This recipe is a country style vegetable side dish. It’s simply seasoned with doenjang, Korean fermented soybean paste, hence the name doenjang muchim (된장무침). Young cabbage called putbaechu (풋배추) or eolgari (얼가리) is one of the vegetables commonly used for this dish. Often, I also use napa cabbage, baby bok choy, spinach, or kale (or baby kale). Any other green leafy vegetables would also work. Just remember to adjust the blanching time.
You can add a little gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) or gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste) to make it a bit spicy or sweeten it with a bit of sugar. I like to keep it simple and savor the unique, deep flavor of the doenjang. We enjoyed this side dish for two meals this week – first with bulgogi and then with bukeoguk next day.
- Trim off the roots from the cabbage. Wash thoroughly until there is no sand in the water.
- Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add a tablespoon of salt. Blanch the cabbage until the white parts turn soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the cabbage from the pot and shock in cold water to stop the cooking.
- Drain and squeeze out water. Cut into 2 to 3-inch lengths.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix everything well by hand. Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes before serving for the flavor of the seasonings to seep into the cabbage.
- You can also use regular napa cabbage, bok choy, spinach, or kale (or baby kale) for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time and seasoning depending on the vegetable and the amount you use.