Baechu kimchi

    4 days 7 hours

    This is the most popular version of the well known Korean dish. Chinese leaf cabbage is allowed to ferment in a mixture of salt, fish sauce, spring onions, onion, garlic, sugar, ginger and chilli powder. It's sweet, spicy and delicious. Enjoy as is or use as a condiment.

    69 people made this

    Serves: 56 

    • 2 heads Chinese leaf
    • 330g sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 5 spring onions, chopped
    • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
    • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 5 tablespoons chilli powder

    Prep:7hr  ›  Extra time:4days chilling  ›  Ready in:4days7hr 

    1. Cut the each head of Chinese leaf in half lengthways and trim the ends. Rinse and cut into pieces about 5cm square. Place the pieces into large resealable bags and sprinkle salt on the leaves so they are evenly coated. Use your hands to rub the salt in to the leaves. Seal the bags and leave at room temperature for 6 hours.
    2. Rinse the salt from the cabbage leaves and then drain and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place the Chinese leaf in a large container with a tight fitting lid. Stir in the fish sauce, spring onions, onion, garlic, sugar and ginger. Sprinkle the chilli powder over the mixture. Wear plastic gloves to protect your hands and rub the chilli powder into the leaves until evenly coated. Seal the container and set in a cool dry place. Leave undisturbed for 4 days. Refrigerate before serving and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month (if it lasts that long!)

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    Reviews in English (69)


    Made 2 batches, the first exactly as the recipe instructed except that I used regular crushed hot peppers as I could not find the Korean sort. Most grocery stores with an asian section now carry fish sauce, though it is generallt labled "Thai" fish sauce. Even after much rinsing of the cabbage this recipe was so salty that if any fermentation took place the tingle was lost in the brine. So then... I took the advice of another reviewer and cut the salt in half. This still drew out the water beautifully. I also like a bit more ginger in my Kimchi, so I omitted the ground ginger and added 2 (1") pieces of sliced dried ginger and 2 Tbsp of diced crystalized (candied/ sugared) ginger. Also added a Tbsp of whole black peppercorns. After 4 days in the closet and a day in the 'fridge the Kimchee was bubbly and yummy! This was very easy to make, and the ingredients are inexpensive. I won't be going back to the jar stuff from the grocery store! I understand every Korean Kimchi maker has his/her secret recipe, so just keep adjusting yours until you find what you like!  -  23 Apr 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This is one of the easier kimchi recipes I've come across. Some people may find it a little to salty or spicy. There are milder recipes out there, some with low sodium. "Fish sauce" is a rather non-specific ingredient. Since I'm allergic to shrimp, I usually try to find the kind which doesn't contain shrimp, even though it is usually a primary ingredient in kimchi. Kimchi is an acquired taste for some people. I hated it at first, but even so, I kept craving it. I now eat it every day. It is super-healthy and low calorie. Korean food in general is great if you are trying to lose weight!  -  22 May 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I love, love, love kimchi. This came out a little salty for me so I cut the salt in half. It still drew the water out of the cabbage leaves and it all reduced well. I thought that I would get a little creative and added sesame oil for an additional flavor. My Korean friends told me to eat the kimchi quickly as oil will cause it to spoil. How do you spoil fermented (spoiled) cabbage? Anyway, it tasted great, but I didn't feel like eating two quarts of kimchee that quickly. My friends were happy with that. If you have ever heard the term "kimchi breath" you'll know what I mean. As a previous reviewer stated, I hated kimchee at first, particularly the smell of it. But now I crave it. I'll eat it with breakfast, lunch, and dinner. By the way, a serving is like a quarter cup. Small, but loaded with flavor.  -  25 Nov 2008  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)