Kimchi - a Korean cultural food

No need to steal a secret family recipe; we've got you covered.

Prep time: 35 minutes

Total time: 48 hours to ferment

Yields: 5 cups


Equipment you'll need

  • Chef's knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Food prep gloves
  • Strainer
  • Cutting board
  • 6-cup Mason jar with lid

ingredients for kimchi - cabbage, scallions, radishes

The ingredients for kimchi include Napa cabbage, scallions, radishes and ginger. (Photo: Enrique Gili)


  • 2.5 lbs. Napa cabbage, stemmed and cut lengthwise
  • 6 to 8 cups + 1 tablespoon water, filtered or distilled*
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 daikon radishes, trimmed and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 bundle scallions, trimmed, cut into 1-inch sections
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 to 5 tablespoons coarse Korean red pepper flakes*
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 nori sheet, torn into small pieces*

Notes on ingredients

  • The amount of water used is dependent on the size of your mixing bowl. A bigger bowl requires more water.
  • Korean red pepper flakes, called gochugaru, are found in Asian markets or can be purchased online.
  • Many kimchi recipes call for fish sauce, which adds a savory dimension to kimchi known as umami. Dulse or nori, saltwater vegetables made from kelp and seaweed respectively are good substitutes.

Cooking directions

Rinse and prep cabbage. Cut cabbage into strips and place in mixing bowl. Add 1/4 cup salt and gently massage salt into leaves while using gloves. Pour water into bowl until cabbage is just covered, about 10 minutes. Place plate on top of cabbage to weight. Set aside for at least 3 hours or overnight, folding once or twice

chopped up ingredients for kim chi

The first step in kimchi prep is rinsing cabbage and cutting it into strips. (Photo: Enrique Gili)

Pour cabbage into a strainer and rinse under cool running water. Set strainer aside to allow cabbage to drain, about 20 minutes. Dry mixing bowl and set aside for reuse.Combine sugar, pepper flakes, nori and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add 1 tablespoon filtered water and stir contents until a thick paste forms. Combine 2 cups water with 1 tablespoon salt and stir. Set aside.Meanwhile, rinse and prep daikon, ginger, scallions and garlic. Combine ingredients with cabbage in mixing bowl. Add paste and fold until the cabbage is evenly coated with paste, about 2 minutes.Pack kimchi into Mason jar. Add just enough brine from step three (if needed) to cover ingredients. Seal and place jar on a shelf out direct sunlight for 24 hours. After 24 hours, open jar to release gasses, it should be stinky. Then reseal and store kimchi in fridge for up to 1 month. Add to soup, as a side dish, or with veggie burgers.

bowl of kimchi

Kimchi can be eaten as a tasty side dish or added to soup for some extra zest. (Photo: Enrique Gili)