Kimchi (Kimchee)

Bowl of prepared kimchi

This easy Kimchi recipe will teach you to make authentic Kimchi (Kimchee) at home. It’s easy to do with these simple steps!

Learn how to make authentic Kimchi (Kimchee) at home. It's easy to do with these simple steps! | platingsandpairings.com

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish of fermented vegetables, the most common of which are napa cabbage and daikon radish. In addition to being served as banchan, Korean side dishes presented as part of a meal, it can also be used in a variety of cooked dishes like kimchi fried rice or kimchi quesadillas. I love topping these Korean (Bulgogi) Beef Tacos with it – They’re amazingly delicious! It’s also awesome on top of these Carnitas Taco Bowls with Kimchi!

The ingredients in Kimchi will give you an excuse to check out your local Asian market. I had so much fun tooling around my local store and trying to figure out what everything was. So many fresh and exotic ingredients – I could spend hours just looking around and soaking everything in. If you don’t have an Asian market near you, I’ve included some links below. All of the ingredients can be ordered off of Amazon.

Learn how to make authentic Kimchi (Kimchee) at home. It's easy to do with these simple steps! | platingsandpairings.comPlan ahead: Kimchi needs time to ferment, so I would recommend starting a batch about a week before you plan to use it. It will last about a month in the refrigerator.

What to buy: Korean red pepper powder or kochukaru is what gives kimchee its spiciness. It can be found in Korean markets in large resealable plastic bags, in different grades of coarseness and spiciness. Choose a grade based on your personal preference.

Also known as saeujeot, Korean salted shrimp are very small, naturally fermented shrimp that impart authentic flavor to kimchi. They are sold in jars and can be found in the refrigerator case of Korean markets.

Special equipment: You will need a couple of liter glass jars with tight fitting lids to hold the kimchi while it ferments. It’s preferable to not use plastic, as the odors from the kimchi can be hard to remove after the fermenting process.

Bowl of prepared kimchi

Easy Kimchi Recipe

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: kimchee, kimchi
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy Kimchi recipe will teach you to make authentic Kimchi (Kimchee) at home. It's easy to do with these simple steps!

Print

Ingredients

  • 1 2-pound napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 12 cups cold water plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces daikon radish peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 4 inch medium scallions ends trimmed, cut into 1- pieces (use all parts)
  • 1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger from about a 2-ounce piece
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic cloves from 6 to 8 medium cloves
  • 2 teaspoons Korean salted shrimp minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding the root end. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold water to just cover (about 12 cups), making sure the cabbage is submerged (it’s OK if a few leaves break the surface). Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 12 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.
  3. Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture.
  5. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tight fitting lid and seal the jar.
  6. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble). Open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week). Refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Learn how to make authentic Kimchi (Kimchee) at home. It's easy to do with these simple steps! | platingsandpairings.com

32 comments

  1. Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life

    I’ve purchased kimchee at our local farmer’s market but never attempted making it myself. Maybe I will try now! It is really tasty! Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Of course Michelle! It’s great to have kimchi on hand, and it’s really not difficult to make at all!

      Reply

  2. allie @ Through Her Looking Glass

    What a gorgeous dish Erin! So tempting. I’m a novice in Korean cooking but this does not look too complicated. We do have an Asian market close by and now I want to check it out with your ingredient list in hand…

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thank you Allie! I was surprised at how easy it is to make kimchi at home. It does take a bit of time, and a few obscure ingredients (the Korean red pepper powder & dried shrimp), but it’s easy to put together. I LOVE it on these Kimchi Tacos and these Carnitas Bowls, or just by itself!

      Reply

    2. Kris

      I just made my new batch of kimchi last night. In a traditional Korean recipe, Korean radishes are used instead of daikon. It is shorter and fatter in shape; it has greater water content with a peppery taste. They are available at Korean grocery stores. It seems there are mom-n-pop k-stores everywhere. But if you live in and around one of the larger cities, check out H-Mart (http://www.hmart.com/) grocery stores. I don’t have one close to me so when I go to Chicago I always make a point of making a stop (tourist destination?) They have a food court and a bakery as well. If you are not in the mood to make your own, you can buy the ready-made store kimchi and they are delicious.

