I first posted this kimchi recipe back in 2008. (Actually, I had posted another kimchi recipe earlier that year, but then found that I preferred this one.) At the time, I was a newbie in Paris and had a hard time finding kimchi. You can buy it at some of the Korean markets, such as Ace Mart and K-Mart on the rue Sainte-Anne, but Korean food was much more of an outlier in France back then, much more so than it is today.

Things have changed and there was a recent wave when cuisine coréenne became branchée, or trendy, which I found curious because the spicy, fermented, and sometimes funky flavors found in Korean food aren’t necessarily things that are favored by the French palate. But since sneakers are now practically de rigueur (obligatory), I’m relieved that Korean cuisine has made inroads into France, too.

If it seems to you like I’ve been dividing my time between chocolate shops of Paris and visiting Korean épiceries, stocking up on gochujang, cochutgaru, and gokchu garu, you’re right. The odd thing is that the Koreans understand me better than the French. They’re always surprised when I speak a few words of Korean and recently, I met some wonderful Korean women that were pretty surprised to see me filling my shopping basket with chile peppers, fermented shrimp, and garlic-chili paste at Ace Mart.

kimchi cabbage

After my first batch of cabbage kimchi (which came out pretty darn good), I kept thinking of ways to improve it. That, coupled with a newfound addiction to fried rice and French-style omelets with kimchi, meant I was going through kimchi at an alarming rate.

I adapted Alex Ong’s kimchi recipe from Betelnut restaurant in San Francisco, which is no longer open. He uses vinegar and red chile flakes* in his recipe. I don’t have a restaurant-sized group of people to feed, so I made a smaller batch and swapped out some ingredients. But by the time it was done, even though at first it seemed like a lot, by day two you’ll find it’s become much more compact. So if you have a big colander, or a big appetite for kimchi, feel free to multiply the recipe upwards.

There was definitely something appealing about the perkier taste of this kimchi than my previous batch as this one gets chopped, salted, and weighed down overnight, rather than brined, so in this kimchi recipe, the cabbage retains more of a crunch.

A contentious issue with kimchi is whether to refrigerate it right after you make it, or to let it stand a day or two at room temperature to let it ferment. I let my first batch go for about four days and it was powerful enough for someone the next morning to comment on my odeur forte (strong smell.)

Print Recipe
About 3 cups (750ml)
You may wish to wear disposible latex gloves when handling the kimchi mixture. Sometimes I add some grated daikon radish or a peeled, cored, and grated Asian pear (nashi) or a standard apple, to the mix in Step #4.
1 large Napa cabbage (2 pounds, 1kg)
2 tablespoons coarse non-iodized salt, such as kosher salt* (do not use fine table salt)
1/3 cup (80ml) rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Korean chili pepper paste (gochujang)
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons coarse Korean chili powder (gokchu guru)
1 tablespoon finely minced or grated fresh ginger
4 scallions, sliced in 2-inch (5cm) batons, including the green part
1. Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage and slice it lengthwise in half. Remove the core.
2. Cut the cabbage into 2-inch (5cm) pieces. Toss the cabbage with the salt in a large bowl, then transfer it to a non-reactive colander. Set a plate on top then weigh it down with something heavy for 8 hours.
3. Mix together the vinegar, chili paste, garlic, chili powder, and ginger in a large, nonreactive bowl.
4. Add the cabbage in handfuls to the marinade, taking small bunches at the time and squeezing them of any excess water before adding them to the marinade. Mix the cabbage with the marinade, adding the scallions as well.
5. Pack into a 2 quart (2l) jar, cover, and let stand at room temperature 48 hours, then chill for 4 days before serving.

*If using kosher salt, this amount is for Diamond brand kosher salt. If using Morton's kosher salt, use 4 teaspoons.

Related Links and Recipes

Kaktugi: pickled daikon (Cooking with Maangchi)


Pajeon: scallion pancake

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork Ribs

How to Make Asian Rice without a Rice Cooker

Olympic Seoul Chicken

Kimchi Omelet

Three San Francisco Multicultural Eateries



  • March 5, 2008 3:35pm

    Shandel: As Steve said…he’s probably blogging about me, too!
    : O

  • March 5, 2008 3:43pm

    Pot! Kettle! I find it hilarious that a French person would comment on your ‘odeur fort’! Is France not the country of stinky folk (grand generalization folks, don’t hang me out to dry on this statement)?! What was your reaction? Did you laugh in their face?

