Today I’m sharing my traditional style of Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe! 😀
There are a few ways to make traditional kimchi, but my kimchi recipe is what my grandma, my mom, and most of the Korean family make when it’s kimchi season. (Yes, there is kimchi season when everyone starts making kimchi! It’s around Nov.)
It takes lots of your time and care but that’s why it’s so good and delicious! Totally worth it, hands down!
I always prefer to learn (anything!) in action and I believe in cooking you should learn by action, not by reading. Because there are so many steps and actions that words can’t explain enough! When you see it once, you will understand what I’m talking about! If you like my Real Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe, please share it with your friends and family via your social network!
If you liked my traditional type of kimchi recipe, please let me know!
Also if you would like to see some shorter & easier version of my Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe, please let me know by leave a comment down below! 😀
Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi
For Salted Cabbage
- 3 cups Korean kimchi sea saltor flake sea salt
- 3 Large size(alb. to 6lb.) Napa Cabbages, total about 18 lb, quartered
- 24 cups Room temperature water
For Kimchi Paste
- 2 1/4 cup water
- 4 oz. Dried pollack (approximately 1/4 cup)
- 1 Sheet of 5”x 5”dried seaweed (Konbu/Dahsima)
- 1 dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
- 1 1/4 cup Good quality fish sauce
- 3 Tbs. Korean salted shrimp (Saewoo-Jeot. You can substitute to Thai fermented shrimp paste)
- 1 Tbs. Sugar
- 1 Tbs. Kosher sea salt
- 25 Garlic cloves (approximately 2/3 cup)
- 1 Thumb size ginger, sliced (approximately 1 1/2 Tbs.)
- 1/2 Onion, quartered (approximately 1cup)
- 1 Apple, quartered & seeded (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
- 3 to 5 Red chili, roughly sliced (approximately 1 1/2 cup)
- 3 cupsgochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
For Kimchi Filling Vegetables
- 1 Medium size(2lb.) Korean radish, thinly julienne (approximately 8 cups)
- 6 to 8 Green onions, cut in halves lengthwise then cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 2 1/2 cup)
Optional choices of Vegetables (You can add these in this recipe or skip it)
- 1 bunch of Korean mustard, cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 4 cups)
- 1 bunch Water parsley(water celery Minari), cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 bunch Garlic chive, cut into 1” long pieces (approximately 2 cups)
- Separate salt into two parts, 1/4 cup and 3/4 cup, and wet your cabbage with water. In your sink or XXL, size basin adds 24 cups water and 2 1/4 cups sea salt and stir to let the salt dissolve into water.
- Grab a quartered cabbage and sprinkle the remaining salt on every layer of cabbage, a small pinch at a time. Make sure most of the salt is on the stem part. Repeat and place in a clean sink or a large basin until all the cabbage’s done and the salt is gone. If you need more salt, use 1Tbs. at a time, but trying to stick with the amount of this recipe calls.
- Pour salted water we made earlier over cabbages. Salt down cabbage for about 7 to 9 hours if it’s 60 degrees and below(fall to winter time), 4 to 5 hours if it’s 60 degrees and higher(summer time). Rotate cabbages to salt evenly, once or twice for the whole entire process of salting.
- Check if the cabbage has salted enough by bending the thick stem part. If it snaps, it’s not ready so soak more, if it bends nicely then it’s ready to rinse.
- Rinse at least 3 times thoroughly and move to a large strainer and drain about an hour before filling up with kimchi filling.
- Meanwhile, let’s make kimchi paste! In a small saucepan, add water, dried pollack, seaweed, and shiitake. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and take solid ingredients out. Check if the broth is 2cups. If it’s less, add water to make 2 cups.
- Return to heat, add rice flour, and whisk. Bring it to a soft boil over medium-high heat and keep whisking for 2 minutes. Cook rice flour is a very important process, it depends on how kimchi will ferment later on. Remove from heat and cool completely.