      Kimchi can be enjoyed immediately after it’s been made or after fermenting for a few days. My family enjoys it both ways but my 22 year-old son will only eat it fresh.

      Reply

  3. heather @french press

    I love kimchi but have never tried making my own – this look absolutely delicious

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks Heather – Cheers!

      Reply

  4. Joanie @ Zagleft

    I’ve never made kimchi but am so ingtrigued now. You make it look easy. I might give it a try this weekend.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you do try it Joanie – Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

  5. Laura @MotherWouldKnow

    I love the idea of making my own kimchee. I’ve had it frequently, but it always seemed so intimidating. Now after reading your post, I think I’m ready to make it – thanks.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      You are welcome Laura – It’s really not too difficult at all. Waiting is the hardest part!

      Reply

  6. Netta

    I love Kimchee and am super excited to try this. Just wondering if you have to release the gas every 24 hours if you’re letting it ferment for a full week or is that a one time thing?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Netta – No need to release the gasses every day. Just the one time is great!

      Reply

  7. Abasheeyah

    I love kimchi..But in country the in my country(Nigeria) the ingredient are not available…..I wish I can visit Korean again…..

    Reply

  8. Jeanette

    Do you use all 1/2 cups of salt to brine the cabbage or do you save some for the pepper paste? I have now successfully failed at two attempts and I have read at least 30 different, yet similar versions of the recipe. Is the fish sauce supposed to be sufficient salt once the fermentation is complete?
    You have great pictures and the recipe is well written. Please clarify. Thanks.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thank you Jeanette – Yes, you will use all 1/2 cups of salt to brine the cabbage and then it will be rinsed off. The salted shrimp and fish sauce help to provide even more seasoning as it ferments. I hope this helps!

      Reply

  9. Andrew

    I would just add 1 technique that you aren’t really doing right.
    In Korea you don’t toss the cabbage with the paste. You open the leaves and rub the paste on it. Its not a big deal but that’s how its traditionaly made..
    Also you might want to put a small warning. You might to tell people to wear rubber or food prep gl9ves. Some people will have a reaction to the paste and it will make their hands feel like they are burning

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Great tips Andrew – Thank you!

      Reply

      1. jen

        Andrew- you rub the paste into the leaves if you are making whole kimchi with quartered heads of cabbage. since this recipe is “mak” kimchi or “already cut” kimchi, tossing the cabbage with the paste is the only way to make sure all the cabbage gets coated evenly.

        Reply

  10. Billy

    I love the idea of making homemade kimchi. This looks so delicious! I usually buy it from the store but if I can make it en masse it would be alot cheaper and I’d feel better about knowing what I was eating! Thank you for sharing your recipe, I definitely want to give this a try at home next time I ferment anything!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Of course Billy – I hope you enjoy!

      Reply

  11. Bel

    Vegetarian here, is the minced shrimp absolutely necessary? This looks too good to pass up!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Bel – I think that you can definitely make this without the minced shrimp. It shouldn’t make a huge difference, but you may want to add a bit of extra salt at the end…

      Reply

  12. Luis

    Both my husband and I have GERD and love kimchi. Is there a way to make it without it being so spicy?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Luis – You can cut way back on the Korean red pepper powder, or leave it out entirely. Hope this helps!

      Reply

      1. Janet

        Hi Luis,
        I used to suffer from GERD, too. I found my best cure in raw fermented foods like kimchi (without too much spice at first!). Raw fermented foods are very healing to the gut. I especially enjoy a few forkfuls on my morning eggs.
        Hope this helps! 😀

        Reply

  13. Melissa Michaels

    Hey I’m super excited to try this recipe but one question. After everything is placed in the jars you said seal it, does that mean pressure seal it? Wasn’t sure as it also states to open it after 24 hrs.
    Thanks

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Melissa – No need to pressure seal with the kimchi.

      Reply

  14. Bob

    I made this true to the recipe, after a week I tasted it. It was abit dry, I thought it would be wetter. It was good, but shouldn’t it be moister? Should I do anything to it? Will it keep just as well?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Bob – It should keep well as it is!

      Reply

  15. A

    Hi, thanks for the recipe. Just wondering – when it says ferment up to one week does that mean out of the fridge? Or put it in the fridge after 24 hours but then don’t eat it for one week? Thanks for your help!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi – This means to ferment it in the fridge.

      Reply

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