  • Bo
    March 5, 2008 3:53pm

    This is closer to my mother’s recipe than your previous version…although if you really want to make the penultimate kimchi you need to add some raw fish (my mother always used salted brine shrimp or squid) to the batch. Most korean markets sell regular kimchi and “special” kimchi made with a small amount of raw seafood. The special kimchi usually costs 2x as much.

    My grandmother always left her kimchi outside by the back door for a few days before refrigerating it. And kimchi jigae is a perfect use for over fermented kimchi. Also, try frying up some kimchi with thin sheets of seaweed. Amazingly tasty and super simple. Even better – pork belly & kimchi stir fry.

  • March 5, 2008 4:05pm

    Bo: I’ve heard of oysters being mixed in as well. This version doesn’t have fish sauce in it, which I kinda missed and will add next time.

    (Although I’ll pass on fermenting oysters…)

  • masha
    March 5, 2008 4:07pm

    I used to room with a Korean girl who bought her kimchi in a Korean grocery store. For days, I was not able to approach the refrigerator. I really really wanted to have a taste, but the smell…it was like someone farted into a jar after three-bean chili and then bottled it up. I have made sauerkraut and I can tolerate that, and I also really want to try kimchi but when I think of that smell, awful memories come back. I wonder if the homemade stuff is less stinky? :/

  • Audrey
    March 5, 2008 4:12pm

    masha: my family has never bought the store-bought stuff, and i have never minded the smell, but i grew up with the stuff, and to me i either don’t notice the smell, or when i do, it’s a nice familiar scent. i hope you get to try a nice home-made batch soon that changes your mind :)

  • March 5, 2008 4:13pm

    Heavenly. Is kimchee as good a source of vitamin B12 as sauerkraut is? I ask as the wife of a reformed vegan who has to watch his b12 intake.

  • Sharon
    March 5, 2008 4:15pm

    Masha: haha, I feel the same way about blue cheese the way you do about kimchi, but don’t tell that to the legions of cheese lovers in Europe and Americas! Fermented miso paste smells nearly as bad, or worse, too, but oh, so delicious in so many dishes. Don’t let the foul smell be the impediment to your eating pelasure.

    David: so happy to hear your newfound love for kimchi fried rice (bokum bab). That’s probably in my top 5 Korean comfort food dishes. The ultimate trailer-trash (read: best) version of that dish has to be made with diced spam. :)

  • March 5, 2008 4:52pm

    As an alternative to fish sauce or oyster, maybe you can put in some brined shrimps. I don’t know the Korean name, but they do have it in the stores- look out for jars of baby-nail size shrimps in a pink liquid. In Malaysia we call it cincaluk, the Filipinos and some Eurasions call it gragoh, and the taste is similar with variations in level of brininess. Be careful when you open the jar, sometimes the brining liquid bubbles over uncontrollably like champagne, and the smell is very bad.

    A few weeks ago at Odori I ordered their cold pig’s feet dish and they served this brined shrimp as condiment -the combination was a killer. Even better was just eating the shrimps with plain rice.

  • March 5, 2008 5:22pm

    This reminds me of our sauerkraut making. YUM, will never ever EVER buy sauerkraut again. It’s cheaper, and tastier and healthier to make it…not to mention..home fermentation…that’s just good old fashioned fun. I am looking forward to trying the kimchi. Seriously excited, as your photos look so
    yummy! Next trip to the grocery store I am kimchi ingredient shopping!

  • March 5, 2008 8:08pm

    Wow! I knew there was a bit of vinegar in it! I got inspired by your kimchi exploits that I tried making mine last monday. Now it’s a fermenting! lol. I actually ended up using err… a large papaya to weigh down my cabbages. lol. I wonder if it will have a slight fruity scent to it. :3

  • March 5, 2008 9:30pm

    You got to get this Korean rice with bean mix, you need to cook it in a pressure cooker though, delicious, especially with Bulgogi and steamed white rice with kimchi and fried egg to die for! We used to make maki rolls with kimchi when I worked at the Sony Club!

