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Easy Korean Kimchi Recipe

Updated on November 21, 2011

Easy Korean Kimchi

QUICK & EASY KIMCHI RECIPE (photo below)


With the new found American interest in probiotics, this Korean staple is finding its way to the American plate and palate.

Kimchi is Korea's most celebrated dish, and is the general term given to a group of fermented vegetables.

There are over 200 different kinds of Kimchi. In fact there is even a kimchi museum in Seoul, S. Korea.

According to the Korea Food Research Institute, correctly fermented kimchi contains higher amounts of lactic acid and lactic acid bacteria than dairy fermented products such as yogurt.

Kimchi contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamins C, B1, B2, and niacin.

Kimchi is a must serve at Korean meals.

The following recipe uses common ingredients usually kept on hand or easily found. The ingredients are cut into small pieces for easy eating and quicker fermentation.

QUICK KIMCHI RECIPE

1 head Chinese cabbage, 2 ½ - 3lbs. (also known as Napa cabbage)

1 medium Asian radish

¼ cup coarse sea salt

4 scallions (cut into 1" pieces)

4 garlic cloves (minced)

2 tablespoons fresh ginger (minced)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 Teaspoon sesame seeds (optional - a personal preference)

Water

To prepare:

1 - Dissolve salt in 1 cup water/set aside.

2 - Thoroughly wash the cabbage/then cut into 2 inch lengths/peel Asian radish and halve it lengthwise, then halve lengthwise again - then slice thinly into ½" squares.

3 - Place cabbage and radish in a large bowl and pour salt water over them.

4 - Let soak overnight or at least 5 hours.

5 - After soaking drain vegetables BUT RETAIN SALTED WATER.

6 - Add scallions, garlic, ginger, chili powder (and optional sesame seeds).

7 - Mix all vegetables, thoroughly, by hand

(using gloves as chili powder may sting)

Pack all in a large jar (about 2 quart size)/pour the salted water over the mixture.

Leave an inch of space at the top of the jar.

Cover tightly.

Let sit for 2-3 days depending on how fermented you like your kimchi. (I like 4-5 days)

Refrigerate after opening.

Share and Enjoy!

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    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 4 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Right now it is February. It is only 6 degrees and I live in NYC. I am craving kimchi like mad. It should be in the 30s tomorrow so I may walk down to the Korean market and get some kimchi ready made. I guess my body is craving and in need of the probiotics..

      Thanks so much for the comments!

    • profile image

      miss airy 4 years ago

      anneyeong haseyo ... kang sam turu guyo ... when i try make the kimchi, i so happy because i really wanted to eat kimchi korean ...

    • profile image

      eloisa18 5 years ago

      kamsa hamnida, kimchi green i will try to prepare kimchi .

    • profile image

      liv 5 years ago

      hi can anyone who has followed this recipe tell me how the taste is :D thanks

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Kimchi Green. And please do come again when you start selling online so we can all check it out!

    • profile image

      Kimchi Green 5 years ago

      In a few months we will be selling our Kimchi on-line for those of you who aren’t as adventuresome as some to actually take on the crazy task of making it yourself. Mrs. Kim has been making delicious Kimchi all her life and my brother and I thought we’d share our joy with Americans. Her brand will be called Kimchi Green. Follow us on Facebook, just search Kimchi Green. Thanks!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      The only recommendations I know mimi is to leave just one inch of space. Leaving 5 inches, perhaps that might be too much air circulating. I don't know but I cannot recommend it because you may not get the same results.

    • profile image

      mimi 5 years ago

      Is it all right to leave about 5 inches space at the top of the jar? Does it affect the fermenting process or even the taste of kimchi?

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      It is a great place John and I miss it too. If you live in or near New York City there are lots of restaurants and Korean supermarkets. At the supermarkets they even prepare fresh foods like kimchi and other foods to take with you like kimbap, and pa jun. My friend tells me that near Fairfax, VA, there are also many Korean places.

      Thanks for writing.

    • profile image

      John 5 years ago

      Wish I had married a beautiful korean girl ,and then I could have Great Korean food all the time ! Miss u Land of the riseing sun !

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Me too! Thanks for commenting MOKASON!

    • profile image

      MOKASON 5 years ago

      I put it in soups stews ect.Goto have it

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hi Maria - This recipe (above) calls for 1/4 cup of coarse sea salt. Coarse does work better.

    • profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      how much salt should i put in the water to soak the vege? someone help me please :)

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Love Korean pancakes (pa jun) too. In fact if you just scroll up jaari above comments you'll see Korean Cuisine and a link to a Korean Pancakes/Pa Jun recipe. This was one of my favorite foods in Seoul. The quality of their food is also superior to American quality, so the food was exquisite. I ate and ate and ate and was so happy, yet my weight went down and so did my cholesterol. Quality food does that. I glowed in S. Korea.

      Will check out your link now.

    • profile image

      jaari 5 years ago

      passed this onto a friend of mine, she loved it so I guess she's going to make her own too .... =-)

      I want to make Korean Pancake next, I'm used to making Finnish oven pancakes and Moijakka =-)

      http://www.dlc.fi/~marian1/gourmet/finnish.htm

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So cool- thanks for coming back jaari!

    • profile image

      jaari 5 years ago

      it turned out very well, when I eat it I can see through time lol

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I love it hot and spicy jaari! That 5 spice is a nice idea too. It seems here if you buy it or order in a restaurant it is a bit less hot compared to what I loved in Korea. Mmmm kimchee!

      Thanks for writing.

    • profile image

      jaari 5 years ago

      Just made my first Kimchee , with Bok Choy, Turnip , garlic, ground my own chillies with a squirt of sriracha,water to make a paste,garlic,pinch of 5 spice...

      Smells yummy, garlicky and hot as #$@%@!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're very welcome Irish. Thank you for commenting!

    • profile image

      Irish 5 years ago

      Im so happy that ill found this recipe. . My little sister always crave for kimchi. . Thank you so much

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello Margaret! For this recipe, let it sit for 2-3days before opening. My American friends do not like it more fermented than this. Then refrigerate after opening.

      However, my Korean friends said leave it for 7 days. For me, I like it at 5 days. If this is your first time doing it or even trying kimchi go with 3 days.

    • profile image

      margaret 5 years ago

      may i know of how many days to leave it outside to ferment?

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      It is easy emer james - you just have to be a little patient. Here in NYC kimchi has become kind of popular so I admit that now I just go out and buy it and it is sooooo good. Must get some more.

      Thanks for writing!

    • profile image

      emer james 6 years ago

      i think that is so easy to do, but i dont know if i can do that???,

      I think thats great, thats very delicious and yummy.

    • profile image

      emer james 6 years ago

      i think that is so easy to do, but i dont know if i can do that???,

      I think thats great, thats very delicious and yummy.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks Ron. I'm checking out your website right now!

    • profile image

      Ron 6 years ago

      Amazing hub! Great read

      Ron from http://www.intervalstraining.net

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Yes, you can decrease the chili powder. I like it spicy, very spicy. But then I have had good mild versions and some way too spicy. Try 1/2 if you are not sure.

      Hope you enjoy and thanks for writing.

    • profile image

      gajules 6 years ago

      Can one decrease the chili powder? I am wanting to do lots more korean and japanese dishes.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I have used the chili powder that I buy from the super market - but I always get a new jar because it seems to be most potent and tasty when you first open it and then the flavor disappears soon after.

      Enjoy! And thanks for writing. You may like the pa jun recipe also.

    • profile image

      looking for recipe 6 years ago

      I've tried several recipes yours will be next. Quick question, will just regular chili powder be ok... just like you can buy in the spice section at Wally World?

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I love the added ginger. Thanks for the tips. That and fish sauce was done in Korea. Great stuff! Didn't know about the rice powder but I do like rice flour for making pa jun. Hmmmm.

      Thanks so much for writing!

    • profile image

      chili lover 6 years ago

      adding rice powder and water mixture will add consistency to your dish. a little Ginger or fish sauce adds good flavor too.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome jojokaya - thanks for writing!

    • jojokaya profile image

      jojokaya 6 years ago from USA

      I love Kimchi. Thanks for great recipe

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I've never tried it with dry powder ginger aii2 - so I don't know what the measurements would be. Perhaps if you have a brand new jar of powdered ginger and open it for the first time to make the kimchi - maybe it will be potent enough.

      Hope it comes out well and thanks for writing!

    • profile image

      aii2 6 years ago

      It's a great recipe...thank you so much...i'm just wondering would it taste the same if I were to use dry powder ginger instead of fresh ginger?

