Recipes

Napa cabbage kimchi

Tongbaechu-kimchi 통배추김치

Hello everybody!
Today I’m going to show you how to make classic, spicy, traditional napa cabbage kimchi called tongbaechu-kimchi, a.k.a. baechu-kimchi or pogi-kimchi. But this dish is so common and iconic among Koreans that we simply call it “kimchi.” When people talk about kimchi, this is the dish they’re referring to, despite the fact that there are many kinds of kimchi in Korean cuisine, and many made with napa cabbage, too.

Over the years I’ve posted recipes for a few of them, but I’ve never made an in-depth video for making tongbaechu-kimchi! I’ve made a video for mak-kimchi (easy kimchi), which is very similar but is easier because you to chop up the cabbage first, and I’ve made an ultra simple yangbaechu-kimchi (emergency kimchi). Many years ago I even posted a recipe showing how to make baechu-kimchi with kkakdugi in one batch. But until now, I’ve never posted the most classic and traditional napa cabbage kimchi.

This kimchi uses the whole cabbage leaf, which makes it more labor-intensive than the other ones on my website, because you’ll need to take time to spread the spicy paste leaf by leaf. It’s more work, but this is the traditional style and if you can make this kind of kimchi well, you can consider yourself good at Korean cooking.

As I mention in the video, my mom used to make kimchi from 200 heads of cabbage! This was kimjang kimchi, made with her friends at the beginning of winter, and meant to last until the spring. 3 to 4 of her friends would come over and help her chop vegetables and most importantly, spread the paste on the leaves. This always needs to be done by hand. They would bring their own rubber gloves, and spend the day talking and laughing, and always had pollock stew or beef radish soup for lunch. They had a lot of fun!

At the end of the day they would take some kimchi home with them, but my mom would get all the rest, which lasted my whole family through the winter. And when my mom’s friends needed to make their winter kimchi, my mom brought her gloves over to their houses and helped them, like they did for her.

In the video I also show you how to ferment it in a traditional onggi. Using an onggi is not mandatory, but for those of you who have one already, this is how you use it! If you don’t have one, just use a BPA-free plastic container, or a glass container.

I answer many other frequently asked questions about kinchi-making in this video:

I hope you enjoy the recipe, and if you love kimchi, I encourage you to make your own kimchi at home. It’s delicious, easy, and a fun thing to do!

kimchi_onggi (포기김치)

Ingredients (Makes about 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of Kimchi):

For salting cabbage:

  • 6 pounds napa cabbage (3 to 4 heads of medium napa cabbage)
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt

For making porridge:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour)
  • 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar (brown or white sugar)

Vegetables:

  • 2 cups radish matchsticks
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 7 to 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped Asian chives (buchu), optional (substitute with 3 green onions, chopped)
  • 1 cup water dropwort (minari), optional

Seasonings and spices:

Directions: Prepare and salt the cabbage:

  1. If the cabbage cores stick out too much, trim them off.
  2. To split a cabbage in half without shredding the densely packed leaves inside, first cut a short slit in the base of the cabbage, enough to get a grip on either half, and then gently pull the halves apart so the cabbage splits open. kimchi_cut cabbage
  3. Cut a slit through the core of each half, 2 inches above the stem. You want the cabbage leaves to be loose but still attached to the core.napa cabbage_cut (배추)
  4. Dunk the halves in a large basin of water to get them wet. Sprinkle the salt between the leaves by lifting up every leaf and getting salt in there. Use more salt closer to the stems, where the leaves are thicker.Salting cabbage cabbage_salting (배추 소금절이기)
  5. Let the cabbages rest for 2 hours. Turn over every 30 minutes, so they get well salted. From time to time you can ladle some of the salty water from the bottom of the basin over top of the cabbages if you want to.kimchi_cabbage salting (배추소금절이기) kimchi_cabbage salting (배추소금절이기)
  6. After 2 hours, wash the cabbage halves a few times under cold running water. Giving them a good washing, to remove the salt and any dirt. As you wash, split the halves into quarters along the slits you cut into earlier. Cut off the cores, and put them in a strainer over a basin so they can drain well.kimchi-cabbage wash (배추씻기)

While the cabbage is salting for 2 hours, and in between the times you’re turning it over, you can make the porridge:

