Authentic Korean Kimchi Recipe

5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 30 mins Total Time 30 mins
Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 35 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Kimchi or fermented cabbage is an Korean superfood that is one of the most popular asian sides right now. It's super easy to make and also fantastic as an side to alot of the western dishes.. so don't be afraid, try it out if you havent!



  1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the stem into quarters or similar pieces. Remove the core from each of the picees, each quarter should be cut crosswise into 2-inch wide strips.

  2. Place all the cabbage into a large bowl and add the salt. Massage the mixture with your hands until it starts to get soft. Add enough water to cover it, then place a plate and something heavy ontop of the cabbage to weigh it down. Let it stand for 1-2 hours.

  3. Rinse the cabbage under cold water at least 3 times, set aside to drain in a colander for 15-20 minutes.

  4. Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting, and add the garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and stir into a smooth paste. Stir in the red pepper flakes, set aside until the cabbage is ready.

  5. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and mix it with the spice paste. Add the radish and the scallions, continue by mixing throughly with you hands. Once they are evenly coated its done.. we recommend using gloves for this step since it could be abit harsh for your hands.

  6. Pack the kimchi into a 1-quart jar, press it down until the brine covoers all the vegetables, leave at least 1 inch of space at the top, seal the jar and put away for 1-5 days. Let the jar stand at a cool room temperature and out of direct sunlight. You should see bubbles in the jar after a day or two, check it daily and re-press the kimchi to make sure they stay under the brine at all times. Once the kimchi hits the 3-4 day mark start tasting, and once it tastes ripe enough for your liking, move it to the fridge and its done! Remember its best after a week or two.


  • Use high-quality ingredients. The chili flakes should be fresh and flavorful, and the garlic and ginger should be strong and pungent.
  • Use the right amount of salt. The salt is what helps to preserve the kimchi and give it its characteristic flavor. Too much salt will make the kimchi too salty, and too little salt will not allow it to ferment properly.
  • Ferment the kimchi at the right temperature. The ideal temperature for fermenting kimchi is 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is too low, the kimchi will not ferment properly. If the temperature is too high, the kimchi will ferment too quickly and may become too sour.
Keywords: korean, kimchi, cabbage

Frequently Asked Questions

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Can you make kimchi out of another type of cabbage?

The best cabbage for kimchi is obviously napa cabbage, but you can also use other types of cabbage, such as bok choy or savoy cabbage.

Can you add other vegetables to the kimchi?

Of course! You can add other vegetables to kimchi, such as carrots, radishes, onions, or scallions.

Can I make kimchi less spicy?

You can adjust the amount of chili flakes to your liking. If you want a milder kimchi, use less chili flakes.

How long can I store the kimchi?

In the brine the kimchi can last up to a month, while if you remove it from the jar/brine it should only be stored for a week in the fridge.

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Tag #themoderncookbook if you made this recipe. Follow @moderncookbook on Instagram for more recipes.

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