  • Mila
    March 5, 2008 11:02pm

    To Umami, the filipino term for salted/fermented fish or shrimp is “bagoong”. It might work in lieu of the Korean fermented fish since so many Asian’s use the same organic process to get fish or shrimp into a state of funkiness (delicious funkiness may I say).

    Kimchi in soup, kimchi fried rice, or add it to a plain bowl of congee. I don’t think I’ll make my own kimchi but thank you David for posting a recipe I can follow.

  • Andrea
    March 6, 2008 3:40am

    oh man. I hope you’ve tried to make Kimchi Fried Rice David. Amazingly delicious. Don’t forget the fried egg on top with the runny yolk. I’m glad you’re enjoying your kimchi experiments. :)

  • rouquinricain
    March 6, 2008 5:56am

    as i’m a kimchi virgin, before trying my hand at it myself, could you recommend a decent place to try it in paris (on a student budget)? (i couldn’t find any korean restaurants in your archives). cheers.

  • March 6, 2008 8:02am

    I’ve been wanting to make kimchi for ages, really, ever since I read a book about Korea when I was a kid. Somehow I’ve never gotten around to it, but this post might have to change that.

    (Scallions are obscenely expensive in Germany as well. What’s up with that? Oh, and cilantro! Ridiculous.)

  • Elizabeth
    March 6, 2008 8:28am

    Hi Dave,
    I am a huge fan of your site. It always makes me laugh. (duh, everyone says that I know….but I am telling the truth) We are facebook friends and actually just separated by Mort who I met throught Keith from the Washington Post…yada, yada, yada..

    Anywho, I am wondering if you’d be a peach and tell me the exact location of where in Belleville or Tolbiac you bought the Thai Mortar & pestle…I wanted to lug my Mexican molcajete back when I moved to Paris a few years ago, but I still have not it schlepped it over…

    I am in the process of actually making Mole Negro de Oaxaca from scratch…(I am Mexican but have only ever just played witness mother in the long process). I have spent a week searching high and low for the products, so I really appreciate your own search for the perfect kimchi….

    I’ll be going around to the various Epiceries to get all the goodies next week if you’d like to stop your fermenting process for a bit and join in the fun !! You can check my Facebook page to see that I am indeed normal!!! Well if you can call a crazy Latina in Paris normal, that is ….Thanks for your great blog ….Elizabeth

  • March 6, 2008 3:11pm

    Hi David,
    Did you ever read Philip Roth’s book; “Goodbye Columbus”? I don’t know why but somehow reading your entry today reminded me of the part in the book where he speaks endearingly of his grandmother making sauerkraut. In the story she leaves the crocks to ferment on the backstairs (I think) and in the middle of the night the entire house is awakened to the sound of mini-explosions which throws them all out of bed. As a caveat, just beware of mini-explosions in your lovely apartment.

  • March 6, 2008 3:38pm

    The sour taste of kimchi is from fermentation, not vinegar; there are a lot of fermentation agents on the market, and the most often used ones are salted shrimp (called saewoo-jut; saewoo means shrimp and jut means the kind of spice made by salting seafood like shrimp,anchovy, oyster,etc. use shrimp itself for kimchi, not juice from it) and anchovy (called myeolchi-jut, myeolchi means anchovy, mostly bottled and use only juice). Kimchi with shrimp tastes more ‘refreshing’, while an anchovy one is heartier.

    As far as the thinly shredded red chili, you can use it for almost garnish for some kimchi, or put in on steamed whole fish, etc.

    These days, young Koreans do not make kimchi very much, as it is relatively demanding and hard to get the knack of salting vegetables; it should be pliable, not completely mushy or too crunch. In case of kimchi you make, 2-3 hours of salting will be good for cabbage. There is another kind of kimchi called ‘Ggakddugi’ made with diced radish, and in that case you would need about 30 minutes to an hour for salting. It is all about osmosis for the salting, so salt put on the vegetables does not theoretically makes kimchi salty…

    Anyway, I have one abandoned English blog in which I planned to put Korean food recipe in English, and I may post some kimchi I made; I use some Korean books with very exactly measured ingredients.

