With the ascent of K-Pop and South Korean fashion, culture, and idols, K-food has become a radically popular culinary phenomenon across the world. Emblematic of this rage is the quintessential Korean side dish. The origins of this innocent fermented vegan dish is still, infuriatingly, lobbed between different groups as a political weapon today, a pawn in the struggle for controlling Korean self-identity. So without further dispiriting ado, let’s just enjoy the recipe as it is today, and do our best to leave its beginnings as a matter of scholarly interest.
With thanks to Susan Sim of Ci Bei magazine for the recipe.
1 Chinese cabbage cut vertically into 4 pieces
2 green apples
3 Tiensin pears
400g red chilli
All the above, apart from the cabbage, should be cut into strips.
2 tbsp chilli powder
2 tbsp sugar
1.5 tbsp salt
Season cabbage with salt for 30 minutes. Blend chilli and mix it with the seasoning and other ingredients. Coat each cabbage leaf with the other vegetables and place them in a container. Put in a fridge and leave overnight. When serving, cut the cabbage into smaller pieces.