Homemade Kimchi

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Kimchi is a delicious traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish. It is very easy to make at home.

Common Ingredients[edit]


  • napa cabbage
  • dried chili pepper flakes
  • ginger
  • radish
  • carrot
  • leek
  • green onions
  • garlic
  • onion
  • fish sauce
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • sweet (glutinous) rice flour

BC Recipe - Kimchi

Chili Flakes[edit]

Korean chili flakes used in kimchi are called Gochugaru. You can find the authentic stuff on Amazon:

There is also a Korean chili-based condiment called Gochujang. This also contains fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, sugar, and other additions. It is sometimes added in addition to chili powder in e.g. David Lebovitz' recipe:

Sample Recipes[edit]


"I adapted Alex Ong’s kimchi recipe from Betelnut restaurant in San Francisco, who uses vinegar in his recipe. I don’t have a restaurant-sized group of people to feed, so I made a smaller batch and swapped some ingredients."

1 large Napa cabbage (2 pounds, 1kg)
2 tablespoons coarse salt (do not use fine table salt)
1/3 cup (80ml) white rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon very-finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons coarse Korean chili powder (gokchu garu)
1 tablespoon very-finely minced fresh ginger
4 scallions, sliced in 2-inch (5cm) batons, including the green part
  1. Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage and slice it lengthwise in half. Remove the core.
  2. Cut the cabbage into 2-inch (5cm) pieces. Toss the cabbage with the salt in a large bowl, then transfer it to a non-reactive colander. Set a plate on top then weigh it down with something heavy for 24 hours.
  3. Mix together the vinegar, chili paste, garlic, chili powder, and ginger in a large, nonreactive bowl.
  4. Add the cabbage in handfuls to the marinade, taking small bunches at the time and squeezing them of any excess water before adding them to the marinade. Mix the cabbage with the marinade, adding the scallions as well.
  5. Pack into a jar, cover tightly, and let stand at room temperature 48 hours, then chill for 4 days before serving.


For great kimchi, mix up a healthy handful of this along with about 3/4 as much rice vinegar and sesame oil combined to make a somewhat thin paste. It's not an exact science; I use the smell to tell me how much of everything is enough. Take a deep whiff; it should make you go, "Mmmmm...." Mix in a good, heavy dose of kosher or pickling salt and spread it all over a variety of chopped veggies, with Nappa cabbage as the dominant veg. I also like grated carrot, coarsely chopped onion and green cabbage. Broccoli works well, but it will maintain its own flavor. The pepper paste may not seem like enough for all your veg, but keep mixing it with your hands until the orange gunk is evenly coated over everything. Now take a taste. The first flavor to hit your tongue should be salt (but not too much salt) followed by a very tiny bite of vinegar and a good, smoldering back flavor of spicy heat. That just tells you that you have made enough paste and in the right proportions; the finished kimchi will taste better than this because the flavors will be married together. The veg should start to make liquid and break down in size. Store the mix in a stainless steel or glass bowl or, better yet, a ceramic crock at cool-to-room temperature for anywhere from 3 days to a week, covered with cheesecloth, stirring everyday to keep the veg moist in the juice. Basements are great places for this. As the mix ages, you should be able to detect a subtle ripening of the smell. You can also taste-test at any point.


  1. salt cabbage for 1.5 hours (1C to 10lbs)
  2. make porridge (3C water, 1/2C rice flour, 1/4C sugar, boil)
  3. to porridge, add 1C fish sauce, 2.5C pepper flakes, 1C crushed garlic, 2 TBps minced ginger, 1C minced onion
  4. add 10 green onions, 2C leek, 2C radish, 1/4C carrot
  5. place into an air-tight container

(recipe also uses salted squid, but this can be ommitted)


