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How to Make Homemade Kimchi

How to Make Homemade Kimchi

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5 from 8 reviews

  • Author: Elaine Luo
  • Total Time: 8 hours
  • Yield: 1 jar 1x


Units Scale
  • 1 Napa cabbage (about 2 lbs or 1000g)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (60 ml) Korean chili powder
  • 1 small bunch of Asian chives or green onions, roots removed
  • 1/4 medium-sized radish, cut into small strips
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 medium apple, peeled
  • 1/4 medium pear, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Korean salted shrimp
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) glutinous rice powder
  • 1 cup (240 ml) water
  • 11.5 tablespoons (1522.5 ml) sugar


  1. Prepare the Cabbage:
    • Clean the cabbage and discard any damaged leaves.
    • Cut the cabbage into quarters and sprinkle the kosher salt between the leaves. Massage gently to ensure even coverage.
    • Leave the salted cabbage to sit for 6-8 hours or overnight, allowing it to soften and wilt.
  2. Rinse the Cabbage:
    • Thoroughly rinse the cabbage under running water to remove excess salt.
    • Squeeze out the water and set the cabbage aside to drain.
  3. Make the Rice Glue:
    • Combine the water and glutinous rice powder in a small pot. Heat over medium-low, stirring continuously until the mixture becomes clear.
    • Add the sugar while the mixture is hot and stir until dissolved. Allow cooling to room temperature.
  4. Prepare the Fermentation Sauce:
    • In a food processor, blend the garlic, ginger, apple, and pear into a puree.
    • Transfer the puree to a mixing bowl and add the cooled rice glue.
    • Stir in the Korean chili powder, salted shrimp, and fish sauce.
    • Add the chives and radish strips to the sauce and mix thoroughly.
  5. Assemble the Kimchi:
    • Carefully apply the fermentation sauce to each layer of the cabbage leaves, ensuring even coverage.
    • Pack the coated cabbage into a clean, airtight jar.
  6. Fermentation:
    • Let the kimchi sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours, slightly opening the lid to allow gases to escape.
    • After the initial fermentation, seal the jar tightly and refrigerate.
    • The kimchi will be ready to eat after 7 days and will continue to ferment, developing flavor.


  • If you find the kimchi too salty, additional rinsing can help balance the flavor.
  • For a vegetarian version, omit fish sauce and salted shrimp, substituting with soy sauce or additional salt.
  • The kimchi can be used as a side dish or incorporated into recipes like stews and pancakes.
  • Prep Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: Korean
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