How to Make Homemade Kimchi

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Kimchi is a staple food in Korean cuisine. A traditional side dish of salted and fermented vegetables, such as Napa cabbage and Korean radish, it is eaten with all types of seafood and used in a variety of soups and stews. It is so beloved that it is eaten as a side dish with almost every Korean meal and is one of the most important dishes in Korean cuisine. Traditionally, the secrets of kimchi preparation were passed down by mothers to their daughters in a bid to make them suitable wives. Thereby, recipes will vary greatly from region, family and seasonal availability of different types of vegetables but every recipe will always include cabbage.


1/2 cup Kosher Flake Sea Salt
5 lbs. Napa Cabbage (preferably, for authenticity)
6 Tbsps. Kimchi Spice
½ medium sweet onion thinly sliced
1 bundle green onions, chopped in half inch pieces
2/3 Cup boiling water
Canning jars


To make kimchi wash and shred 5 pounds cabbage, sweet onion and green onion and place in a very large bowl and toss with 1/2 cup salt, pack in jars or containers to capture brine and let stand at room temperature 3 hours. After 3 hours remove from jars and place in large colander and rinse and drain the cabbage and salt mixture 3 times. Return to large bowl and set aside. 

Whisk 2/3 cups boiling water into 6 tablespoons Kimchi Spice. Stir into cabbage and mix well. Return to jars and cover loosely. Allow to stand at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours, then refrigerate. Fermentation will continue even when refrigerated and kimchi will grow effervescent with time. Use within 1 month.

Feel free to play with this recipe. Some add shredded carrots to the cabbage and other add fish sauce as well. Each family has their own recipe so it's important to make it how you like it. For extra spiciness you can add Korean Gochugaru Chile Flakes or Gochujang Seasoning to taste.



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