2 large heads Napa cabbage (chopped into large chunks about 2" by 2") 
1 1/2 lbs daikon radish (scraped and cut into finger-length strips 1/4-" thick)
1/4 lb fresh chili peppers (trimmed of stems, seeded if desired) 
1/4 lb ginger (peeled and cut into chunks) 
1 1/2 lbs carrots (scraped and cut into finger-length sticks 1/4" thick) 
1/4 cup unrefined sea salt (divided) 
2 tbsps whole, unrefined cane sugar 
2 tbsps fish sauce
8 heads garlic (peeled and chopped)
  1. blend together ginger, chili, sugar, fish sauce, 1TBsp salt
  2. remaining salt onto cabbage; soak 30min, drain, pat dry
  3. cabbage, carrots, radish, garlic > mixing bowl; coat in paste
  4. transfer to a gallon-sized fermenter; pound down, ferment


2 large Chinese Cabbages (Napa Cabbages) 
230g rock salt 
Water (for rinsing)

Kimchi Sauce:

10 tablespoon of fish sauce
10 tablespoon of red pepper powder
1 onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 oriental pear
1 tablespoon of salt
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
small touch of ginger
4 spring onion 


2 heads Napa cabbage
1 1/4 cups sea salt
Water (for rinsing)
1 tablespoon fish sauce
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 small white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
5 tablespoons Korean chile powder


2 large heads of napa cabbage, sliced thin
2 large bunches of green onions, sliced thin
1 head of garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (to taste)
1-2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes or 1/4 lb fresh chilis minced (more or less to taste)
3-4 tablespoons sea salt or to taste


2 Heads Napa Cabbage, washed
1 Cup Kosher Salt
Water (for rinsing)
1 TBSP Fish Sauce, any brand (could skip for a vegetarian) 
1 TBSP Minced Fresh Ginger
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 TBSP Turbinado Sugar
1 Small White Radish, sliced paper thin
1 Bunch Scallion, sliced
5 Thai Chilies, or 5 TBSP Korean Dried Chili Powder


1 head (1.5 lb or 1.5 kg) Korean Napa cabbage, sliced into 1.5-2" (smaller at stem part)
8 cups water
1 1/4 cup Korean coarse sea salt
1 Asian leek or onion, thinly sliced1 bunch green onion, sliced into 2" long
Ford the quick seafood stock:
5-6 dried anchovies
3-4 whole shelled small shrimps
2 cups water

For the Kimchi filling:

1/2 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic
1" small piece of ginger, diced
1/2 sweet apple, peeled and diced
1/3 cup cooked white rice
2/3 cup Korean chili flakes
3 tablespoon Korean anchovy sauce
2 tablespoon salted shrimp
2 tablespoon sugar

Korean Spicy Radish Kimchi (Kkakdugi)[edit]



  • 4lbs Korean radish (daikon)
  • 2T Salt
  • 2T Sugar

> juice is drained after 30 minutes

  • 1/3C juice, above
  • 1/4C Fish Sauce
  • 2/3C Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 4 green onions
  • 2T garlic
  • 1t ginger


  1. Peel 4 pounds of Korean radish (or daikon).
  2. Rinse in cold water and pat dry.
  3. Cut it into ¾ to 1 inch cubes. Put into a large bowl.


This recipe adds 1T sesame seeds!


This recipe uses salted shrimp and milk!

Date Notes
2015-04-26 prepared a pint of this; didn't have green onions, so I used a small amount of mild white onion. Smells amazing!
2015-04-27 prepared five more pounds of this! Got the green onions this time. Looks and smells amazing!
2015-04-28 the pint prepared two days ago is fermenting beautifully!

Fermented Radishes[edit]



This recipe uses 2-3 T salt for 4 C water = 0.5-0.75 T salt / C water


This uses 3/4 t (3/12 = 1/4 T) salt for 1 C water

Date Notes
2015-04-26 prepared three wide-mouth pint Mason jars with radishes in 0.5 T/C brine. To keep radishes submerged, place an upside-down plastic Mason jar narrow-mouth lid or a rightside-up 4oz narrow-mouth Mason jar on top of the radishes before screwing down a wide-mouth nonsealing plastic lid.