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hope you like it Micky Dee. I'm a big fan too! Thanks for writing!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      I love kimchi so I might give your recipe a try! Thank you BK!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm so glad you wrote Mary! Thanks so much for your input. I'm glad you tried it and shared your experience for others. I'll get back to making some more soon and share my experience. I found some great kimchi at a local Korean market - so I have been eating (a lot of) kimchi quite often - soooooo good! I even give it as a house gift - that has gone over quite well!

      Thanks so much for writing!

    • profile image

      Mary 7 years ago

      Thanks for the recipe! I made a half batch, and discovered that halving the salt made for a very salty brine. I suspect in the full batch, when packing the kimchee into a container, the salt water is much more watered down by the additional water added to "fill in the cracks" in the larger container. I'll be experimenting a little to find an amount of salt that works for 1 lb of cabbage. For my first batch, after a couple days of fermenting, I just drained the salty water and added fresh, because it is too salty, and I think adding some fresh will get it back to being edible.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello edelvira - glad you had the opportunity to enjoy Korean food. I find it addictive - after not having it for awhile I begin to crave it.

      Hope you enjoy making your own kimchi - and thanks for writing.

    • profile image

      edelvira 7 years ago

      kimchi was my favorite way back 2007..when i worked with koreans..i really like korean food they're the best...

      now im going to prepare my own kimchi...thanks for this easy step..

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks for writing marc0909. I'm thinking of just buying some this weekend. I know a good place!

    • profile image

      marc0909 7 years ago

      ugh.... i haven't eaten one since last year i should tell my mom or my dad to try this recipe thanks

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hope you like it itakins! It still retains a bit of a crunch which I like a lot!

      Thanks for commenting!

    • itakins profile image

      itakins 7 years ago from Irl

      This sounds really interesting -I'm going to give it a shot:)

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello risingheart - I usually make this 'one head' for myself - so I can eat it for about a week!

    • profile image

      risingheart 7 years ago

      wait, how many people does this serve?

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello allie8020 - my friends in Korea tell me it is best to let it ferment for at least a few days. If it ferments for too long I find it gets too bitter. When I buy it at the Korean market - they tell me they let it ferment for a few days - and its quite good. Hope it works well for you.

    • allie8020 profile image

      Allie Mendoza 7 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area, California

      I've been buying prepared kimchi from the market, but it can be expensive. I'll definitely try making my own kimchi. I didn't realize it doesn't have to ferment for a long time. Thanks for this easy recipe.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks chuck - tomorrow I will make a special trip to a Korean market to pick up some kimchi (and other Korean delicacies).

      Thanks for writing!

    • profile image

      chuck 7 years ago

      um........its yummy i can help it im so hungry

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello Maita - I can buy kimchi here in NYC which is nice - really well made too! But how I miss the different kinds easy to find all over Korea!

      Lots of snow on the ground this first day of winter - but ah, now the daylight will last about a minute longer each day - wonderful!

      Thanks for checking out the hub!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      I like kimchi BK and I will try this one next year, first week, as I am not feeling well, I need to go to Asian store too, hows your area there? I hope you are enjoying the holidays, Maita

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Cool Teach - I so agree with you about the food! In fact I get cravings now and then and I'm sure my body is telling me I need certain nutrients - always found in Korean food.

      Thanks for writing and enjoy your double batch!

    • profile image

      CoolTeach 7 years ago

      I too taught in Korea for a short time but swear that Korean food and kimchi alone is the fruit of the gods....

      Making a double batch of this today...

      Thanks a bunch for posting!

    • profile image

      CoolTeach 7 years ago

      I too taught in Korea for a short time but swear that Korean food and kimchi alone is the fruit of the gods....

      Making a double batch of this today...

      Thanks a bunch for posting!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello Mr. Nice - I've heard about mandu but in Korea they generally had meat ingredients and I'm not a meat eater. You may see the shrimp sauce or paste missing in this recipe because so many of us have allergies or are vegetarians.

      As far as the kimchi recipe - there are more than 200 kinds and even more variations so my Korean friends said this one is great for beginners, and ingredients are accessible - but of course fermentation is important - one Korean friend (above) recommended at least 7 days.

      This is a good basic recipe that most people can enjoy.