    Oh, I fotgot I have already posted general introduction, so you can check this out:

  • Jackie
    March 6, 2008 4:11pm

    On a slight tangent, there was an article about kimchi in space last month here that you may find interesting.

    I remember my grandmother making kimchi years ago, but no one else in my family does. I love kimchi fried rice and it’s really good in place of scallions in pajan, those pancake-y things.

  • donbonus
    March 6, 2008 4:41pm

    “Penultimate” means… “next to last”

  • beth
    March 6, 2008 4:45pm

    Bless you! I have been pampering my little jar for 5 days (my first batch ever) waiting for the fizz. I read your entry and realized it was ready! I am so happy. My Wild Fermentation book said I had to wait 7 days. Next I will try your recipe. Thanks.

  • Cecilia
    March 6, 2008 7:12pm

    hey David! wow, you put me to shame, I’m an Asian and I can’t speak any other Asian language except!!

    That aside, I really do love Korean cuisine and I’ve been to Korea recently and tried many delicious food there!! But my absolute favorite is Bibimbap and Ddeokbokki (stir-fried rice cake with gochujang sauce) – a street food…

    Obviously when I came back, I got craving for those food and the good news is that I’ve recently encountered a recipe for ddeokbokki on the internet..and it’s really good! Give it a try when you have time…I’m pretty sure, you’ll love it!!

  • March 7, 2008 3:14am

    Elizabeth: I don’t know the name of the place I got mine, but it was the last store on the Avenue d’Ivry, toward the métro, from Tang Frères.

    They also sell them at the giant Paris Supermarket, just down from T.F. attached to the centre commercial.

    Also Kawa might have them, too.

  • March 7, 2008 9:12am


    Word! Gaktugi is marvelous. David, you should try your hand at making it, as it’s easier to make than standard cabbage kimchi (in my opinion).

    Oyee kimchi (cucumber kimchi) remains my favorite, though. Perfect summer snack.

  • March 7, 2008 1:42pm

    Wow… scallions are 75 cents in chinatown (NY). that is crazy…

  • Yooli
    March 7, 2008 3:44pm


    1. Chili pepper threads: My mom always used them to make galbi jjim “en pappilliote” for special occasions. Basically you start the short ribs in a pot but let them finish braising in individual foil packets in the oven. Mom would place a big short rib on two layers of foil and then just before shutting the packet closed she would add a pinch of chili threads, a few pine nuts and some dried jujubes (called “daechu” in korean) on top. Carefully add a drizzle of cooking liquid and close tightly. She would pile all these up on a tray and bake slowly for two hours. The chili threads and garnishes look beautiful when you serve the packet to your guests and it tastes amazing.

    2. My mom also uses the fermented baby shrimp for kimchi. All fermented seafood is called “jut” in Korean. Just ask the ladies at the store for “sewoo jut” (shrimp jut). It will give you both the shrimpy flavor and the fish sauce flavor. It also tastes good mixed with scallions, gochutgaru, ginger and garlic as a tapenade of sorts.

    3. If you want the kimchi to last longer try making the cabbage kimchi in bigger pieces. My mom always splits her napa cabbage into quarters or sixths with the root end still on and cuts the kimchi into bite size pieces before serving. The only difference is you pack the marinating spices between the layers cabbage leaves so it all marinates evenly.

    4. Mom also purees a red bell pepper and an asian pear and adds that to the marinade – it tastes killer.

  • March 7, 2008 3:51pm

    Yooli: I don’t know how you feel about having a brother, but will your mom adopt me?

    They sell those salted shrimp, frozen here, but I haven’t tried them. But I love those chile threads. Thanks for the suggestion!

    N: Everytime I make cucumber kimchi, those pickled ones, they get soggy instead of crunchy, like in Korean restaurants. I use European-style cucumbers and salt them first to drain off excess liquid, too. I think I need Yooli’s mom to give me some advice, unless you have any : )

  • caroline
    March 7, 2008 4:07pm

    I stumbled across this blog and was totally impressed. My mother used to make kimchi A LOT. I wished I helped her more but being the little westernized brat I was I didn’t realize what I was missing out on learning until now.

