Thursday, 17 November 2011

How to Make: Easy Cabbage Kimchi/Gimchee/Kimchee (김치) (沈菜)

Kimchi/Kimchee/Gimchee/Gimchi is a Korean side dish and most of the time, it's the first thing you think of when you hear about Korean food. It is served with almost every meal along with other side dishes. It is full of complexity and it is spicy, salty, crunchy and as time passes, sour. For this recipe, I learned this way of making Kimchi from my Korean host family when I was travelling a couple months back. She showed me how easy it was. One thing to watch out is that, make sure you use KOREAN chillies, not just any chili powder, it has to be KOREAN type. I've made it with the common hot pepper flakes,- it was beyond spicy, and the colour was not as bright too. You can get it (usually in big 500gm-1 kg bags) at Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese- almost any Asian market.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi/Gimchee/Kimchee (김치) (沈菜)
Yields: 1.5 kg of Kimchi
Total Time: 2.5 hours.
  • 1.5 kg of Nappa Cabbage (Chinese Cabbage) 3.3 pounds
  • 300 gm of (one medium sized) Daikon Radish (10 oz or (2/3) lbs), Sliced
  • ~175 gm One medium sized Carrot, Sliced ( 5 oz or 1/3 pound)
  • 8 Green Scallion Onions (Chopped)
  • 75 gm of Sea Salt (1/3 cup)
  • 1 whole head of garlic, finely minced (1/3 cup)
  • 3 tbsp of Grated Ginger
  • 1 medium Onion, grated
  • 125 mL of Fish Sauce (1/2 cup)
  • 100 gm of Hot pepper flakes or hot pepper powder (2/3 cup) (this amount is medium spicy, use more or less if you want it spicier or less spicy.
  • 30 gm of Glutinous rice flour
  • 80 mL of Water (1/3 cup)
  • 30 gm of sugar
  • Cut the Nappa/Chinese into bite size pieces and soak them in water to clean them. Drain the cabbage, and transfer 1/4 of the cabbage into a large bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 of the salt on the cabbage. This will ensure that the salt will coat the cabbage evenly. Continue the layering of cabbage and salt until finished. Let the salt and cabbage sit for 2 hours. Stir every half hour. There should be a lot of water coming out of the cabbage.
  • Wash the cabbage 4-5 times to remove the salt taste. Drain well.
  • In a saucepan, dissolve the glutinous rice flour, sugar and water until there are no more lumps. Turn the heat on Medium heat and allow the porridge to thicken. The consistency should be like liquid honey. Let the mixture cool.
  • Add in the minced garlic, grated onion, grated ginger, fish sauce, Hot pepper flakes, carrot, daikon radish and green onion. Stir to combine.
  • Mix the drained cabbage with the sauce, be sure to coat evenly. Store in a container- make sure to press the kimchi when you transfer it to a container to squeeze out air pockets that can shorten the life of your kimchi. A special twist that my Korean host family showed me was that she drizzled about 2-3 tbsp of honey over the top to make it a little sweet, it also allows the good bacteria to grow.
  • You can leave it out for 5-7 days to ferment and get sour, then put it in the fridge for or you can put it in the fridge to ferment slowly (over weeks). Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds and serve with rice or as a banchan!

  • Use Red Pepper Flakes for less spicy Red Pepper Powder for more spicy. The finer the powder the greater in concentration the spicyness is.
  • You don't have to make a porridge if you don't have glutinous rice flour, just skip the porridge stage and just mix the sauce together. The reason for


  1. I was able to grab a photo for the addition to eRecipecards... All looks terrific, come see your body of work...

    Thanks again, love the way you do your posts... so easy to follow!


  2. Looks delicious! must try.


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