  1. Combine the water and the sweet rice flour in a small pot. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let it cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble. Add the sugar and cook 1 more minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and let it cool off completely.
  2. Place garlic, ginger, and onion in a large mixing bowl. Add fish sauce, fermented salted shrimp, and hot pepper flakes. Mix well with the wooden spoon until the mixture turns into a thin paste.
  3. Add the radish, carrot, and green onion, plus the Asian chives (or more green onions) and the water dropwort if you’re using them. Mix well.salted fermented shrimp (saeujeot: 새우젓)kimchi_seasoningskimchi_paste (김치양념)kimchi pasteKimchi making (김치)kimchi paste (김치속) kimchi paste

Make kimchi:

  1. Spread some kimchi paste on each cabbage leaf. When every leaf in a quarter is covered with paste, wrap it around itself into a small packet, and put into your jar, plastic container, or onggi.
  2. Eat right away, or let it sit for a few days to ferment.kimchi makingwhole-cabbage-kimchifresh-kimchi (포기김치)

On fermentation:

  1. The kimchi will start fermenting a day or two at room temperature, depending on the temperature and humidity of your room. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Once it starts to ferment it will smell and taste sour, and pressing on the top of the kimchi with a spoon will release bubbles from beneath.
  2. Once it starts to fermented, store in the refrigerator to use as needed. This slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more and more sour as time goes on.

fermented kimchi (포기김치)

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92 Comments:

  1. leolove mississauga My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 19th, 2014 at 8:54 pm | # |

    Hi…I was wondering if it’s ok not to use fermented salted shrimp…Thank you

  2. murali India My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 18th, 2014 at 4:50 am | # |

    Anyŏnghaseyo Maangchi,
    Im Murali from India. Your cooking style is awesome which makes me as your fan from india. For Kimchi recipe, could you please suggest me an alternate for red pepper flakes. Because in India red pepper flakes availability very less. So instead of red pepper flakes Is there anything alternate can we add to get the same flavor? kindly awaiting for your reply…

    kamsahamnida…

  3. Utsuro USA My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 17th, 2014 at 5:55 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi,
    Is it OK to leave the fermented shrimp out when making kimchi because I can’t find it in the shops near me😓

    • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted December 18th, 2014 at 2:22 am | # |

      Hi Utsuro,

      You may use fermented Anchovy fish-sauce (Myeolchi-jeot; Nam-pla) or Kanari fish-sauce instead. Check the saltiness!
      Even soy-sauce works.
      Those are starters for Kimchi like sour-dough is for bread.

      Bye, sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 18th, 2014 at 8:57 am | # |

      yes, skip fermented shrimp sauce. Your kimchi will still turn out delicious.

  4. MsHmong Wi, USA My profile page joined 1/14
    Posted December 15th, 2014 at 10:34 pm | # |

    Maangchi, HELP! I doubled the recipe and it came out bitter, perhaps I used too much garlic, is there any way to correc that? Also, I put my jar of kimchee in the fridge, should I leave it out? I live in Wisconsin so my kitchen gets pretty cold since it’s winter now. Any advice would help, thank you!!!

    • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted December 16th, 2014 at 5:37 am | # |

      Hi MsHmong,

      First of all: The rice-porridge has to be thorougly cooked. If that spoils, anything else will.

      You are sure you’ve used Napa-cabbage? There is a salad called “Zuckerhut” (sugar-cone) in German. And that’s bitter.
      Not really fresh Garlic tends to be bitter, too.
      Bitter Napa-cabbage – it happens. If so, salt and water it longer next time to remove the bitterness.
      I don’t think that it’s spoiled – sometimes, a little bitter tastes quite good; there’s even Kimchi made from Dandelions!

      Maybe it isn’t fermented long enough. Or the carrots are bitter.

      Or – and that’s probably it – you cut the onions/garlic/chives beforehand and let them stand a while. When in contact with the air, they get bitter. Use a sharp knife, mix them with a little bit of oil or put them in an air-tight container right away. Or just mix them with the other ingredients asap.

      You may add a pinch of sugar before serving.
      If anything else fails, use it to make Kimchi-jjigae, Kimchi-bokeumbap, Pindaetteok, … after removing the filling. Heat destroys some of the bitterness. You may also fry it with pork.

