Hobakkimchi (Squash Kimchi) Recipe


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)

Kimchi paste:

  • 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


  1. 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.
  2. Check the seasoning. Rinse in cold water at least two times and carefully pat the squash dry with kitchen paper.
  3. Shred the Chinese leaf (Napa cabbage). Mix all the ingredients together for the kimchi paste.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Published on Apr 4, 2019
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Inspiration for edible alchemy.