As a premium dish hailing from the Gaeseong region in North Korea, bossam-kimchi is also known as bokimchi in the northern city. The kimchi is unique as seasoned fillings are wrapped in cabbage leaves, similar to the way things were wrapped with the traditional wrapping cloth bojagi. It’s best to use Gaeseong cabbage leaves which are longer and wider than those from other regions because they are more appropriate to wrap around a mixture of various ingredients. Bossam-kimchi stuffed with all sorts of seasoned delicacies is well-known for its great nutritional benefits as well as the savory taste. It was a rather haute cuisine that was usually prepared for parties or special occasions and for hosting guests.
Main Ingredients :
2 kg (1 head) napa cabbage, 2 l water, 1.5 cups coarse salt
500 g Korean radish (2 tbsp coarse salt) 1/4 Korean pear, 30g small green onions, 50g water parsley, 50g garlic, 50g shrimps, 50g squid, 50g small octopus, 50g fresh oysters, 1 abalone, 5 jujubes, 5 chestnuts, 10 g pine nuts, 2 red peppers
Spices :Seasoning spices:
3 tbsp fine chili powder, 2 tbsp anchovy sauce, 2 tbsp salted baby shrimps, 1/2 cup kelp water, 3 tbsp crushed garlic, 2 tsp minced ginger, 2 tbsp onion juice
Trimming cabbages: Remove the discolored outer leaves on the napa cabbage and cut off about 5 cm of the head. Separate each leaf and brine in salt water with the hard part down for about 7 hours. When the leaves are softened, rinse them in cold water 3 times and drain in a basket for about an hour. Clean the Korean radish well and cut into 0.5-cm-thick 2-cm squares. Sprinkle salt and let it marinate for about an hour. Rinse in cold water and drain. Peel the pear and cut into the same size as the radish pieces. Wash 30 grams each of small green onions and water parsley and cut into 2-cm pieces. Julienne the garlic. Remove the leaves from 20 grams of water parsley and blanch in boiling water. Quickly rinse in cold water and squeeze them out. Shell the shrimps and pull out the intestines from the back. Skin the squid and wash the small octopus with salt. Rinse well and drain. Slice the shrimps diagonally, the squid into thin strips, and the small octopus into 2-3-cm pieces. Take the abalone flesh out of the shell with a spoon, remove the entrails, and cut into abalone-shaped slices. Remove any pieces of the shell still attached to the raw oysters; rinse well and drain. Seed the jujubes while turning them around with a knife and cut them into three pieces. Skin the chestnuts and cut them into thin chestnut-shaped slices. Halve the red peppers lengthwise; seed them; and cut into triangles or other shapes. Mince the salted baby shrimps. Blend all the seasoning spices and mix them with all the filling ingredients except for the slices of abalone, jujubes, and chestnuts. In a deep rice bowl, place the blanched water parsley stems crosswise. Spread 2-3 cabbage leaves on top of the stem without space between the leaves. Heap 1 ladle of seasoned fillings into the bowl and top with pieces of abalone, jujubes, and chestnuts. Wrap up the fillings with the cabbage leaves and tie tightly into a cross with the water parsley stems. Stack the wrapped bundles one by one in an airtight container. Leave at room temperature - about 15 degrees Celsius – for three days to ripen and store in the refrigerator – between 0-5 degrees Celsius.
☑ Remove the head of the cabbage and only use the leaves.
☑ When you’re brining the napa cabbage leaves, don’t sprinkle coarse salt directly onto the vegetable. First mix up some salt water and marinate the vegetable.
☑ Brining napa cabbage is an effective way to store food and prevent it from going bad.
☑ Since the bossam-kimchi is stored for a long period, use fresh seafood. Don’t use frozen ingredients.
☑ Place the pieces of kelp in tepid water for about 30 minutes to an hour to make kelp water.
Kim Su-jin: Hansik Researcher
- Director of Association for Research on Taste of Korea
- Head Director of Food & Culture Korea Academy
- Nation’s First Film Food Director
(Major works: “Ssanghwajeom”, “The Painter of Wind”, “King and the Clown”, “Best Chef”)