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 8 years ago from North America

      Hi BkCreative, we love Kim chi and always have at home and love some of Korean dishes.

      Yaki Man Doo is Pan Fried Beef and Vegetable Dumplings.

      Beef, vegetable, chicken and seafood dumplings are very delicious and can be prepared in several ways, fried, steamed and boiled in soup.

      Thanks for the Kim chi recipe. Is this an original Korean Kim chi recipe because I believe there are some ingredients missing in it. Did you get this recipe from a Korean family when you were in Korea?

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm with your tim-tim! I love Asian food and on top of it being so tasty it is super nutritious! I had sushi a couple days ago and it's time to get over to my local Asian markets and stock up on teas and seaweed and kimchi etc.

      Thanks for writing!

    • tim-tim profile image

      Priscilla Chan 8 years ago from Normal, Illinois

      Love Asian food. I like Kimchi. Yummy:) I just had Sushi last night. Another great Asian food. Great hub!

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you KimchiLover! I'm thinking of eating more this winter also to keep my immune system strong.

      Hi JG - We do need all the nutritional help we can get. And with real food. I too am preparing for the winter!

      Thanks for writing!

    • profile image

      JG 8 years ago

      This looks amazing.

      I will try it this winter. Thank you. With a bad flu season predicted we need all the nutritonal help we can get.

      Thanks for the recipe!

    • profile image

      KimchiLover 8 years ago

      I'll try this - in the winter. Thanks!

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      You're welcome. I bought some today down at the Farmer's Market. I tell you - it can be addictive!

      Hope you like it when you prepare it!

    • hudsonliberty profile image

      hudsonliberty 8 years ago

      I enjoy Kimchi I'm going to try to cook it tomorrow night. Thank you.

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      How interesting that your daughter and her boyfirend are making it. This recipe is very easy and very tasty and quick.

      Living here in NYC it is also easy for me to go into the Korean markets and buy it too. Nice and hot and several kinds.

      I love that it is so hot and spicy. It's addictive.

    • Jody Heckenlively profile image

      Jody Heckenlively 8 years ago

      My daughter & her boyfriend have started making kimchi...it was delicious and HOT!

      I think Ill try your recipe and pass it on to my daughter.  You have some interesting hubs!

    • profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago

      It's so easy - let me know if you try it!

      I find kimchi addictive!

    • profile image

      Kim 8 years ago

      Looks good, sounds really easy - will try - thanks

    • BkCreative profile image
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      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      luvingtkandtj - would love to know more about Yaki man doo!

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      BK- Ok it stays fresh for a week then I will try accordingly the quantity. Thanks for the quick response.

    • luvintkandtj profile image

      luvintkandtj 8 years ago from USA

      I love kimchee and rice. And Yaki man doo

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Hello countrywomen,

      Thank you for writing.

      When I lived in Korea, my friends would make kimchi but it would be consumed quickly as it is eaten with every meal, usually within a week. I have kept it in the fridge for about a week. After that I have heard that it stays fresh because of all the spicy pepper but once you open the container, I'd say about a week is enough.

      In Korea, the women who made large quantities of kimchi have special refrigerators now to store it - so it keeps for awhile.

      Let me know if you try it.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      BK- Nice recipe. Once fermented and is ready do you have any idea how long it can stay fresh to be consumed. I mean can it be consumed for 1/2 months. I can make it once and keep it aside for daily consumption.

    • profile image

      BKCreative 9 years ago

      Thanks Yongsung Choi - for the info. We get a quicker version at the local Korean supermarkets - there is such a growing demand here in NYC!

      Korean food is so tasty and healthy!

    • profile image

      yongsung choi  9 years ago

      Thanks for your interesting for KIMCHI the best food in korea.

      for your information

      during the fermention, KIMCHI will require an appropriate temperature. (normally. Temp. 2 ~ 7 for 22days is need to keep a good taste )

    • BkCreative profile image
      Author

      BkCreative 9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thanks so much for your comment Jenny Love!

      Let me know if you do try this quick easy recipe! I have to have kimchi every now and then - since I lived in Korea for so long, well, it's become addictive.

      Love Always,

      The Green Teacher!

    • profile image

      Jenny  9 years ago

      you are a mesenger of korean food!! Do you know that korean house wife thank Kimchi is one of the most difficult food to make. You can make it easy way.

      I will try your recipe.

      your good friend Jenny.