    She makes kimchi chigae with the over fermented kimchi. I’d tell you how to make it but I’m a bit embarressed that it’s not quite right. But I’m sure if you google it it will come up :)

  • Yooli
    March 7, 2008 6:08pm


    Of course we’ll adopt you. (But only if we get to get falafel next time I’m in Paris.)

    Since you have it, mix gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, lots of garlic and ginger and scallion together for the ultimate pork bulgogi sauce. I use it for chicken too all the time.

    I’ll ask mom about the soggy cucumber problem, it seems to be a common issue.

    Easy kimchi chigae – first you take the over fermented kimchi (without the juices) and saute it in the bottom of your pan with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil. When its cooked down a bit, add in some pork, kimchi juices, and enough water to cover. Simmer on low for 45 minutes, add some tofu if you wish. I also stir in a sprinkle of Korean bouillion called “dashida.” They make it in anchovy, beef and mushroom flavors and it rounds out the flavor. When I am extra rushed I just use beef dashida and omit the pork. Dried whole anchovy also works well for flavoring. And like most stews, kimchi chigae always tastes better the next day.

    By the way the anchovy dashida is a godsend – I use it in black olive tapenade, puttanesca, mixed with garlic and melted butter for lobster and crab meat (a la Crustacean) – anything that needs a hint of anchov without the hassle.

    Love love love the blog.

  • March 7, 2008 10:48pm

    Check This Out!

    Posted by a member of The Well’s Cooking Conference. I saw this and immediately thought of you. Think you can find space for this in your Parisian apartment? :-p

  • March 8, 2008 1:29am


    That is the BEST!


  • March 8, 2008 2:17am

    After reading some comments about soggy cucumbers, I found on the internet that some people try it like this: put coarse salt to the cucumbers and toss them, leave 30 minutes, after that, put cold water to the bowl of salt and cucumber to submerge the cucumber and dissolve the salt, then leave one more hour. I think this is better than the other one I found: to put boiling water to the cucumber, like making pickle. I don’t think this will work well.

    In fact, cucumbers these days doesn’t seem to firm enough to hold up through the process of curing/salting… Maybe the mass production could be one reason, but not sure.

    Hope this helps!

  • karyna
    March 8, 2008 4:26am

    hi david,
    i’ve never written on anyones blog before, even my good friends, preferring to send them emails. but i’m going to go out on a limb here…
    i just moved to paris from vancouver, and i love it here. a lot of my love has been aided by your blog, it helps me to find places to satisfy my stomach (it’s got to be one of my top ten things), especially since my kitchen consists of a hot plate under my closet.
    you probably get a lot of emails or comments like this, but i would love to meet you, as i am here, and i’m sure you could show me some other little diamond eatery that you have tucked up your sleeve.

    hope to here from you,

  • Yooli
    March 8, 2008 7:12am

    Dear Lord! Dave would you believe me if I told you my mom actually OWNS the kimchi fridge? Its quite brilliant. She’s had it for years.

    Oh, and coincidentally I talked to my mom in LA last night – she says your nuts for making kimchi! But then she remembered how I couldnt get any Korean food when I lived in Paris so she said “he needs pickling or Kirby cucumbers and they have to be absolutely fresh. Then make sure you rinse with cold water and drain them very well after marinating with salt. If its still mushy, he’s fermenting too long.”

    Oh, also, I specifically remember cucumber kimchi was the only kind she fermented completely in the fridge – perhaps that helps to keep everything crisp?

  • March 8, 2008 8:29am

    Yoolie: Well, if the dollar gets any weaker, tell your mom to make up the guest room.

    I’m sure she could use some help filling up that kimchi fridge!

  • March 8, 2008 12:53pm

    Kimchi fridges! The market around the corner from my apartment in Seoul sold them. I wanted to get a bunch of friends together and buy one, but it was just a pipe dream, sadly.

