Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 1 (4-pound) head napa cabbage

  2. 1 1/4 cups coarse sea salt or kosher salt

  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  4. 1 large onion , peeled, halved, and thinly sliced

  5. 5 garlic cloves , peeled and finely grated

  6. 1 (4-inch) piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely grated

  7. 1 jalapeño pepper , finely diced

  8. 2 bunches scallions , trimmed and thinly sliced

  9. 1 small (about 10 ounces) daikon radish, peeled, trimmed, and diced

  10. 1 large red bell pepper , cored, seeded, and diced

  11. 1 large Asian pear , peeled, cored, and diced

  12. 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  13. 3 ounces rock candy or 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

  14. 1 to 2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes, to taste

  15. 1 tablespoon oyster sauce

  16. 1 teaspoon saffron threads

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Wash the cabbage and drain. Trim off the very bottom of the cabbage, leaving enough of the root end intact to hold the head together. Carefully separate the leaves without breaking them from the root, and sprinkle 1 cup of the salt in between and over them. Tightly press and reshape the cabbage and place it in a nonreactive container, such as a Pyrex dish. Dissolve the remaining 1/4 cup salt in 6 cups water and pour over the cabbage. Let the cabbage sit for 3 hours, giving it a quarter turn every 15 minutes. Rinse for several minutes under cold running water. Gently squeeze out any excess water. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 275°F. In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, gingerroot, and jalapeño pepper and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Lay the cabbage on its side in the pot. Add 1 cup water and the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise for 2 1/2 hours. Turn the cabbage over, baste with the pan juices, and continue to braise for 2 1/2 hours more.


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