Easy Korean Kimchi

Kimchi or spiced Korean salad is a staple in the Korean culture accompanying soups, bowls, stir-fries and in North America creativity has brought them to top burgers, eggs and even pizza yes pizza! This recipe can be made in a quick 20 minute or traditional version. Kimchi can really be made with any veggie, with the old fashion version most often using Napa cabbage. Napa like all other cabbages is loaded with antioxidants, fiber and Napa in particular is an excellent source of folic acid one of the essential components of DNA. Kimchi is rich in natural probiotics for your digestive, immune and hormone health. So spice it up with this dish!

Power Food: Napa Cabbage

Prep Time: 30 min.  | Cook Time: 0 min. |  Total  Time: 30 min. plus 1-5 days fermentation |  Serves: 36 | Serving Size : 1/3 cup

Free From: Gluten, Dairy, Soy

Video: https://youtu.be/gBHqcnOhM3s


  • 1 medium Napa cabbage (3-5 lbs.)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & shredded or julienned
  • 1 red pepper, julienned
  • 3-4 stalks green onion, trim off roots
  • ¼ cup coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup+ water

Kimchi Paste:

  • ¼- ½ cup coarse Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) (depending on how spicy you like it!)
  • 15-20 garlic cloves (minced for a non-blender version)
  • ¼ cup ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • ½ cup unsweetened apple juice or ½ cup water with 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 4 Tbsp. green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. white miso paste (optional)


  1. Cut Cabbage: Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise. Cut each half into quarters lengthwise and cut the core from each piece. Cut each quarter in half again and then cut cabbage crosswise into 2- inch wide strips. Rinse well with cold water.
  2. Add Veggies & Salt: Place into a large bowl with red pepper and carrots. Add 1 cup cold water and ¼ cup coarse sea salt. Mix it well with your hands to properly salt the cabbage. Set aside for 10 minutes for the quicky version, 1-2 hrs. for better results or overnight for the traditional method, mixing periodically.
  3. Make the Sauce: In the meantime, make the kimchi paste by mixing Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru), garlic, ginger, fish sauce, apple juice or water with honey, and miso in a blender and blend until smooth. Note for a non-blender version you can whisk together ingredients by using minced garlic and ginger so no blending needed!
  4. Rinse & Mix: Rinse and drain the salted cabbage. Add the red peppers, onions, kimchi paste. Use tongs or gloves to protect your hands and mix well ensuring all the leaves are covered.
  5. Pack into Jars: Pack into a glass jar (1-quart or +). Press down on the kimchi until the brine (the liquid that comes out) rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 2 inches of space at the top to allow expansion from the fermentation process. Note – if there is not enough brine to cover add a touch more water. You can also place a layer of full cabbage leaves on top to prevent air from entering (optional). Seal the jar loosely.
  6. Ferment: You can serve it immediately for Quicky Kimchi (it will taste like a salad) but for the real deal let the kimchi ferment by keeping it at room temperature, out of direct sunlight for 1 to 5 days (when you see bubbles start to form at the top it is complete). Tips – place a plate under the jar to help catch any overflow. You can repack it daily during the fermentation process and tasting the fermentation amount to your liking. The longer you leave on the counter the more probiotics will form!
  7. Refrigerate: You can eat it now, but its best after another week or two. Store in the refrigerator for up to 8 weeks. Use clean utensils each time to remove the kimchi from the jar for optimal freshness.

Recipe Notes:

  • Salt: use salt that is free of iodine and anticaking agents, which can inhibit fermentation.
  • Water: use spring, distilled or filtered water as chlorinated water can inhibit fermentation.
  • Vegan or Vegetarian: seafood sauce gives kimchi its unami flavor (different regions may use fish sauce, shrimp paste, or a combination of the two). For a vegan or vegetarian option you can replace the fish sauce with 3 Tbsp. of water or 3 Tbsp. of water with 3/4 of kelp powder.


Nutritional Facts:

Calories   9 |  Total Fat 0 g |   Saturated Fat 0 g  |  Monounsaturated Fat  0 g | Polyunsaturated Fat   0 g |     Trans Fat  0g  |     Cholesterol 0 mg |   Sodium  250 g  |    Total Carbohydrate  4 g |    Natural Sugar 2 g  |    Dietary Fiber  1.0g  |    Protein  1 g     | *Vitamin A 45 %    | *Vitamin C  25 %  | *Calcium 6 %    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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