- 1 medium to large head napa cabbage (about 2 pounds), trimmed of any loose or discolored leaves
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 firm but ripe pear (preferably asian), cored and chopped
- ¾ cup gochugaru (coarse Korean red chile powder; for a less spicy version decrease to ½ cup)
- ¼ cup coarsely grated fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 to 2 tablespoons ground chile paste, such as sambal oelek
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 4 to 6 cloves garlic
- 4 carrots (about 6 ounces), cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- 1 medium daikon radish, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
- Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters; remove the core, and chop into about 1-inch-wide (bite-size) pieces. Place half of the cabbage in a large colander in the sink; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the salt. Add the remaining half of the cabbage and top with the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Let sit for 10 minutes. Using tongs or your hands, turn the cabbage so that the bottom layer is on top; let sit for another 15 minutes. Rinse the cabbage, drain thoroughly, and pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner.
- Combine the pear, gochugaru, ginger, soy sauce, chile paste, fish sauce, if using, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just blended. Pour the mixture into a large bowl. Add the carrots and radish; toss to combine. Add the drained cabbage; toss to combine. Let sit, covered, in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Drain again. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. It’s still good for up to a week or so, but it will start getting a little funky and taste more like the fermented kimchi of ill repute.