    I’m sure Yooli’s mom has far, far better advice on cucumber kimchi than I can ever give. The only special thing I do that might help keep my batches crunchy is use Kirby cucumbers, which are smaller and firmer. …

  • Tom
    March 8, 2008 12:58pm

    Recently, I too have been on a bit of a kimchi quest. I find that I enjoy the less fermented variety served at our local restaurant and the first time a found an oyster in it I was somewhat surprised but definitely count myself lucky when they pop up now.

    Found this interesting preparation for kimchi and kaktugi, along with other simple and essential recipes/videos for Korean eats, from Maangchi
    (Link here)

  • Jane Lok
    March 9, 2008 1:55am

    Try to add some shredded daikon and carrot to the chili paste with green onion. I make mine without vinegar, but use the fish sauce in the Korean market. I also do not cut the napa cabbage in little pieces, but quarter it along the length, this keep the crunch longer. Salt it for 6 hours with sea salt, and then rub the chili paste on it, making sure that there is chili paste in between the leaves. After 8 hours I pack them in jars, and then put in the fridge.
    Best wishes

  • March 9, 2008 4:01am

    hey, wonderful kimchi. I never used gozhuzhang to make mine or vinegar. This is an interesting twist. I ll try, for it looks heavenly spicy, which I can in huge amounts.

  • Meatman
    March 10, 2008 7:45pm

    Excellent blog!

  • March 11, 2008 2:31pm

    I grew up eating kimchee and the smell still bothers me– that is, out of context. If I smell kimchee at work, I assume it is stinky fart, but on the table in the kitchen, it is a wonderful aroma! My mom used to make her own kimchee (i think she still does) and they have a 2nd full fridge in the garage for the stinky stuff (I think this is really common with many korean households).

  • susan in sunny california :)
    March 12, 2008 12:22am

    david…i absolutely love your blog. anyways, bravo to you for making kimchee and kadookee. yooli had some great suggestions (i know cuz i am also korean)
    but i thought i would add some of my own :)
    1. i noticed that your jars of kimchee did not have much kimchee juice. when my mom makes kimchee she usually puts everything in the jar and adds a bit of water to the bowl she used and “washes” the inside of the bowl and then pours it in the jar. hope that made sense.
    2. also for kimchee jigae i make a bit differently than yooli. you can either saute it like yooli suggests or add the kimchee to the pot with some kimchee juice, add some water not too much. add some butter, a little bit of sugar, sesame seed oil, and either pork, or tuna (they sell kimchee tuna too), or spam (like a true korean), or dried anchovy and tofu.
    3. for the pickle kimchee, you only leave it out for a short time then throw it in the fridge. also you must use small cucumbers :)

    if you lived neaby i would give you some of my kimchee. my mom always makes a ton before she goes to korea and i still have 2 jars left (she left in january!)

  • carol
    March 13, 2008 7:18pm

    david, I applaud you for making your own kimchi. I always helped my mom make it, but never tried it on my own. She also adds julienne radishes, carrots and onions in her napa cabbage kimchi and blends in red bell peppers and asian pears in the marinade. Kimchi is a very regional food and very different from family to family. My family enjoys a much less spicy and salty kimchi, so that we can eat more of it in each meal. Koreans also invented a “kimchi refrigerator” that keeps kimchi on the right ripeness for much longer than conventional refrigerators, plus it keeps the smell away from other foods. Great investment for all kimchi lovers. As far as the chili threads, I’ve seen them being used as a garnish on “ppa-jons” (korean pancakes), add them on top of the batter, after you started frying them.

  • March 17, 2008 5:42pm

    hi Susan: Mine weren’t juicy when I made them, but as they say, they did get nice and wet. The kimchi was dried than the other batch I made, which meant it was pretty crispy.

    Speaking of which, I’m going to make Korean ‘pancake’ this week!

  • essny
    March 31, 2008 2:11pm

    I check in once in awhile, and was so thrilled to see this entry on kimchi! I was just home visiting my parents over the weekend, and my mother happened to be making kimchi, although I admit, I’ve never really paid that much attention to the recipe or process, although I think she pretty much refrigerates it after packing it all into the bottles. (A previous comment mentions placing the bottles outdoors, which I suppose my mother could have done, considering how cold it was at nighttime.)