      Storing outside the fridge: Only small batches. If you need the space, you may store your Kimchi out-doors; it even tolerates freezing over. But storing it around 0 °C is better. You may bury it in your yard …

      Good luck, sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted December 18th, 2014 at 9:00 am | # |

      I’m sorry to hear that your kimchi tastes bitter but a little bit of bitter taste is ok.
      Check your hot pepper flakes. It might have caused the bitter taste in case its quality is not good. Or fish sauce? Check the taste of your fish sauce as it is.
      http://www.maangchi.com/talk/topic/first-time-homemade-kimchi-bitter-taste

  5. gaina Poland My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 11th, 2014 at 6:42 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi!
    You’re the cutest person ever! And you’re cooking like a goddess :). I’m in love with this recipe and I love kimchi but… I can’t get fermented shrimps :(, can I replace this with something? I can get dry shrimps or shrimp paste kapi is that ok?
    Greetings from Poland ;)!

  6. Adam V Missouri My profile page joined 12/14
    Posted December 4th, 2014 at 6:03 pm | # |

    Maangchi! Long time no talk!! Say, we have fallen so in love (and addicted) to kimchi, we are going to buy a kimchi refrigerator! They are kind of hard to find in our area so we may have to drive a long way or order with shipping. Maybe you can recommend a good brand/model of smaller, chest size kimchi refrigerator! Take care and thank you for bringing the magic of Korean cooking into our home!

  7. Caxibelle11214 Nyc My profile page joined 11/14
    Posted November 25th, 2014 at 9:54 pm | # |

    Manngchi, my kimchi making is on day 2 now, my porridge is not a paste, very watery. After I arrange my cabbage in a glass bottle, it become very watery even in day2. Is this normal. Will my kimchi turn out to be ok?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 25th, 2014 at 10:24 pm | # |

      yes, it sounds like your kimchi will turn out delicious with lots of brine.

      • Caxibelle11214 Nyc My profile page joined 11/14
        Posted November 27th, 2014 at 1:08 pm | # |

        Hi Maangchi, my kimchi has been rested in fridge for 4days already. When can I start using it? How long can it be kept in fridge? I worry it will turn bad!

        • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
          Posted November 29th, 2014 at 10:27 am | # |

          You can eat your kimchi right after it’s made. Kimchi never goes bad but usually its peak fermentation takes 2 weeks in the fridge. Check this out, please. http://www.maangchi.com/talk/topic/how-long-can-i-keep-kimchi

          • Caxibelle11214 Nyc My profile page joined 11/14
            Posted November 29th, 2014 at 4:49 pm | # |

            Hi Maangchi, Thank you so much for the delicious recipes of Kimchi. This is my 1st try. It turn out to be so so delicious. The only different is, mine not look as red as yours.
            I just take a piece of kimchi for pancake.
            I like it so much. I nearly finish the whole pancake by myself.
            I am going to use the kimchi for fried rice tomorrow.
            Since i have a batch of kimchi, I guess i am going to eat it everyday with your other kimchi recipe.
            Thanks………

  8. safak Turkey My profile page joined 11/14
    Posted November 21st, 2014 at 5:48 am | # |

    Hı Maangchi, Greetings from Turkey… yesterday i made kimchi and İt’s really delicious. Your recipe is really basic and tasty. But my biggest problem is sesame oil…it is very expensive in turkey Unfortunately so which oil can i use for other recipes ?? Thank u ….

  9. Dyani Yogyakarta, Indonesia My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted November 12th, 2014 at 11:58 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I want to know after kimchi fermented, how long it last until its unable to eat? or rotten?

  10. Farlance United States My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted November 7th, 2014 at 3:01 am | # |

    Hi, Maanchi.

    Long-time admirer, first time commenter. I’ve been meaning to make homemade kimchi for years now; I saw your original recipe about 4 years ago and it sounded amazing.

    So, I went to the market, bought 10 lbs of napa cabbage and everything else (They even had buchu and minari!), and went home to get started. It was a long process, but honestly, I’ve never had better kimchi in my life, and don’t even mind the enormous container of it in my fridge. I’ve been eating it with almost every meal since, and I’m looking forward to making more once this batch is gone!

    I really appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us. You make fantastic food.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 7th, 2014 at 11:28 am | # |

      Hi, my friend!
      I’m very happy to hear that you eventually made your own kimchi and it turned out very delicious!

