traditional kimchi recipe
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Traditional kimchi recipe

An easy recipe for making traditional kimchi. If you cannot find all the ingredients, use the alternative ingredients presented below. You can eat kimchi as a salad for 4 weeks and once it gets too fermented use it to make hot pots or plain fried rice.

Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Resting time6 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Course: Appetizer, dinner, lunch, Salad
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: cabbage, fermented food, kimchi
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 32kcal


  • 2 cups sea salt or any other salt you use
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 heads of Napa cabbage
  • 1 whole garlic of medium size
  • 2 tsps of fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ cup of any fish sauce you find or preferably myulchiaekjeot
  • ½ cup of Korean salted shrimp called saeujeot or any other salted shrimp
  • 1 Asian white radish
  • 1 bunch of green onions
  • ½ cup chili powder, preferable one called gochugaru*
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • a drizzle of sesame oil (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional)


  • Rinse and cut cabbage into quarters. Use one cup of salt to sprinkle cabbage leaves thoroughly.  In a deep bowl pour 10 cups of water and add another cup of salt. Soak every cabbage quarter into that water, practically bathe it in salted water. Put soaked cabbage in another bowl and when you finish soaking all the cabbage, pour the rest of water in the same bowl. Leave it for 6 hours to rest. Rotate the bottoms every half an hour or so.
  • In a food processor or blender mince peeled and chopped ginger, fish sauce or shrimp and peeled garlic cloves. Add chili powder and optionally sugar.
  • Wash and cut the radish. Put gloves on your hands and mix radish with that paste thoroughly and gently. Drain the cabbage and then add everything in the bowl with the cabbage. Spread the radish paste across every leaf thoroughly.
  • When you spread all the cabbage leaves, take one big leaf and wrap it around the cabbage. Put cabbages in jars and pour 1 cup of water. Make sure there is no air before you close the jar.
  • Leave it in the room for two days and then keep it in the fridge for at least 12 more days.


*The key to making traditional kimchi is in the quality of salt and chilli powder. The best salt to use is sea salt and gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes). If you cannot find gochugaru chilli powder, replace it with any other chilli powder or flakes of good quality. Check in Asian stores for chilli powders or order online.