- In a blender add all ingredients for kimchi paste as well as rice flour porridge except Gochugaru(Korean red pepper flakes- we don’t want them to break down too much). Blend away until it has combined well and smooth.
- Before getting your hands to get dirty with the sauce, cover your kimchi container with a plastic cookie/treat bag or 2.5-gallon ziplock bag to prevent kimchi’s smell/color soak into the container. It will prevent the kimchi’s strong smell to take over your refrigerator as well. 😉
In an XL basin or mixing bowl, combine kimchi paste, Gochugaru and filling vegetables with your hand(please wear a pair of gloves, it’s spicy!).
- Take one-quarter of cabbage at a time, hold cabbage with the left hand, and grab the filling with the right hand. Brush down inside of salted cabbage with filling and leave some vegetable pieces, not too much but not too less- just enough. (Please watch my tutorial video for this part to understand better.) Switch the hands if you are left-handed. Wrap nice and tight and place to prepare the container. Repeat until cabbage and filling has gone.
- Tie the plastic bag first with a rubber band and lose the container with the lid tightly. Place kimchi on your counter for 24 to 40 hours and then place it in a refrigerator.
Enjoy homemade kimchi at home!
i wish you many years of happiness and good cooking in your new home. you made a kimchi video a few years ago. 2012 why did you make a new one? what is different with this one? looking forward to new videos.
I love Kimchi. but, where I live is difficult to find ingredients for KImchi recipe, but i will try this recipe one day for sure. Thanks for the tutorial, Love it
I really hope you can try one day! 😀
Hi! I really love kimchi but Dried pollock is hard to find here in Philippines…what can I use if dried pollock is not available? Thank you.
dried anchovies or dried shrimp will work just fine!
Very nice video, and delicious sounding recipe. I believe I have access to all of the ingredients, but I’m wondering, would it turn out well if I omitted the red chilis and Korean red pepper flakes? They’re in the nightshade family and I have allergic reactions to nightshades.
Thanks for your anticipated response!
Yep, you can make without those, it will turn out as a Baek-kimchi, which means white kimchi. 🙂 It’s a type of kimchi actually exist in Korea for kids or older people who can’t eat spicy food well. 🙂
That’s great! Thanks again!
This kimchi recipe makes a lot. How long will this last in the refrigerator?
I like your food and your presentation style.
If you keep it properly it will last a year. 🙂 it gets keep sour day by day, month by month and sour kimchi is perfect to make kimchi fried rice, kimchi jjigae and more! If this is too much for you, you can try my quick kimchi recipe, which calls only 1 napa cabbage. https://seonkyounglongest.com/fresh-kimchi-recipe/
Hope this helps!
Hi Seonkyoung! My family LOVES kimchi and I’m wanting to try making my own at home. Will it be okay if I left out dried pollack from the liquid since I can’t find that here? Or are there any substitutions for it? Thank you so much and I’m looking forward to making my very own kimchi!
Hi Dea! It is totally fine, you can leave out the dried pollack. 🙂 In that case, please use some dried shiitake mushrooms for more flavor. Good luck and have fun in your kitchen~!
Can use dashi stock? I’m really enjoy eat kimchi often.
Dashi stock has smokey flavor and I’m not sure how that will work for kimchi. If you can find dried shiitake mushroom, that will be the best choice to make the stock for kimchi to substitute. 🙂
This is my 2nd time using your recipe for kimchi, only slightly varied because I do cut the cabbage and place it in big pickle jars to ferment. It comes out perfectly every time and the batch normally last me about two months. Now, I only eat the store-bought stuff while I’m waiting for my kimchi to turn ? Thanks for sharing!!
YAY! Kristal! I’m so proud of you!!! Sometimes I even get store bought kimchi…lol! <3 Homemade kimchi is the best though!!!
Btw, I also hid a few raw shrimp in my most recent batch to ferment too! I’m feeling like a true Korean now lol ?