  11. peacelove14 Wisconsin, USA My profile page joined 11/14
    Posted November 3rd, 2014 at 1:04 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Thank you so much for the recipe and the video. This was the fourth time I have ever made kimchi, each time I’ve used different recipes. I have an allergy to seafood, so I’ve never been able to eat kimchi at a restaurant or made traditionally. It’s been fun to experiment and try different variations all leaving out the shellfish and the fish sauce. Your recipe is unique and taste is the best and my family agrees. We all enjoy it and will be using your recipe from now on.
    For anyone else who may have a similar allergy, this recipe tastes great without the fish and shrimp too!
    Thanks again. :)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 3rd, 2014 at 3:03 pm | # |

      Thank you so much for your nice words. I’m very happy to hear that you love this recipe. Good luck with your Korean cooking!

      • UC22 india My profile page joined 11/14
        Posted November 6th, 2014 at 9:34 am | # |

        hi maangchi……
        Annagaha-seo…i am new joinee to your club…
        I am an Indian , and been very found of the Korean Delicacies and love
        the way the Korean recipes are prepared….I saw and loved your recipe of ggriyanchim and kimchi jijigae…..i love it a lot….thanks for your great
        contribution to explore the Korean recipes from our home..
        would be following up with you always…Thanks

  12. thomasanp Washington My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 31st, 2014 at 1:51 pm | # |

    Is there a way to use fresh red peppers instead of pepper flakes?

  13. xtralargepho USA My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 26th, 2014 at 8:10 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    Can I use fine Korean sea salt for the tongbaechu kimchi? Do I use the same amount? Thank you!

  14. Tonyas969 TN My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 19th, 2014 at 8:26 pm | # |

    Let me first say I think this is the first time I have ever written to a blog before…. And I have NEVER made anything Korean or anything like this EVER. Your recipe looks awesome and my fiance’ is so excited as he loves Korean food. I have a couple of questions, as I was supposed to make this today, but am still too nervous. I have watched your FAQ and these are not listed- I am sure I am not the only one with these questions! I sure hope you can respond soon…
    1. I am using one LARGE cabbage that weighs almost 6 pounds. I will be cutting my cabbage into pieces. Some recipes call for soaking your salted (cut up) cabbage in water overnight- then rinsing thoroughly the next morning- what do you think about this- is it necessary? How long do you soak before salting?
    2. I only have Red Pepper Powder, will this work as a replacement for the flakes? How much should I use?
    3. If I make the paste the night before, will it be ok sitting/marinating in the fridge overnight?
    4. How do you store it? Do you use small glass jars or one big gallon jar? I have read that if you put the lids on tight for the glass jars they can explode- what do you recommend?

    • Tonyas969 TN My profile page joined 10/14
      Posted October 19th, 2014 at 8:38 pm | # |

      ALSO- if I wanted to use Korean Hot Peppers that I have grown in my own garden – how many should be used instead of the flakes???

    • Tonyas969 TN My profile page joined 10/14
      Posted October 20th, 2014 at 2:00 pm | # |

      and i may have missed it- what do you do with the porridge??

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 22nd, 2014 at 7:14 pm | # |

      1. If it’s not my recipe, it’s hard for me to give advice on it. I suggest you follow mine and your kimchi will turn out wonderful!

      2. Yes.

      3. It will work but it’s better to make the paste fresh.

      4. Glass or plastic or Korean onggi are all fine.

  15. Crystal Tan Singapore My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 18th, 2014 at 10:39 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi, may i know why does the sauce seems to separate after i storing it for an hour? The sauce seems to be divided into two, with a layer of liquid at the top.

  16. Marimo Seoul My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 15th, 2014 at 4:12 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi!

    Thank you for sharing all your great recipes! I’m currently living in Seoul and they have helped me a lot with cooking with the local ingredients.

    I’ve tried this kimchi recipe and it turned out pretty good but not perfect (according to my taste anyway…) I find the the balance between the spiciness and the sourness to be a little off; in other words, I find that the spiciness overpowers the sourness. It’s not too spicy mind you, just not sour enough I guess. Any idea why that is? Maybe I used too much kimchi paste? It seems like there will be a lot left over once I’m done eating the cabbage…

    In that regard, I’d also like to know if it’s possible to re-used the left over kimchi paste (not the left over fresh one, i mean the already used one that’s left in the container when all the kimchi has been eaten)

    Thank you~

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 17th, 2014 at 9:57 am | # |

      Hell Marimo,

      It will get more sour as time goes on. Koreans have many different recipes for kimchi, you can keep experimenting and modifying until you get it how you like it.