    I don’t keep any kimchi in my own kitchen since I have to share it, and even to my nose, the smell can get overwhelming. Thus, having a second fridge makes a lot of sense.

    My favorite kimchi is oi – the cucumber kind. and then, kkakdogi (or however it’s spelled in English) – made of radish, usually cut up into small cubes.

    btw, are you wearing disposable gloves? don’t know if you’re shaking hands with your neighbors or not, but I imagine if you’re making your own, the odor of the garlic/gochujang/gochugaru might be lingering on your skin!

  • kim
    April 3, 2008 1:15am

    A little late but here goes: I think bluexmas has it right that you don’t use vinegar in kimchi, nor kochujang. If you do use those ingredients, the dish is actually closer to being a ghut-juh-ree, a quick kimchi substitute. It’s quick because it’s not fermented. Vinegar and sugar are often added to imitate fermented kimchi flavor.

  • teresa
    April 9, 2008 8:03pm

    Just wanted to add that I’ve tried the recipe and am very happy with the results. I don’t mind that it’s ‘quick kimchi’. We don’t have the space to stash a jug to ferment or a family to consume large quantities of kimchi. We are happy to enjoy some kimchi whenever we want. Thanks! Oh disposable gloves are a must! If anyone knows of an authentic recipe that makes a quantity similar to David’s, please let me know! I’d love to check it out.

  • Walter
    July 5, 2008 4:49am

    I first came in contact with Kimchi when I was assigned to B Troop,4th/7th US Cavalry,2nd Inf.Div, South Korea. As some may know, we had Katusha’s assigned to our American unit and like all Americans, I just had to try the local cuisine. I remember eating Ramin noddles,yakamondo and kimchi (sorry about spelling errors), Tell you what, it was a lot better then eating C-Rations from the 50’s.

    Store bought kimchi just doesn’t taste the same as what I came to love when I was in Korea, anyone care to share there versions of Winter and Summer kimchi with an old 2nd Infantry grunt? Much thanks to all.

  • dave
    November 11, 2008 1:31pm

    I’m thinkin you just struck out with the French babes…

    A funny Kimchi story:
    Years ago I worked at the Pike Place Market for a couple Korean guys named Mr. Lee and Mr. Kim. I had never heard of Kimchi, but one day after talking about Korean food Mr. Lee and Mr. Kim sent me to an Asian market to by some, claiming it was better than German Saurkraut. On the bus back, I was so curious I opened one of the jars…..

    Well, you should have seen the riders scatter! On a packed, rush-hour bus there was plenty of room around me.

    Since then I always have a jar in the fridge, and often think about Mr. Lee and Mr. Kim when I eat it with ramen noodles, vegetables and a can of sardines.

    Thanks for the recipe.

  • Jeff In Berkeley
    December 3, 2008 12:57pm

    I’ve made Kimchi a couple of times and have used Sandor Ellix Katz’s recipe. I would suggest omitting the white rice vinegar as it blocks the formation of the beneficial lactobacillus cultures in fermentation. But if you’re seeking the sourness just let the Kimchi ferment for more than 5 days at room temperature then refrigerate it and it will last for about a month. Also, by fermenting it that long will tone down the strong flavors of the garlic, peppers, and ginger. You’re right about salting the cabage as supposed to brining them because it does come out too salty. Sorry that no one had warned you about the odor haha. Believe it or not the traditional Kimchi recipe calls for raw oysters. I love eating Kimchi and it’s a great remedy for an upset stomach.

  • December 17, 2008 4:12am

    That looks freaking fantastic. I wish I had the patience!

  • February 9, 2009 11:12am

    looks beautiful! you were the last person i would imagine to be making kimchi, although i’ve wistfully spoken of home-cooked meals with another korean girl studying in france. so maybe good kimchi is rare in the land of brie and baguette..? in any case, congrats! (:

  • November 2, 2009 7:36pm

    the raw oyster thing scares me too, but i’ve been adding thai shrimp paste (about a tablespoon) with no ill effects. it’s a little more pungent than fish sauce.

    thanks for the blog comment today, btw!

