Bossam Kimchi (Stuffed Kimchi)
Bossam kimchi is a style of kimchi that has a lot of different things wrapped inside. Because you have to soak the baechu 배추 for a while, you should do that one day before you are ready to make the rest.
- Get a big bucket ready with about 2 gallons water and dissolve the 2 cups of salt. Prepare the cabbage: cut off the stem about 1" from the end, then separate all the cabbage leaves. Put into the salted water. Press down with an heavy object, so all the leaves will be submerged into the water. Turn it over 2-3 times over the course of 8-9 hours (or overnight).
- Now prepare the ingredients for the stuffing. Cut the Korean white radish (moo 무) into small thin ~1" squares. Also peel the Asian pear and cut similarly. Cut the mushrooms into thin strips. Slice the Korean spring onion (daepa 대파) and peeled carrot into thin diagonal slices. Cut off the leaves of the watercress and slice into into small pieces (about 1" length). Thinly slice chestnuts, peeled garlic, ginger and red dates. Peel the squid and thinly cut into strips; wash oysters in salted water and cut in halves or quarters it they are large oysters and chop the pickled shrimp (saewoojut 새우젓) finely. Set all of this aside. Phew!
- When the cabbages are looking wilted after 7-8 hours, wash all the leaves thoroughly. Save all of the big outer leaves and set aside. Cut the inner white cabbage leaves and white firm part of the outer leaves into small squares approximately 1" squares and set aside. Save the leafy portion of the outer cabbage leaves for the wrapping, called "ssam."
- Prepare the rice flour water (pulmul 풀물) by mixing 2 tsp of sweet rice flour into 2 cups of boiling water. After the water cools, add the red pepper flakes (gochugaru 고추가루) to the pulmul mixture.
- Now it's time to flavor the stuffing. In a medium-sized mixing bucket, put all of the vegetables that you cut earlier, but keep the oysters and squid aside. Add the red pepper/rice flour water mixture and mix well. Lastly, add the oysters and squid. Add a pinch of salt and sugar, taste and adjust.
- Prepare a deep container with a lid -- this is where the stuffed kimchi will go. To stuff each of the kimchis, line a small soup bowl with a single layer of the outer leaf tops, arranging them so they overlap slightly -- use 4-5 (if necessary), allowing them to drape over the rim. Spoon a portion of the stuffing mixture (approximately 5-6 tbsp, or 2 handfuls). Wrap it up carefully, making sure the leaves remain firmly in place. Place the cabbage wrap into the plastic container. Repeat the process with the remaining outer leaves and stuffing mixture, being sure to carefully stack them up.
- Boil two cups of water and let cool. Mix in 2 tbsp of clear fish sauce to the water and pour it over the cabbages. Press them down firmly with the bottom of a bowl or other clean flat item; cover and store in a room temperature for a day. On the 2nd day, place somewhere cooler, like the garage, and on the 3rd day, put it in the refrigerator.
- When serving, partially unwrap the top outer leaves like a flower bud unfolding – cutting one ssam (wrap) through the middle will make serving easier. Garnish with pine nuts, black sesame seeds and threaded red pepper. You can eat the stuffing and the leaves together or separately using a small individual serving dish. Bossam kimchi is best eaten within 2 weeks, but will be good for 3-4 weeks; only it will taste more sour.
Serving Size: 20
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Preparation Time: 45 minutes