Kimchi (Korean fermented spicy cabbage)

Kimchi (Korean fermented spicy cabbage)

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About this recipe: Homemade kimchi, a Korean dish made by fermenting cabbage with chilli flakes and garlic, is a great spicy addition to any dish.


Serves: 14 

  • 3 heads Chinese leaf or Napa cabbage
  • 700ml water
  • 1kg coarse sea salt
  • 700ml water
  • 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 12 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon water, or as needed
  • 150g Korean red chilli flakes (gochugaru)
  • 120ml fish sauce
  • 10g dried salted shrimp (saeujeot)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, or more to taste
  • 230g Korean radish, cut into matchstick-size pieces
  • 3 spring onions, cut into 5cm pieces

Prep:1hr  ›  Cook:10min  ›  Extra time:2days8hr15min  ›  Ready in:2days9hr25min 

  1. Remove discolored, bruised outer leaves of Chinese leaf cabbage and rinse cabbage under cold water. Cut cabbage head into 5cm pieces.
  2. Divide 700ml water among 3 bowls. Stir 250g salt into each bowl of water. Sprinkle the remaining 250g sea salt over cabbage.
  3. Place salted cabbage in the 3 bowls of salted water until partially submerged; let sit 6 to 12 hours.
  4. Rinse cabbage thoroughly under cold water several times. Squeeze cabbage to remove excess water. Cabbage should have a rubbery texture. Transfer cabbage to a colander or basket to thoroughly drain the cabbage, at least 2 hours.
  5. Combine 700ml water and rice flour in a saucepan; bring to the boil. Whisk mixture until a glue-like consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat and cool rice mixture to room temperature.
  6. Combine onion, garlic, ginger and 1 tablespoon water in a food processor; pulse until smooth, adding more water if needed.
  7. Pour chilli flakes into a large bowl; stir in onion-garlic mixture, cooled rice flour mixture, fish sauce, dried shrimp, brown sugar and sesame seeds until well mixed. Add radish and spring onions and mix well.
  8. Coat each cabbage piece with chilli mixture by using your hands. (Plastic or clean rubber gloves are highly recommended.) Pack coated cabbage leaves inside air-tight glass jars or containers; cover each tightly with a lid. Keep jars at room temperature for fermentation to occur, about 2 days. Refrigerate kimchi after the 2 days.


Most of the salt is washed off, so the actual amount of salt consumed will vary.

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Reviews (1)


Very tasty and crunchy, with a touch of spice easy to make, a great starter or side dish - 03 Oct 2016

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