      I never use the kimchi paste leftover in the container, but you can try something and let us know about it.

      good luck with your kimchi making!

  17. Irisiu Hanoi,vietnam My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 14th, 2014 at 9:40 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, thank u so much for your recipe. I followed your recipe many times without measuring. I mean i didnt measure how many salt, pepper,… sometimes it’s too salty, or sweety, especially too much juice. I have no idea whether my questions be ever raised, hope yo get your answer. 1.How many ml/g equal yo your cup? I dont have a cup or tablespoon like u, so i dont know how is enough. 2. With a small amount of salt like that, i think cabbage is still so fresh, a lot of water contained. Is it good to make kimchi? 3. I saw that u make a little sweet rice pouridge, is it enough to cover cabbage? Again, how many ml/mg of sweet rice powder and sugar? 4. If i make too sweety rice pouridge by chance, how can i fix it? Look forward to hearing from u soon. Thanks in advance, Maangchi! *BOWING*

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 14th, 2014 at 7:43 pm | # |

      Hi, Irisiu
      My 1 cup is 240 ML. I had never measured my food before I started posting my recipes online. But ever since I started sharing my recipes, I found that using measurements is necessary.

      In order to make good kimchi, I think you need to start by getting measuring cups and learning how to measure the ingredients. It takes time and patience but you get better and faster over time.

  18. kimchilover25 USA My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted October 8th, 2014 at 5:08 pm | # |

    hi maangchi unnie can u tell me why u use kosher salt instead of coarse sea salt? every video i watch in korean they all use the coarse sea salt to make kimchi. also if i want to use the coarse sea salt from korea how much should i use for ur recipe and do i have to do anything different? sorry for lots of questions last question can i use both salted shrimp and fish sauce i like this taste how much should i use for ur recipe? thank u maangchi unnie ur recipe have help me cook so much yummy korean food i don’t know what i would do without ur help i have very bad stomach and korean food is the only kind of food i can eat without being sick so thank u so much u help make me not sick anymore.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted October 9th, 2014 at 4:06 pm | # |

      I used to use coarse sea salt when I made kimchi in Korea. But these days I use fine kosher salt to make all of my recipes because I found kosher salt is easier to find than coarse sea salt.
      You can use sea salt if you want but I don’t know how much to use in this recipe.
      Good luck with your Korean cooking!

  19. tatis south korea My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted September 27th, 2014 at 1:56 am | # |

    Dear Maangchi,
    i like your recipes very much.
    I already cooked many dishes from your site for my husband. He is hangug saram and he likes them a lot.
    but kimchi …..
    can u pls tell how many ml is the cup u use?

    • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted September 27th, 2014 at 6:15 am | # |

      Hi tatis,

      Since Maangchi lives in New York, she uses American cups for measurement – 240 ml.
      I do know your problem – especially when it comes to the amount of rice! I have a Cuckoo … ;-)

      Bye, Sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 27th, 2014 at 10:50 am | # |

      yes, sanne is right. It’s 240 ML. Happy cooking! Sanne, thanks a lot!

      • sanne Munich My profile page joined 8/14
        Posted September 27th, 2014 at 12:23 pm | # |

        Hi Maangchi,

        You’re welcome! Pounds, ounces, liquid ounces, quarts, geun ;-) – I’m used to convert all that to the metric system.
        Cups are difficult!

        And: Thank you!

        Btw: @tatis: further up any recipe-page, to the right, just above the photos – Maangchi has put a wonderful weights-and-measures-converter there, initially set to from Cups to Liters …

        Bye, Sanne.

