Koreans almost always refer to what a vegetable is good for. Squash in particular is said to be good for female hormones. The hard squash soaks up salt in a completely different way than, for example, cucumber, so do check the seasoning carefully. If you cannot get hold of muscat squash or butternut squash you can try a standard Halloween pumpkin.
Ingredients and equipment:
- One large jar, approx. 5 litres (roughly 1-1/2 gallon)
- Approx. 1-1/2 kg muscat squash or butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
- 400 g coarse sea salt (1-1/3 cup)
- The outer green leaves from 1 head of Chinese leaf (Napa cabbage)
- 4 tbsp gochugaru, Korean chili powder
- 200g minced garlic (about 1-3/4 cups)
- 150 g minced garlic (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 100g finely grated ginger (about 1 cup)
- 100ml fish sauce (1/3 cup)
- 2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Peel and cut the squash into approx. 3 x 5 cm pieces (0.5 cm thick). Mix with the salt and leave to stand for minimum 10 hours at room temperature.
- Check the seasoning. Rinse in cold water at least two times and carefully pat the squash dry with kitchen paper.
- Shred the Chinese leaf (Napa cabbage). Mix all the ingredients together for the kimchi paste.
- Mix pumpkin and kimchi paste together, making sure that each piece is covered in the marinade. Place in a jar or other container with a tight-fitting lid.
- Leave to stand for 24 hours at room temperature. Then transfer to the fridge. The kimchi is ready to eat in about 1 week and will keep fresh for at least 3 weeks.
Reprinted with permission from Kimchi: Essential Recipes of the Korean Kitchen by Byung-Hi Lim and Byung-Soon Lim, published by Pavilion Books.