By now, most people have heard of kimchi and at least tried it and fully a fan or maybe still on the fence. If you’re the latter category, no worries keep reading, this is not a recipe for actual kimchi but a salad inspired by a lesser known type of kimchi that is not fermented, but fresh and addictive wrapped around rice. And another word of advice, keep trying kimchi, there are so many different kinds to explore and many are not spicy or funky!
Kimchi is a living food in which the various stages of fermentation is appreciated for its different flavor profiles. Each stage has its own delicious merits and everyone has their individual preferences. As a kid I loved the ripe, funky stage and grown ups seemed to go gaga over a good geot-jeori which I didn’t understand with my underdeveloped palate. But low-and-behold now that I’m one of those grown ups (according to my kids, I really am) I appreciate geot-jeori’s fresh, salty and bright flavor reminiscent of fermented kimchi. My mom would whip this up if she is craving some kimchi and there’s nothing that will get in the way of a Korean and their fermented veggies!
I found this recipe for geot-jeori salad (Kimchi salad) in a Korean cookbook straight from the motherland and it caught my eye. I’ve had this kind of salad at Korean restaurants and wondered about the dressing. This particular salad recipe is composed of “ssam” greens (greens traditionally used as a wrap) such as perilla leaf, green and red leaf lettuce but use whatever is in season or have on hand. I used romaine and savoy cabbage which turned out to be a great mix of crunchy and leafy.
This salad would make a great compliment to any Asian meal … or any meal in fact, I happened to have chicken noodle soup this evening and wanted to try this salad and it worked for me – no rules!
- 1/2 lb of mixed salad greens
- Handful of chives (optional)
- 1/4 of apple cored and sliced (skin on)
- 1/2 red onion sliced thin
For the Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sweetener of choice (I used coconut sugar)
- 1 tablespoons of Korean chili pepper (adjust to taste) you can substitute red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds
- 1 small garlic grated or minced (to taste start with half)
- 1 scallion sliced thin
- Slice up onions and soak in water (to mellow out the flavor and reduce bite)
- Wash and prep salad greens
- Mix all dressing ingredients together
- Dress salad greens with dressing and toss