  20. jvance Texas My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted September 10th, 2014 at 5:52 pm | # |

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My husband is Korean-American and he loves traditional Korean foods like his mother makes. I am white and have only in the last few years been exposed to Korean foods. My husband loves your Kimchi :) and your other recipes at least give me a good start to making food for my picky husband. Thanks so much.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 11th, 2014 at 3:59 pm | # |

      I’m glad your husband loves your homemade kimchi! Good luck with your Korean cooking and happy family! ^^

  21. sae.sae Kansas My profile page joined 9/14
    Posted September 9th, 2014 at 2:15 pm | # |

    This is my first time making kimchi. I usually buy mine. This is the best kimchi I’ve ever had. Your recipe is amazing! Thank you so much for the video. It was a huge help! :)

  22. funcooking Ontario My profile page joined 8/11
    Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 7:19 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi 언니..My name is 유리..First, I would like to thank you for sharing
    your delicious 김치 recipe..I have been making my own Kimchi since 2009 by following
    your recipe..I love doing it and everyone likes the the taste in my family..
    It does take sometime to make kimchi, but it’s all worth it since I will have my delicious
    homemade kimchi for the following several months, and I can use it to make everything
    like kimchi stew(김치찌개), kimchi pancake(김치파전), Kimchi Fried rice(김치볶음밥), Kimchi tofu and kimchi gimbap (김치두부 and 김치김밥)^^ I made Kimchi today because
    my husband is coming back from Korea today, so he won’t feel homesick when he eats kimchi^^ Thank you for your updated version and this recipe is even better than the previous one and takes less time..I love it^^*

    Take care and I hope you develop more and more authentic Korean recipes^^

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted September 3rd, 2014 at 11:40 am | # |

      wow, it sounds like you are a kimchi master!
      “My husband is coming back from Korea today, so he won’t feel homesick when he eats kimchi” You are such a warm hearted lovely wife! I would like to taste your kimchi someday. : )

  23. little.dwaeji United States My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted September 2nd, 2014 at 5:57 pm | # |

    Maangchi, thank you so, so much for this fantastic recipe! I never write reviews, but this recipe was so good, I had to tell you :). I’ve always been too intimidated to make kimchi because my mom’s kimchi is so good, and it seems like there are so many factors that affect how well kimchi ferments and tastes. But your recipe looked so good and was well-explained that I decided to give it a try. WOW! Seriously the best kimchi I’ve ever had. Even my mom admitted it was better than hers, and my dad couldn’t stop eating it. He never says anything he doesn’t mean, and he and my mom both said it was better than the kimchi they used to eat growing up in Korea :).

    I’ve made this twice so far: first time exactly as your recipe is written, and the second time with a couple minor changes my mom suggested for personal taste:
    (1) I personally like really crunchy kimchi, so I salted my cabbage for almost 5 hours to remove as much water as possible. When I salted it for just 2 hours the first time I made it, it ended up a little mushy. Salting it longer made it SO crunchy even weeks later :).
    (2) After salting, I rinsed each leaf thoroughly probably 6 times because after rinsing just a few times, the leaves still tasted really salty to me.
    (3) My kitchen is really warm during the summer, so it only took 12 hours for my kimchi to ferment! The first time I let it go for 24 hours before putting it in the refrigerator, but then it got too sour within a few days. You weren’t kidding when you said a warmer environment will speed up fermentation!

    Other than that, I didn’t change a thing :). The seasoning is absolutely perfect! Best kimchi ever! Thank you again so much!

  24. vikingbymarriage Finland My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 24th, 2014 at 8:26 am | # |

    It might be hard for us to find sweet rice flour here in Finland. Could you make porridge from almond or coconut flour? Trying to figure out some other alternatives. Thanks.

  25. shinjuku2014 japan My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 17th, 2014 at 6:05 am | # |

    hello ms.maangchi…i love your vids…i am living in shinjuku tokyo near in korean town in shin ookubo place,about 10 minutes by bicycle or less than 2 minutes by riding a train…in yamanote line…i tried eat kimchi so many times…every restaurant has different kind of flavor, i really enjoyed it but i dont like too much sour…one of my favaorite kimchi is kimchi with fresh crabs (watari gani:japanese crab) and sometimes have a kaki shells or oister shells, but this is too much expensive….can you make a video how to make of this….if possible…can i add more shrimp paste and a little bit more sugar…hope your kindly response and let me thank you in advance…more power……from akira japan (shinjuku_altaboy@yahoo.co.jp)

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 2:54 pm | # |

      I can almost picture how you reach to Korea town by bicycle or by train because your description is so real! Yamanote line must be subway, yeah? “can i add more shrimp paste and a little bit more sugar?” yes, of course you and modify the recipe to your taste.

