Korean Cabbage with Soybean Paste
This Korean cabbage side dish is using a young cabbage and Korean soybean paste. It is easy and simple, and best to serve with rice – makes a perfect Korean vegetarian and vegan recipe.
Korean cabbage with soybean paste is one of the common side dishes in Korea. Korean soybean Paste (된장, doenjang) goes really well with cabbage or other type of leafy vegetables.
The salty pungent flavor of fermented soybean is not for everyone, but once you are used to the flavor it quickly becomes your comfort flavor and you will crave for it. Koreans use this paste for not just in soups and stews, we use it in many salad type dishes as well.
Fermented soybean offers a lot of health benefits. If you like Korean food, I hope you try using doenjang more often in variety of dishes.
This Korean cabbage side dish is a great example of Korean vegetarian or vegan recipes.
Young Korean Cabbage (Bomdong)
I found this tender green spring Korean cabbage called bomdong (봄동) and made a quick side dish to eat with rice. We call this cabbage with soybean paste “bomdong namool (봄동 나물)” and it is perfect vegetarian/vegan dish that you can enjoy.
Korean Bomdong Cabbage Substitution
Bomdong is a young Korean cabbage and it is available in major Korean stores only during early spring season. You don’t have to have this bomdong for this recipe. You can use baby kale, Swiss chard, napa cabbage, or even spinach would be great to go with.
How to make Korean Cabbage with Soybean Paste
Cut the cabbage into chunks. Since the leaves are small in size I left them in whole without cutting into pieces.
Blanch them in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes depends on their thickness. You want them to be somewhat soft. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out the extra moisture.
Add Korean soybean paste, Korean chili flakes, sesame oil, toasted sesame seeds, and minced garlic (or garlic powder).
Rub the paste between your fingers and try to toss everything to incorporate with seasonings as if you are massaging them.
Serve with rice. This bomdong namool is one of the gazillion Korean side dishes that people like to eat in the spring time. As you can tell, it is robust in flavor, and perfect to eat with rice. I emptied out a bowl of rice with this side dish and I didn’t miss any meat to go with. Hope you can give this a try!
Store this side dish in the refrigerator at all times. It should last up to 1 week. You can eat it as chilled or at room temperature. Freezing is not recommended.
Other Korean Side Dishes to Try
- Korean Zucchini Side Dish
- Korean Mackerel and Radish Recipe
- Steamed Soft Tofu with Soy Chili Sauce
- Pan Fried Tofu (Dubu buchim)
Korean Cabbage with Soybean Paste
- 1/2 lb spring cabbage, baby kale, or Swiss chard, cut into pieces
- 1-1/2 tablespoon Korean soybean paste (doenjang), doenjang
- 1/2 tablespoon Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
- 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Boil pot of water with some salt, add the cabbage and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain the cabbage and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out the extra moisture from the cabbage.
- Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients. Smear the soybean paste between your fingers to loosed, and rub with the cabbage along with the other ingredients as you toss around to incorporate everything so the flavor will soak into the cabbage.
- Serve with rice or use as a side dish.
Another great recipe from Holly ford. I used lacinato kale and it was delicious. Kind of a shortcut kim chi.
Thank you for this recipe. I am new to Korean dishes and currently crazed over banchans. May I ask how long this could stay refrigerated?
Thank you in advance 🙂
It will last up to a week. Thanks.
The seasoning also goes well with bok choy (or pak choi) and European winter spinach (the one with the big strong leaves). Although for both of them the time to blanch is shorter. Around 1min max for the bok choy and about 30sec for the spinach. I’d guess Chard (Beta vulgaris) would also work. Other suitable vegetables may be available depending on where you live as long as they are green and… well “leafy”.
Thanks Adnreas. Any leafy vegetables will work great with this recipe. I have made with spinach, kale, Swiss chard, watercress, and etc. The blanching time will differ depends on the vegetables. Perfect way to enjoy vegetables.
thanks just discovered Soya paste, will try
very good! I found the perfect theme used!
This is nice. The 1st time I made this I finished the whole dish myself with a huge bowl of rice, so I have to make it again. I like it for its taste, for the fact that it is healthy, quick and easy to prepare. This will feature in my menu frequently and I will be trying this dressing with other vegetables!
I could eat bomdong namool with rice everyday. . love this!
Yum!! This looks so healthy and flavorful, and a perfect way to bring in the spring season!
Soooo….. I just finished making this,recipe and I have to say…”WOW!!!! IS THAT DELICIOUS!!!
As I live in a neighborhood that is predominantly Korean, all of the ingredients are readily available. I was able to acquire the young spring cabbage. It was so tender and delicious. Just wish it was available everywhere so people could experience the delicate flavor.
Thank you again for this simple but, awesome recipe:)
That is so neat that you enjoyed this recipe. I know the young spring cabbages are so tender and delicious, right? I wish, too, that people can access this cabbage to enjoy their delicate flavor. Thanks for the sweet comment, Cheryl!
Another dish to make me drool and dream whilst I’m at work. Not fair!!!!
I love quick dishes like this with flavor that delivers! This looks terrific — thanks so much.