  • Judy
    November 30, 2009 9:26pm

    Hi David,
    Can I substitute or leave out the rice vinegar? What is this that I hear about mochiko flour.. or rice flour and water put into kimchi.. I have no clue what recipe to make..

  • December 1, 2009 1:25am

    Judy: There are a zillion variations on kimchi and I’ve used the juice of 1 lime in place of the rice vinegar. Some people do use rice flour, others add oysters to their kimchi. I would try the recipe first, as indicated, then make adjustments to suit your tastes.

  • Ben J
    January 23, 2010 1:50pm

    Trying this recipe for the first time! Started last night so I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  • Eva
    March 28, 2010 11:14am

    Have you tried adding a grated apple to your kimchi?

  • Shiro
    April 19, 2010 4:32pm

    Ah! Vinegar! That’s the bane of authentic Korean kimchi! It’s true that there are a lot different versions of kimchi (cucumber kimchi, scallion kimchi, water radish kimchi, New York kimchi… you get my drift) – but true Korean kimchi never requires vinegar (or limes, or lemons). The fermentation process in itself will create sour kimchi. Even so, your kimchi does look appetizing.

    Another way to truly emphasize the flavors of the kimchi is to use rice powder (or rice flour). This also creates a thicker sauce for the kimchi – which can be used for a variety of other recipes.

    Bring 1/2 cup rice flour and 2 cups water to a gentle boil. Cook the mixture until it becomes translucent. Add 1-2 tbs sugar and let the mixture completely cool. Add 3/4-1 cup fish sauce to the mix and then add your spices, chopped vegetables, and cabbage.

    It really makes a difference in taste. This rice mixture is used for about 6-7 pounds of cabbage. I’m not sure you’ll want to make that much.

  • Brigit
    June 3, 2010 12:00pm

    Hello, this is a great site with lots of good info. I have a question: I made some kimchi about a month ago, a “porridge” style recipe I got off the web. There are 3 more jars of this in the fridge. Today I noticed that they were oozing and I opened them, they are bubbling slowly but don’t smell bad.
    Can I keep eating this until it’s just too stinky?
    Did I fill the jars too much? I filled them to the top.
    Any advice is very helpful, thanks!
    And maybe I’ll try a different method next time.

  • June 3, 2010 12:05pm

    I’m not sure what’s going on, since they usually only happens to unrefrigerated kimchi. You might want to post your question on Maangchi’s Korean food forum and ask one of the folks over there.

  • Loretta
    July 9, 2010 9:51am

    Hi David, and fans of David, I am making my first batch of Kimchi for my husband . He is a huge fan and I thought I would surprise him. I decided to use a pkg mix I found at the Asian market in town. If this works then I WILL make from scratch next time. My cabbage is marinating in the salt water as I type. What I don’t understand is when you place the cabbage into the jar, do you also add the seasoned brine???? Or is it just put in the jar without any liquid?? Please help so I don’t mess this up! Thanks so much, Loretta

  • July 9, 2010 9:56am

    I’m not sure of what you mean by ‘seasoned brine’. The salted cabbage gets weighed down to expel excess liquid, and if that’s what you are referring to, yes, that gets discarded. The cabbage that gets marinaded in the spices does get packed into the jar, as indicated. Enjoy your kimchi!

  • Loretta
    July 10, 2010 1:05am

    After rinsing cabbage I dump pkg of seasoning into salt water and put cabbage back in and mix, then it says to put cabbage into jars. So I assume the remaining liquid it was soaking in gets dumped? Thanks so much!

  • Paul Summers
    November 27, 2010 11:07am

    I made your previous recipe ( a few months ago…and faced the same problems that you did.

    I left the kimchi to stand for 4 days before refrigerating it, and found it to be overfermented, and not the right colour (had to resort to using the Thai chili paste, as I couldn’t find the gochujang here in Mumbai).

    Today, I sat down to look at the recipe again, Not being able to find it among my bookmarks, I googled it, and chanced upon the updated recipe, which I’m about to try!

    If I can find gochujang, I’ll be chuffed!

  • Cindy
    October 17, 2016 9:00pm

    Hi, does the vinegar inhibit the good bacteria forming in this ferment? Thanks


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