I know. I understand that dandelion is considered a weed in Northern America and that people don't want to see them in their yards. But in many other areas, dandelion is used in dishes such as salads!

I found dandelion salad leaves at the store and decided to make kimchi with them, and the result was fantastic!

Dandelion leaves are slightly tougher than other types of salad leaves, and this makes them perfect for making kimchi! They are also slightly bitter, but the bitterness surely mellows once fermented.

I hope you try this unique recipe if you come upon dandelion leaves! I wouldn't recommend using the dandelions that grow in your yard since you probably use weed killers. They are probably not safe to eat! A good substitute if you can't find dandelion leaves at the market would be baby Swiss chard or turnip greens.

Dandelion leaf kimchi is perfect to make during the warmer seasons, and you will enjoy the different flavor that is not like that of cabbage kimchi, which most people are used to. Quite unique and delicious!

Here are the dandelion leaves. Beautiful, no?

Rinse the leaves and drain. Spread a thin layer on the bottom of a large shallow bowl, and sprinkle a little bit of coarse sea salt.

Repeat the layering and sprinkling. Let it sit for 1-1/2 hours. Toss gently once or twice during the salting time. Be careful not to toss too roughly since a sharp, grassy smell might increase.

Simmer water with some dried anchovies to make anchovy stock. If you don't want to use anchovies, you can use dried shrimp or sea kelp. You will need this stock to make this kimchi more flavorful. Set aside to cool down.

After 1-1/2 hours, as you can tell, the leaves will wilt and shrink quite a bit. Rinse only once and drain.

In a blender, blend garlic, onion, and ginger with about 6 tablespoons of the anchovy stock until it becomes very smooth.

Pour the puree into a large mixing bowl, and add fish sauce, shrimp sauce, Korean chili flakes, and sugar.

Mix with a wooden spoon until it becomes a very thin paste.

Add the dandelion leaves and sliced green onions to the mixing bowl.

Toss gently with your hands to incorporate the seasoning paste onto the leaves. Be very gentle, and don't rub it in. A quick, gentle tossing motion is all you need.

Transfer the kimchi into an airtight container, and let it sit in room temperature for 1-2 days, and then store in the fridge for at least 3 days. You will then have perfectly fermented kimchi!

I like to eat freshly made kimchi with a bowl of hot rice. It doesn't have any fermented, potent flavor, so I often enjoy it as is.

Hope you get to try this recipe! It is simple and easy to make. And remember! Next time you see dandelions popping out of your yard, consider them as not just horrible weeds but beautiful plants that can turn into a delicious dish! And remember to NOT consume the dandelions from your yard if they have been sprayed!!

~ Holly

Dandelion Leaf Kimchi

Ingredients: 

  • 200g Dandelion leaves, cleaned
  • 3 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2-inch stem ginger
  • 1 tablespoon cooked white rice
  • 6 tablespoons anchovy stock
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons shrimp sauce
  • 6 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 green onion, thinly sliced
For the anchovy stock :
  • 1 cup water + 5-6 large dried anchovies

Directions :

  1. In a large shallow bowl, put a thin layer of dandelion leaves on the bottom and sprinkle a little salt over the leaves. Repeat the layer until all the leaves and salt are used. Let them sit on the room temperature for 1-1/2 hours. Turn the leaves around once or twice during the salting time. The leaves will reduce its volume in half. Rinse once and set aside to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, simmer water and anchovies to make the stock for 10 minutes. Discard the anchovies and reserve the stock.
  3. Place onion, garlic, ginger, rice, and 6 tablespoons of anchovy stock in a blender and process until smooth. Transfer the puree into a mixing bowl and add fish sauce, shrimp sauce, Korean chili flakes, sugar. Mix well to make thin paste.
  4. Add the dandelion leaves and green onion into the paste and toss gently to incorporate the paste with the leaves. Transfer the kimchi into an airtight container and let it sit in a room temperature for 1-2 days first, then store in the fridge for 3 days to get the perfect fermentation.
  5. This dandelion kimchi will last 2 month in the fridge.

Click the images below to get another kind of Kimchi recipes.

Garlic Chive Kimchi Perilla Leaf Kimchi Green Onion Kimchi