Do I have to use the fermented kimchi as opposed to the fresh kimchi that you make? The Geot-Jeori?
You can make either one of the kimchi recipes to your taste. 🙂
Hi Seonkyoung, I love your videos and recipes! By chance, do you have a kimchi recipe for daikon? I always look for this type of kimchi when I go to the Korean Market; sometimes it is hard to find which is why I would like to try and make my own. Thank you in advance. Maria
I do! https://seonkyounglongest.com/kkakdugi-korean-radish-kimchi-recipe/
Hi Seinkyoung, greetings from the South of Chile.
I made your kimchi in the USA and it was delicious but now here I can’t find Napa cabbage so I will use a plain green cabbage. I don’t have sweet rice flour. May I use short rice flour?. I don’t have Korean salted shrimp or pollak but everything else I do have. Plenty of fresh fish here though.
I will make it today!!!. I just love your recipe but hopefully it will taste good.
Thanks in advance and for share your Korean cuisine!!!.
What is the temperature of your counter/ ambient temperature?
Hi Seonkyoung! I recently made this recipe, but I think it’s a bit too salty. Is there any way I could fix it? I really hope there is because I love kimchi so much. I think it’s party because of the local fish sauce I used (I live in the Philippines), but I only put one cup as opposed to the 1 and 1/4 cup. Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you soonest!
It’s almost impossible to fix kimchi after it’s made… Maybe add more ground apple or/and pear will help!!
I just tried making your kimchi, and it is fermenting right now! Im really excited to see how it turns out 🙂
– why is the salted water brine rinsed off? Doesnt that increase the chance of the kimchi to rot/go bad?
– is it ok that my final kimchi does barely have any liquid? The paste turned out very thick. I remember that from another recipe I ended up with so much liquid that the vegetables were fully covered by the liquid sauce, preventing air from reaching the cabbage.
However, regarding the taste, yours is absolutely fantastic and much better already!! 🙂
Salted water is for draining excess moist from the cabbage and make them soften. It’s pretty much the cabbage to be ready to observe the kimchi seasoning. If you add all that salt water into kimchi, the kimchi won’t be eatable! (Too salty!)
Kimchi suppose to have some liquid. Its’s natural liquid from all the vegetables while fermenting and the cabbage doesn’t need air touching. (But your previous one sounds like too much liquid though, about 1/2 to 2/3 way after fermenting is ideal.) As it’s ferementing the liquid is coming out from the veggies and it will help all of the flavors and veggies harmony evenly. The kimchi juice is very good for kimchi jjigae later!
Hope this answers help!
Hi, I’m curious about your recipe and I have a question. Do I need to put the shiitake mushroom and dried seaweed to the blender? together with the other ingredients after making the paste?
Discard solid ingredients. Watching the recipe video will help to understand the process of making kimchi!
Hi Seonkyoung! Can you tell me what fish sauce you use? I clicked the link above but it just took me to Amazon’s home page. TYIA!!
It looks like she uses Three Crabs Brand fish sauce: https://www.amazon.com/Three-Crabs-Brand-24-Ounce-Bottle/dp/B01JK11GZW/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1V010C1ORJ2WZ&keywords=fish+sauce+three+crabs&qid=1567008928&s=gateway&sprefix=fish+sauce+three%2Caps%2C137&sr=8-2
What’s a good brand of store bought kimchi?
I like O-Ssi-Ne brand, but I believe it’s available only west coast? Jong-ga-jip is a good brand too!
Can u please upload a vegetarian version of kimchi
This is the best recipe for this type of kimchee! Thank you for the thorough instructions and measurements! I have tried numerous times and this one taste the best and is foolproof. The kimchee is crunchy and very flavorful. Thank you again for all of your recipes they are amazing😘
Very good recipe and well done video. Apparently the print link is broken though. Check it out.
If I make a large batch, is it ok if I just ferment a small container and refridgerate the the remaining portion right away into the fridge? Will my refridgerated kimchi still ferment?