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.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The radishes used in this kimchee are common in Korea; small with a pinned-in waist and long, fluttery stems and leaves, thus the description of ponytail. Normal radishes can be substituted.

7 radishes (about 3.5kg)
230 g coarse sea salt
5 liters water
6-8 scallions, trimmed and left whole
10 cured green, hot chilies
½ cup thinly sliced garlic
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
1 ½ quantities rice porridge

1. Choose
radishes with long stems and leaves. Clean well.
2. To make a brine, dissolve 140 g salt in 3.75 liters water. Soak the radishes and scallions in the brine for 6-8 hour. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again thoroughly.
3. Fold the wilted radish stems around each radish back and forth lengthwise. Bury 1 or 2 cured chilies in the wrapping. Take one wilted scallion, wrap it around each radish waist and tie it neatly (you can include the chilies now if the radishes came without their greens).
4. Pile all the radishes into a container and place the garlic and ginger on top of the radish. Mix the rice porridge, the remaining 60 g salt, and 1.25 liters water, and pour over to cover the radish. Cover, and keep in a cool spot for 1-2 weeks to mature.
5. To serve, slice the radish lengthwise into 4. The stems, leaves and scallions are cut separately the same length as the radish sections. Serve with the pickling liquid.

The cured green chili is also serves as condiment. Rinse the chili after it has been cured and soak it in a sweet-sour vinegar. Or season the cured chili with a spiced anchovy sauce or serve with red pepper past (kochújang) or bean paste (toenjang).


Bamboo shoots are grown mainly in the central and southern parts of Korea, and the shoots are highly prized. If you cannot find the fresh shoots in your Asian grocer, use the canned variety, but drain and boil them for 10 minutes in water to remove any metallic flavor. Serve this mellow pickle as a side dish.

2.5 kg fresh young tender bamboo shoots, peeled
140 g coarse sea salt
2.5 liters water
1 kg light soy sauce

1. Blanch the whole, peeled, trimmed bamboo shoots in boiling water for 1 minute. Drain. Place them neatly in a dry container.
2. To prepare a colorless pickle, dissolve the salt in the water and bring to a boil. Pour it over the shoots. Cover and weight down with a plate. (Bamboo shoots prepared in this manner are used as one of the ingredients in preparing other dishes.
3. To prepare a colored pickle, bring the soy sauce to a boil and pour it over the shoots. Cover and weight down with a plate and allow to ferment for 4-6 weeks.


This is a traditional Korean pickle that is made in the summer, and serve as a fruit snack during the cold winter months (after a period of 3-4 months of fermentation). Use small ( 5-7.5cm diameter), hard, green persimmons, and keep the sepals on. The cinnamon adds a distintive flavor. The alum is added to prevent discoloring, not flavor.

3 kg fresh green hard persimmons
85g salt
3 cups boiling water
60 g cinnamon stick (optional)
½ tsp alum

1. Select unblemished fruit. Wipe with a dry towel – do not rinse. Put the fruit gently into a container (traditionally an earthenware jar is used) and weight down with a plate or stone.
2. Prepare a brine with the salt and the alum.
3. Ferment for 3-4 months to reduce the tannin in the fruit. The persimmon sweeten during the fermentation; the result is a delicious snack.


The kodulppaegi is a dark-green, tough-textured, wild leafy vegetable that looks like spinach, and grows in the southern part of Korea and on Cheju island. It has a bitter taste and is reputed to assist digestion. This kimchee is usually prepared in the fall for serving in the winter.

2 kg kodulppaegi (wild lettuce), whole, or spinach
255g salt
5 liters water
1 kg radish
170 g scallions, cut into half lengthwise
170 g fermented anchovy paste
1 quantity rice porridge
85 g chopped garlic
60 g chopped ginger
85 g red hot chili flakes
60 g red chili powder
115 g chopped fermented squid or baby corvine (optional)

1. Rinse, clean and trim the whole wild lettuce. If using spinach, clean well.
2. Prepare a brine with 170g salt and the water. Submerge the wild lettuce in the brine for 2 days, keeping it well covered, to reduce the bitterness. Rinse, drain and discard the brine.
3. Cut the radish into batons about 4cm long and 6mm thick.Toss with 30g salt. Wipe off the salt and moisture, and dry the slices in a basket in a ventilated area but not in direct sunlight. The radish is to remain white.
4. To make the seasoning, combine the anchovy paste, rice porridge, garlic, ginger, chili flakes and powder, the remaining salt, and fermented squid, if using. Mix well and gently toss through the wild lettuce, radish, and scallions. 5. Place in a container, seal and ferment in a cool, dark place for 4-5 weeks.


A dish characteristic of the Korean ability to use with thrift what nature has provided. Technically this is not a fermented pickle, but it comes under the kimchee category. It is one made of young spinach, including the roots.

3 kg fresh, tender, young spinach with roots attached
60 g chopped garlic
30 g chopped ginger
60 g red hot chili flakes
30 g red chili powder
60 g fish sauce
60 g salt
30 g sugar (optional)
1 radish, thinly sliced and julienned
1 onion, thinly sliced and julienned
115 g scallions, cut into 5 cm long strips
30 g red chili threads

1. Clean and trim the spinach thoroughly.
2. To make the seasoning, combine the garlic, ginger, chili flakes and powder, fish sauce, salt and sugar, if used.
3. Add the radish, onion, scallions, and spinach. Toss gently with the chili threads.
4. Place in a covered container if not eating immediately. If eating straight away, the kimchee can be served with a dash of vinegar and sesame oil.