How to Make Korean Kimchi at Home

Kimchi is one of the most famous recipes in South Korea. In its taste, it resembles pickles; however, unlike South Asian pickle, which are fermented in vinegar or oil, Kimchi is made in brine (a concentrated solution of salt and water).

Prep time: 4 to seven days
Cook time: Nil
Yield: Makes 1 ½ quarts
Utensils: A medium size nonreactive pot, Large ceramic or glass container, Freezer bag, Knife, cutting board, measuring cups, measuring spoons.

Chinese (Napa) cabbage, cut into 2-inch squares: 2 lbs
Sea salt: 3 tablespoons
Medium carrot, cut into 1/4×1/4×2 inch like French fries: 1
Water: 6 cups
Scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths, then slivered: 6
Minced fresh ginger: 1/2 tablespoons
Minced garlic: 1 cup
Brine shrimp sauce or anchovy fish sauce: 3 tablespoons
Korean ground dried hot pepper (or other mildly hot ground red pepper): 1/4 cup
Shredded Korean radish: 1 cup
Sugar: 1 teaspoon


  • 1

    Mix three tablespoons of salt in six cups of water.

  • 2

    Place the Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch squares in a large nonreactive pot and pour the brine (the salt and water solution) over it.

  • 3

    Press the cabbage down with a plate, cover the pot and let it sit overnight.

  • 4

    After 12 hours, drain the cabbage (don’t discard the brine). Add all of the above mentioned ingredients, including one teaspoon salt to the cabbage. Mix the cabbage and seasonings thoroughly.

  • 5

    Transfer this mixture to a two-quart jar with an airtight lid. Also add the reserved brine to the jar, so that the cabbage is partially immersed in the liquid. Weigh down the cabbage with a clean spoon and place a freezer bag over it. Pour the remaining brine into the freezer bag and seal it. Fix the lid of the jar and allow the Kimchi to ferment for three to six days, in a place with temperature no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • 6

    Once your Kimchi is as sour as you like, remove the freezer bag from the top of the jar and store it in a refrigerator, where it will last for months.

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