in a container with the stuffing facing up. Cover with several cabbage leaves and allow to ferment for 2-3 days. Serve the kimchee in the crab shells.



A solid-fleshed radish does not lend itself to stuffing as would individual cabbage leaves. Yet the Korean, in this extremely artful kimchee, have devised a method of stuffing one half of a radish with unique flavors.

4 radishes, about 7lb (3.5kg), well scrubbed
8oz (230g) coarse sea salt
1 gallon (5liters) water
2 quantities rice porridge
2/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup red hot chili powder
1/3 cup red hot chili flakes
¼ cup red chili treads
2/3 cup julienned garlic
1/3 cup julienned ginger
4 scallions, cut into 1 ½ in (4cm) long strips
½ cup Korean watercress (minari)
½ cup sliced Chinese chives
2 medium-sized carrots, julienned
4 chestnuts, boiled, peeled and julienned

1. Cut 3 of the radishes in half lengthwise (reserve one for the stuffing). Make 3-4 deep notches lengthwise on the rounded sides of each radish half.
2. To make the brine, dissolve 6oz (170g) salt in the water. Soak the radish halves in the brine for about 14-16 hours or overnight. Cover the container with a saucer to completely immerse the radish. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again.
3. To make the stuffing, finely julienne the remaining radishes. Put the porridge, fish sauce, chili powder and flakes, chili threads, garlic, and ginger in a bowl and mix together. Add the julienned radish, scallions, minari, chives, carrots, chestnuts, and gently toss all the ingredients together.
4. Insert about 1 tablespoon stuffing into each slit in the radishes. Place the radishes on their side in the container.

5. Rinse out the mixing bowl with ½ cup water and the remaining salt, pour over. Cover tightly and ferment for 3-4 weeks in the crisper section of the refrigerator.
6. To serve, cut each radish half into cubes or rectangles so that each piece will contain one stuffed notch.

Note: In the past, this kimchee was prepared in the coastal areas where pine nuts, dates, and chestnusts were uncommon. In their place, fishermen used cod or Pollack chunks, which were easily available and cheap. Sometimes a whole fish fillet was fermented between 2 stuffed radish halves. The fish slabs were served separately from the radish and seasoned with sesame seeds, oil, and chopped scallions and sprinkled with red chili powder.