Kimchi (Kimchee)

This recipe was sent to me over a year ago by a great hostess, Cori S.  I’m sad to say it took me a long long time to post!  Cori went the extra mile to share all her tips for successful kimchi.

from Cori  “This is the recipe I used for my Kimchi and I have really enjoyed it!  I have also shared the recipe with quite a few friends who have made it and enjoyed it as well.  I have included some notes before the recipe:

  1. I have never bothered to get napa cabbage for this.  I always use the green cabbage I get in the co-op.  You just have to crush it up a bit by hand with some salt before soaking it.  This softens the leaves so that you get a good texture.
  2. Throw some bok choy in too. (I don’t soak the bok choy.)  It has a great flavor and texture and we get this in the co-op!
  3. Organic is better!  The natural organisms that aid in fermentation have not been killed off through the use of chemicals.
  4. Use uniodized salt!  This is very important!  Iodine in iodized salt will halt fermentation.
  5. I have attached a picture of the hot pepper packet that I use for my Kimchi.  I purchased it at the Hong Kong market at Pioneer and Great Southwest in Grand Prairie.  This is probably the hardest item to find because there is minimal writing in English on the packet.  The recipe calls for 1/3 cup of the powder.  This is just a little less than the packet contains.  I used the whole packet and it was not too spicy.
  6. I have attached a picture of the salted shrimp.  These also came from the Hong Kong market and were easy to find in the refrigerated section.  My friends who keep Kosher eliminated these and added a touch more fish sauce to the recipe and were very happy with the results.  I like to use them because I think they are an important part of the “traditional” flavor of Kimchi.
  7. I did not have a 2 quart jar, so I pack my Kimchi into two 1 quart jars and it makes no difference.  See pictures.  (This is after I had enjoyed quite a bit of it!  Mine isn’t as pretty, but it tastes wonderful!)
  8. Remember to pack the jars tightly!  You want fermentation, not spoilage.  Air space in the Kimchi will promote spoilage.  I used my fist and a wooden spoon to get the Kimchi packed in tightly.
  9. Be careful when venting it after the initial setting period.  The pressure inside can blow the lid off.  It will pop and probably startle you.  I still jump every time!  And it may continue to pop like this almost every time you open it. “


  • 1 (2-pound) napa cabbage (if using head cabbage crush to soften; can add bok choy)
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • About 12 cups cold water, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch 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


  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. Add the cabbage and toss with your hands until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and seal the jar. 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.