Kimchi (Korean Spicy Fermented Cabbage)

Photo: oliviajasonkim

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Yield: 15 servings
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  • 3 whole(s) napa cabbages quartered
  • 4 cup(s) gochugaru (korean red chili pepper flakes)
  • 4 cup(s) coarse salt
  • 12 clove(s) garlic pureed
  • 1 whole(s) yellow onion pureed
  • 1 tablespoon(s) brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoon(s) sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup(s) fish sauce
  • 4 tablespoon(s) salted shrimp (saewujeot)
  • 3 piece(s) green onions 2 inch piece
  • 1/2 whole(s) korean radish thinly sliced


  1. 1. Remove discolored, bruised outer leaves of cabbage and rinse well under cold water. Cut cabbage head into desired pieces; smaller 2-inch pieces is recommended for easier access later. In 3 separate large bowls, prepare one cup sea salt and water mixture for each bowl. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup of sea salt onto the leaves of the cabbages before soaking them in the salt water. Cabbages should be partially submerged in the salt water. Let sit for a minimum 6 hours but 12 hours is preferred.

  2. 2. Once finished soaking, rinse the cabbage leaves thoroughly under cold water several times. Remove water from the cabbage by giving them a squeeze (they should have a rubbery texture by now) to remove excess water. Set in a colander or basket for at least 2 hours so the water will drain out thoroughly. Meanwhile, prepare the red pepper mixture to be mixed with cabbage leaves.

  3. 3. Prepare 3 tbsp of the sweet rice flour with 3 cups of water into a small pot. Bring to a boil and whisk until the mixture turns into a glue-like consistency. Let cool and set aside.

  4. 4. In a food processor, puree onion, garlic, ginger and some water until smooth. Pour gochugaru (chili flakes) in a large mixing bowl, add the garlic mixture puree, cooled rice glue, fish sauce, salted shrimp, sugar, and sesame seeds. Mix well and add the sliced radish and green onions.

  5. 5. Lather each cabbage piece with red pepper mixture by rubbing them well (rubber gloves highly recommended). Continue until all the cabbage leaves are covered in the red pepper mixture. Pack them inside air-tight glass jars/containers. Set out at room temperature for 2 days for fermentation to take place. After that, place in the refrigerator and serve as needed. The kimchi may keep for 2 or 3 months in the refrigerator.

  6. *Making kimchi is not easy, but if done right, the rewards are endless. You can take the easy way out and purchase them at your local Korean grocery store and even possibly in the Asian foods section of your local grocery.

March 2014

This recipe is a personal recipe added by oliviajasonkim and has not been tested or endorsed by MyRecipes.

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