Easy Kimchi



6 tablespoons salt
1 large head Napa cabbage
1/2 cup daikon radish, shredded or cut into matchsticks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes or chili powder
1 tablespoon minced garlic
10 cups water
(Optional) 1 to 2 tablespoons fish sauce or chopped brined shrimp


1. In a bowl, dissolve 5 tablespoons of salt in 6 cups of water to make a brine. Set aside outer leaves from the cabbage. Cut the remaining head into quarters. Remove the core and cut the quarters crosswise to form 2-inch pieces called nabak. Soak cabbage in brine for 8 to 10 hours, or overnight.

2. Drain and rinse cabbage. Discard brine.

3. Return cabbage to bowl and add radish, scallions, ginger, red pepper flakes, garlic, and (optional) seafood ingredient.

4. Stir to combine. Pack mixture tightly into a widemouth, 2-quart canning jar with a plastic lid (metal will corrode), leaving at least 2 inches of headspace. Fold and place reserved cabbage leaves on top of kimchi to hold it down.

5. Make a fresh brine from 1 tablespoon of salt dissolved in 4 cups of water. Pour enough fresh brine to cover cabbage, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Put on the lid, making it snug but not too tight, as some gas may need to escape. Place in a bowl or on a rimmed baking sheet and put in a cool place.

6. Let ferment for 7 days. Check daily to make sure cabbage is still submerged under brine. After a week, taste, then refrigerate when you find it to be satisfyingly tart and tangy. 


Makes about 2 quarts.

Reader Comments

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I love Kimchee, make it instead of coleslaw for meals. I prefer the more spicy form. I have tried many recipes, some made with rice wine vinegar. This recipe sounds perfect.

Easy Kimchi

What a wonderful recipe. Easy and tasty. Cannot thank you enough!

Not kimchi ! Kimchi has

Not kimchi ! Kimchi has shrimp or fish in it !

While many kimchi recipes do

The Editors's picture

While many kimchi recipes do have a seafood element—often fish sauce or shrimp paste—there are some varieties that do not. The above recipe is meant to be an easy recipe for someone just getting into kimchi, so we have kept it as simple as possible!

Sea food in Kimchi

I'm not an expert on kimchi but for the last 20 yrs or so I have got kimchi from a korean lady in Deerfield Beach, Fl and she has never said anything about adding sea food to the making of Kimchi. (she don't say much because I don't think she speaks too much English) To me I would add the fresh sea food as an addition to serving Kimchi. I was in the military for 21 years and have enjoyed Kimci in several different countries But like I sday, I am not an expert on it but I do love a good dish of it. And I just may add some fresh cooked shrimp to my next serving.

For the 1st overnight brining

For the 1st overnight brining, it's not clear whether or not to include the set-aside, uncut outside leaves. Please let us know soon? Thanks for this hard-to-find recipe!

The outermost leaves of the

The Editors's picture

The outermost leaves of the cabbage can sometimes be tougher than those on the inside, which is why we’ve said to leave them out. If the outer leaves of your cabbage seem fine, you are welcome to slice them as you did the rest of the cabbage and include them in the brine.

I would not like Kimchi

I would not like Kimchi because I was taught fermented food is old food; I do not like Sauerkraut altho Sauerkraut is high in Vitamin C; I like Kiefer and Yogurt;

Anne. Just what do you think

Anne. Just what do you think kifir is?

googled kefir and here is

googled kefir and here is the defintion: a sour-tasting drink made from cow's milk fermented with certain bacteria.

As an American that’s been

As an American that’s been enjoying kimchi for at least 40 years, I have to say this recipe looks pretty authentic and should yield a good product. There are countless variations, this is a good starting place.

Kimchi Recipe

Looks almost like the kimchi that I ate three times a day when I was stationed in South Korea, except The Koreans had more red pepper in theirs. Good stuff!