Kimchi has been a staple of Korean cuisine for centuries and it is served with every meal! It is a traditional fermented side dish made out of vegetables, the most popular being cabbage, which I will show you how to make today!

This recipe uses pre-cut pieces of cabbage and is a lot easier and faster to make, than whole cabbage kimchi. As always, feel free to adjust the spice to your taste!

Recipe by: Crystal Michael


Easy 150 m 10 serving

*If using a Thai brand, use 1/2 cup of that and substitute the other half with soy sauce, because Thai fish sauce is a lot more salty than Korean fish sauce.


Prep 120 m Cook 30 m
  1. Remove any damaged outer leaves from the napa cabbage. Using a large kitchen knife, cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove its core. Now cut the leaves into bite-size pieces.

  2. Next is the salting process:

    Place the cabbage pieces in a large basin and add cold water. Sprinkle with ample salt. This will take about an hour and a half and you should turn the cabbage every 30 minutes or so to ensure that it is salted evenly.

    After the salting process is complete, rinse in plenty of cold water to remove the salt. Drain and set aside.

  3. While waiting for the salt process to finish, it is time to cut the rest of the vegetables. Chop the spring onions and leeks and julienne the carrots (cut into thin strips). If you are using daikon or radish, also cut that into thin strips.

  4. To help the kimchi sauce adhere better onto the cabbage, you can make a simple porridge-like paste made from sweet rice flour, water and sugar. A lot of people skip on this, but if you want to make a good sauce for your kimchi, it is advised that you don't skip this step.

    In a small pot, mix 3 cups of water with 1/2 cup sweet rice flour and bring to a boil. After 5 minutes, add 1/4 sugar and stir. After a couple of minutes you will notice that your porridge is starting to look a little translucent and that will mean that it's ready. Take it off the heat and cool it down.

  5. Once the porridge is cool, place it into a large bowl and add the rest of the ingredients: the garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce and of course, the gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)! Stir well - you should now have a rich, red paste for your kimchi.

  6. Add the carrot and green onions to the kimchi paste. Optionally, you can also use chopped leeks and radish. Mix the vegetables well into the paste.

  7. For this part, it is better to use gloves because we will be mixing the cabbage pieces into the paste by hand! Add the cabbage into the paste in small batches, to ensure that all the leaves are covered with the paste.

When your kimchi is done, place it in an airtight container. Keep in mind that kimchi is a bit smelly (!)  so if you choose a plastic container it will most likely be stained with the smell. It is preferable that you use a glass, airtight container.


How should I store my kimchi?

I prefer to eat my kimchi fresh, so I keep most of it in the fridge, which slows down the fermentation process. If you like kimchi being a bit sour and therefore ideal for cooking (more recipes using kimchi coming soon!) then you can store it in room temperature for a few days and that will accelerate the fermentation and ripening process.

I would recommend leaving the kimchi out for the first 2-3 days in room temperature, to activate the fermentation process, and then keep it in the fridge. Expect to see your kimchi bubbling within the first day or two - this will mean that the fermentation process has begun!

Does kimchi go bad?

Kimchi continues to mature when kept in an airtight container and will gradually take on a unique and distinct taste (and smell!), even in the refrigerator. It can last for several months without going bad, however the taste will be different as time goes by. It is important to keep your kimchi in an airtight container to ensure that it stays as fresh as possible. If you see any mold forming then that means that the kimchi is going bad - you should keep it in cold temperature and away from oxygen.

Is Kimchi healthy?

Kimchi is rich in pro-biotics and has beneficial bacteria that is good for your stomach and promote a healthy digestive system, as the fermentation process, produces lactic acid which helps with digestion!

Tags: kimchi korean