Quick Kimchi Recipe for Beginners!
This kimchi recipe is for those people who might find traditional Korean Kimchi is a little complicated or time-consuming to prepare. Trust me, I hear you. Honestly, it is to me too, sometimes. I make a big batch of Kimchi (about 10 to 15 heads of napa cabbages) about twice a year, and that’s more than enough for 2 of us. (my husband and I) But when we have friends or family visit us, sharing my Kimchi with neighbors, etc., makes the Kimchi goes down pretty fast. So for a special occasion – like a potluck, cooking a big meal of Korean food – I make this quick kimchi recipe, we call Geotjeori.
Geotjeori is a fantastic way to introduce Kimchi to people who never had Kimchi before or don’t like the stinky flavor of Kimchi. It’s refreshing, crunch, savory, spicy, and oh-so-yum!!
Learn how to make a quick kimchi recipe, an authentic Korean way!
Cut 1 large napa cabbage (it’s approximately 4 lbs) in a quarter lengthwise and remove the stem. Add a small part of the cabbage leaves as a whole, and the big outer leaves are cut into about 3″ long, 1″ wide pieces into a large mixing bowl. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and it should be uneven cut and size for fun texture! So have fun!
Mix 3 cups of cold water and 1/2 cup of Korean kimchi sea salt until salt has dissolved. You can substitute Korean kimchi sea salt with regular fine sea salt. In that case, use 1/3 cup. Pour salted water over the cabbage and gently press down with your hand. Let cabbage soak in salted water for 1 hour. Halfway through time, toss cabbage upside down to soak them evenly.
Meanwhile, let’s make kimchi sauce!
Chop 10 to 12 large cloves of garlic. In a mixing bowl, combine chopped garlic, 8 tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes), 2 tbsp yondu (fermented veggie sauce- it’s my fish sauce substitute), 1 tbsp Korean soup soy sauce (or tamari. Light color but salty flavor soy sauce works perfectly for this recipe for the beautiful red color kimchi), and 3 tbsp maesilaek. You can substitute maesilaek with apricot or apple jam. Set aside.
Drain the salted cabbage and rinse under cold water to rinse off excess salt. Rinse 3 times because that’s what Koreans do! Lol, Drain completely about 5 to 10 minutes.
Cut 4 to 6 green onions into halves lengthwise, then cut into 2 inch long pieces.
Place the cabbage, the green onion, and the kimchi sauce in a large mixing bowl, and mix with your hand with gentle pressure and squeeze action so that cabbage will absorb color and flavor. Taste it and add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt to taste.
Add about 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds and give a final light toss. Transfer to a serving plate to serve (it can be eaten immediately! No fermentation process needed!! That’s the best part of this quick Kimchi, Geotjeori!) or in an air-tight container and place it in a fridge until you’re ready to eat! It will last 7 days in a refrigerator. Honestly, you could eat longer than that, but since we salted cabbage for only 1 hour, there will be lots of water coming out from cabbage, so it’s the best eaten quickly as possible.
Enjoy with warm cooked rice!
- 4 lb napa cabbage
- 3 cups cold water
- 1/2 cup Korean kimchi sea salt or 1/3 cup fine sea salt
- 10 to 12 cloves garlic, chopped
- 8 tbsp gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
- 2 tbsp yondu, fermented vegetable sauce, or vegan fish sauce
- 1 tbsp Korean soup soy sauce or Tamari
- 3 tbsp Maesilaek, Korean green plum extract (you can substitute with apricot or apple jam)
- 4 to 6 green onions, cut into halves lengthwise then cut into 2-inch long pieces
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt to taste
- Cut cabbage in a quarter lengthwise and remove the stem. Add whole smaller cabbage leaves and cut larger outer leaves into about 3″ long, 1″ wide pieces, and place all into a large mixing bowl. It doesn’t need to be perfect, and it should be uneven cuts and sizes for fun texture.
- Mix cold water and Korean kimchi sea salt until the salt has dissolved. Pour salted water over the cabbage and gently press down with your hand. Let cabbage soak in salted water for 1 hour. Halfway through time, toss cabbage upside down to soak them evenly.
- Meanwhile, let’s make the kimchi sauce.
In a mixing bowl, combine chopped garlic, gochugaru, yondu, Korean soup soy sauce, and maesilaek. Set aside.
- Drain salted cabbage and rinse under cold water to rinse off excess salt. Rinse 3 times (because that’s what Koreans do) and drain completely for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Place cabbage, green onion, and kimchi sauce in a large mixing bowl, and mix by hand with gentle pressure and squeeze action so that cabbage will absorb the color and flavor. Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt to taste.
- Add toasted sesame seeds and give a final light toss. Transfer to a serving plate or in an air-tight container. It will last 7 days in a fridge. Enjoy with warm cooked rice!
- Prep Time: 1 hour