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5 Easy Geotjeori Recipes: Emily Recommends (XIV)

In late fall, Korean families gather together to make large batches of kimchi, which is then fermented and eaten throughout the year. As it ages, kimchi’s taste becomes sour. Once the large batch ages into ‘old kimchi,’ families use it to make dishes like kimchi fried rice and kimchi jjigae, which need that strong flavor. Then, once they need fresh-tasting kimchi, they make a quick kimchi, known as geotjeori, to serve as a side dish during meals.

Geotjeori refers to a kimchi that’s made to be eaten fresh without fermentation. It is meant to be made in small batches and consumed immediately. “Geot” translates to out or outer, and “jeori” translates to something salted or pickled. In other words, you quickly pickle the outside without letting the dressing permeate and ferment over time. 

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This week, on our ‘Emily Recommends’ series, we decided to introduce five easy geotjeori recipes. We hope you enjoy trying these recipes! 

5 Quick and Easy Korean Quick Kimchi Recipes

Below, we listed 5 different recipes from Korean food bloggers. We hope you enjoy reading about these different versions of this traditional Korean banchan! So, let’s get started!

1. Napa Cabbage Salad (Baechu Geotjeori) 

Undoubtedly, napa cabbage geotjeori is probably the most common version of quick pickle kimchi. With traditional kimchi, the napa cabbage leaves need to be salted first. Salting the leaves starts the fermentation process–in other words, while water releases from the cabbage, the salt is absorbed triggering a chemical reaction. 

With this napa cabbage recipe, you skip the salting process. You are not trying to get fermentation going. Instead, you are using the same spices and flavors to make a fresh version that is crisp and crunchy. You want to consume the geotjeori right in the moment instead of a fermented version few months later.

Future Dish is a blog run by Daniel and Katie, the awesome duo behind the Youtube channel Future Neighbor. Check out the recipe for baechu geotjeori on their blog! 

Geotjeori Recipes: Napa Cabbage Geotjeori on a plate with chop sticks.
Photo Credit: Future Dish
Napa Cabbage Geotjeori

2. Romaine Lettuce Salad (Romain Sangchu Geotjeori) 

When making sangchu geotjeori, Koreans traditionally use different leafy types of lettuce. Though that is the case, in our family, we make geotjeori out of romaine lettuce!

Though not traditional, romaine lettuce gives the geotjeori a nice crispy texture. The texture reminds me more of baechu geotjeori than that of the leafy sangchu geotjeori.

You can check out our recipe on our blog

Photo Credit: Carving A Journey
Romaine Sangchu Geotjeori

3. Baby Bok Choy Salad (Cheongyeongchae Geotjeori)

On her blog Korean Bapsang, Hyosun wrote about cheongyeongchae geotjeori. Baby bok choy is also not traditional, but it makes a wonderfully delicious version of quick kimchi! 

With this recipe, Hyosun lightly salts her baby bok choy to help tenderize the fibrous stems. Though salting the vegetables is uncommon with geotjeori, it is necessary for this version because the stalks tend to be tough.

After tenderizing the bok choy, Hyosun rinses the salt off before combining it with the red pepper seasoning mixture. 

Listed below, you can check out Hyosun’s recipe on her blog! 

Korean bok choy geotjeori piled on a white plate.
Photo Credit: Korean Bapsang
Bok Choy Quick Kimchi!

4. Green or Red Leaf Lettuce Salad (Sangchu Geotjeori) 

As we stated above, you traditionally make sangchu geotjeori with green or red leaf lettuce. Actually, sangchu refers specifically to leafy lettuce!

This version of quick kimchi tastes salty, sweet, and spicy. The leafy greens have a soft texture, which makes it easy to wrap around meat. We LOVE sangchu geotjeori when making a lettuce wrap while eating samgyeopsal!!

Maangchi has a delicious and traditional version on her website and her Youtube channel. Check out her recipe through the links below!

Leafy lettuce geotjeori on a clear plate.
Photo Credit: Maangchi
Leafy Lettuce Makes a Delicious Korean Salad!

5. Spring Cabbage Salad (Bomdong Geotjeori) 

Bomdong geotjeori is a quick kimchi only available during the spring months. Bomdong is a specific type of early growth cabbage. Napa cabbage stands perfectly erect when fully grown. On the other hand, bomdong refers to a flat cabbage which grows close to the ground. This spring cabbage is more tender and sweeter than the napa cabbage alternative. 

Bomdong quick kimchi is a special treat because it is only available in the spring! You can check out JinJoo’s recipe on her blog Kimchimari

Bomdong quick kimchi in a slate bowl.
Photo Credit: Kimchimari
Bomdong Geotjeori Is Made From New Spring Cabbage!

Try Making Quick Kimchi!

Unquestionably, geotjeori is a favorite in our house. When we run out of fermented kimchi, it is easy to throw a quick unfermented kimchi together in less than 5 minutes. When learning to make Korean food, this is an easy start off point! Have you ever eaten geotjeori before? Do you have any favorite quick kimchi recipes? Let us know in the comments below or email us at carvingajourney@gmail.com

If you want to learn more about Korean cooking, you can check out some of our favorite Korean cookbooks listed below!

Also, you can check out our other Korean food posts in our ‘Emily Recommends’ series:

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