  26. OliverSA South Africa My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 14th, 2014 at 4:44 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I’ve made your Kimchi a few times, and this last time was the second time that it went mouldy :(
    What did I do wrong to make it go mouldy? It only really happened at the bottom, thick part go the cabbage (the stem).

    The Kimchi was left out for about 2 days after making it, and since then it’s been in the fridge the whole time.

    How can I stop it from growing mould?
    Thanks!!

    • Susan.353 Manila My profile page joined 8/14
      Posted August 18th, 2014 at 1:53 pm | # |

      Hi, i am not maangchi, but i would like to share some of my experience with u .. H
      1. The cabbage didn’t salt well.
      2. All container or jar for kimchi’s, make sure it’ls clean enough (not allow to hav oil in it, if its contain even a tiny oil it’ll will cause ur kimchi moldy)
      put more salt on bottom part bcos it is hard.
      when u choose big napa cabbage u hav to split into 4, so that it will easy to sprinkle evenly n it’ll will well pickled.
      For me i like a small napa cabbage so i am just need to split into 2, easy when sprinkle and salting.it’ll will save some time when salting too.
      Making kimchi, The most important is the cabbage must well pickled (salting) if u salt well ur kimchi guarantee good.
      This is my experince of making kimchi, hope it’ll help u. Good luck ! 🍀

      • OliverSA South Africa My profile page joined 8/14
        Posted August 22nd, 2014 at 8:12 am | # |

        Thank you very much!
        I’m going to make a new batch soon and will make sure I follow your tips!!

  27. loypo Singapore My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 11th, 2014 at 8:38 am | # |

    I’m in the process of making this one. I can only find “chinchalok” to replace the salted korean shrimp. Hope the outcome is is good. :)

  28. yellow-whale123 Unicorn Island My profile page joined 8/14
    Posted August 1st, 2014 at 12:53 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi!
    I can’t find any Hot Pepper Flakes anywhere, what do you think i can use to substitute it. I’ve been using Cayenne Pepper but its not the same. Any ideas? Thanks!

  29. Gagas Satrya Surabaya , Indonesia My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 24th, 2014 at 4:56 am | # |

    i want to ask you can i make the saeujeot by myself ??? and how is the way to make it ? thank you a lot

  30. anxyu7 Israel My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 22nd, 2014 at 1:49 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! ^^ I want to try out this one, using regular cabbage instead of napa since there is no napa cabbage over here, but we’re also a very small 2 people family, and since it’s first time I don’t want to make too much, is there any chance to know what would be the measurements of the ingredients if I use one regular cabbage instead? thank you! :)

  31. DoubleGoodbye Australia My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 19th, 2014 at 3:13 am | # |

    Just made a batch of this and it is already tasting amazing! I might need to be enrolled in a Kimchi addicts group soon! :)

    I am just wondering if there are replacements for fish sauce and the shrimp if you wanted to make a strict vegan version.

    Thanks so much for the recipe.

  32. sarah.bp jakarta My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 18th, 2014 at 11:59 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi,
    I do love all your recipe in here and i have tried to make nappa cabbage kimchi. And i love fresh kimchi too. But my question is after several days store in my refigerator, my kimchi stated to taste bitter. Is it always taste like that when you store it for long time?

  33. tamy23 Brasil My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted July 15th, 2014 at 4:11 pm | # |

    Maangchi I can’t find salted shrimp where I live T-T What do you suggest as a replacement?

  34. CiscoTX Houston, TX My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 11th, 2014 at 10:57 am | # |

    Maaaaangchiiii!!! Yesterday was my first kimchi making day. :) my little kimchis are resting now and getting their beauty sleep! My husband has high blood pressure, so we’re excited to eat kimchi that has less salt and preservatives than the store-bought.

    We love your vids!

    Howdy, from Texas :)

  35. monamoon California My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 10th, 2014 at 1:56 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi :) I made this delicious kimchi last weekend and it came out sooo good! I used dried fish strips (wild salmon). I put the fish strips between the cabbage leaves. They became tender and soft. So delicious! I can’t stop craving this kimchi…Thank you for this wonderful and healthy recipe!! Lots of love from California! ~Mona

  36. Uaintgotnothinonthis Tacoma, wa My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 7th, 2014 at 7:38 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi!

