Kimchi is well known as the iconic food of Korea.
Koreans have enjoyed vegetable-based diets for many centuries. To reflect such a food culture, people here have used various methods to store vegetables over the winter, such as salting and fermenting.
Varieties of kimchi have been developed and passed down through the generations based on the peninsula's regional characteristics. Among the many kimchi varieties, bossam kimchi or "wrapped kimchi" of from Gaeseong in Gyeonggi-do Province was considered to be a luxurious food item, as it is made from various ingredients such as seafood, pine nuts, jujubes and pears, as the city and its surroundings were full of various foods and goods. Also known as ssam kimchi, bossam kimchi from Gaeseong is made from salted cabbage, seafood, such as baby octopuses, oysters and abalones, nuts, like chestnuts and pine nuts, jujubes, watercress, green onions, brown oak mushrooms and stone mushrooms, ginger, apples, pears and ginseng, among other delicious items. Thanks to these abundant ingredients, bossam kimchi is much more nutritious than ordinary kimchi made only from nappa cabbage. For this reason, bossam kimchi was eaten only on special occasions, such as banquets or holidays.
The various ingredients of bossam kimchi are mixed with chili peppers and salted yellow corvine, and then wrapped with cabbage leaves for fermentation. This dish is characterized by its light and clean taste.
2.4 kilograms (1 head) Korean cabbage
2 kilograms (10 cups) water
350 grams coarse salt
250 grams (0.25 each) radish
125 grams (0.25 each) pear
30 grams mustard leaf
25 grams small green onion
30 grams watercress
25 grams green onion
10 grams (2 sheets) brown oak mushrooms
3 grams stone mushrooms
30 grams (2 ea) chestnuts
12 grams (3 each) jujubes
2 grams shredded red pepper
10 grams (1 Tbsp) pine nuts
25 grams salted shrimps
25 grams salted yellow corvina or salted young corvina
200 grams (1 cup) water
50 grams oysters
400 grams (2 cups) water
6 grams (0.5 Tbsp) salt,
80 grams baby octopus
12 grams (1 Tbsp) salt
28 grams (4 Tbsps) ground red pepper
32 grams (2 Tbsps) minced garlic
12 grams (1 Tbsp) minced ginger
2 grams (0.5 tsp) sugar
12 grams (1 Tbsp) salt
1. Trim the bottom and outside leaves of the cabbage. Put a deep knife slit lengthwise and split it into two parts by hand. Marinate it in salt water in which half of the coarse salt has been dissolved. Spread the remaining half of the salt between the leaves. Let it sit on the cut side for up to 3 hours, and then for another 3 hours after turning it over.
2. Rinse the marinated cabbage under running water 3-4 times. Drain out water on a tray, facing down, for about 1 hour.
3. Cut the cabbage, radish and pear into pieces 2.5 centimeters wide, 2.5 centimeters long and 0.3 centimeters thick. Save the outer leaves. Cut the mustard leaf, small green onion, watercress and green onion into 3 centimeter long strips.
4. Soak the mushrooms in water for 1 hour. Remove the stems of the brown oak mushrooms. Wipe away the water with a cotton cloth. Shred the mushroom at intervals of 0.3 centimeters wide. Remove the "belly button" of the stone mushrooms. Wash them by rubbing them. Shred them into 3 centimeter long and 0.2 centimeter wide pieces.
5. Skin the chestnuts and slice them into 0.3 centimeter thick slices. Cut the jujube flesh around and shred them so that they're the same size as the brown oak mushrooms.
6. Cut the shredded red pepper into 2 centimeter long pieces. Remove the tops of the pine nuts and dry the nuts with a cotton cloth.
7. Finely mince the solid parts of the salted shrimp.
8. Cut the flesh of the salted yellow corvina. Save the head and bones.
9. Rinse the oysters in salt water. Drain the water. Wash the young octopus by mixing them with salt. Cut them into 3 centimeter long pieces.
1. Put the water and the heads and bones of the salted corvina in a pot. Boil for 5 minutes on medium heat. Drain it into a strainer to make a corvina broth.
2. Mix the shredded cabbage and radish with the ground red pepper. Add the salted shrimp, corvina flesh and seasoning. Thoroughly mix them together. Add all the other prepared items and mix evenly. Add 0.66 of the seafood into this. Mix it softly. Season it with salt.
3. Place 3-4 outer leaves of a cabbage into a bowl. Fill the leaves with the mixed ingredients. Place the remaining 0.33 of seafood and garnish on top. Roll up the outer leaves and wrap up the ball tightly.
4. Put the wrapped kimchi into a jar, one by one, and press down. Add the boiled corvina liquid to the jar.
Managed by Yoon Sojung
Photos: Jeon Han
Korea.net Staff Writers
In cooperation with the Institute of Traditional Korean Food (ITKF)
Content from “The Beauty of Korean Food: 100 Best-Loved Recipes”