    I made this today and used paste instead of flakes… You think it will still turn out good?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 14th, 2014 at 12:31 pm | # |

      How do you like your kimchi? I have never used hot pepper paste in my kimchi but some of my readers let me know their kimchi made with hot pepper paste turned out good. I think hot pepper flakes are still better than hot pepper paste.

  37. xxximandax Singapore My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 6th, 2014 at 8:49 am | # |

    Hi maangchi! I’ve have store bought kimchi with has alr been cooled. I wanted more kimchi juice to make kimchi soup. So can I leave it in room temperature again to let it ferment? Thank you! Your ans would really help me

  38. ecofan14 Dallas, Texas My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 5th, 2014 at 2:15 pm | # |

    Hello Maangchi! I’ve been following your website for sometime and love your recipes and great energy! Your pajeon was delicious, and I also use your toasted seaweed recipe quite often now. I had kimchi once with a friend and it was delicious but (being a teenager) I never had it again since my friend moved away and my immediate family dislikes most Asian cuisine. I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to make this dish myself with this delicious sounding recipe, and I plan to make it this week with my aunt while she’s in town. I’m so excited, and I again wish to thank you for your amazing recipes! I plan to be eating plenty of kimchi this summer! :)

  39. Gail Dolly McAlpin, FL My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted July 3rd, 2014 at 1:06 pm | # |

    I am 71 and have never tasted kimchi but while reading about it I was overwhelmed by the most amazing craving. I have researched the recipes online and watched the videos and have assembled 5 recipes, but this is the one I will be using. In order to get most of the ingredients I will have to make a 100-mile round trip to Gainesville, FL, because I live in the middle of a very rural, agricultural county (but it doesn’t sell Napa cabbages!) in North Central Florida. I have several friends who LOVE kimchi and I have promised to make enough to share with them. I think kimchi is the true sharing dish one could make and I can’t wait to taste it. Then I am going to make some pork rolls. Thank you so very much for not only your recipes but the wonderful videos. I feel as if I am right there with you enjoying the little “tastes” (I caught you!) and it makes my mouth water. So, many thanks once again.

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted July 4th, 2014 at 10:28 am | # |

      I’m so impressed by your enthusiasm about making totally new food in your life! Check out a list of Korean grocery stores in Florida. http://www.maangchi.com/shopping/us#FL I hope your kimchi making turns out a huge success and all your friends who taste your kimchi give you lots of compliments! Please update me. : )

  40. yoongiseok Malaysia My profile page joined 7/14
    Posted July 2nd, 2014 at 3:15 pm | # |

    Can you give a recipe for a smaller portion of kimchi ? Cos I live alone and it would take me ages to finish that 6 pound of kimchi n I don’t have much space to keep that much kimchi either. Maybe for 2 head of napa cabbage how much of ingredient I would need to make the paste (seasoning, spices, porridge). Thank you.

    • silvy australia My profile page joined 5/14
      Posted October 26th, 2014 at 5:15 am | # |

      Why dont you divide all the ingredients that show on this recipe by 2 or 3?

  41. Sushi Switzerland My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted July 2nd, 2014 at 9:01 am | # |

    I made it, tried it and loved it so much! Thank you very much. However, I’m now smelling like kimchi because when I opened the jar, it “exploded” like opening a champagne bottle. This was due to the fermenting process.

  42. Jasper Philippines My profile page joined 5/11
    Posted June 29th, 2014 at 10:13 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi. Does anyone ever use mussels for their kimchi?

    • kaeguli HAWAII My profile page joined 12/12
      Posted July 29th, 2014 at 8:17 pm | # |

      Yes! You could just chop up the fresh mussels and add it to the paste! It tastes awesome!

  43. Anna_Park San Jose, California My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 29th, 2014 at 5:32 am | # |

    Maangchi, i was wondering about my napa cabbage. So i salted each layer like you said, and i rinsed it about 5-6 times. But when i tasted a piece of the cabbage, it tasted salty. I was wondering if that was normal? Or is there a problem with the amount of salt, and i should rinse it more?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 29th, 2014 at 11:28 am | # |

      Hi Anna,
      Did you measure 1/2 cup salt for 6 pounds of cabbage? If so, your kimchi will turn out good.

      • Anna_Park San Jose, California My profile page joined 6/14
        Posted June 30th, 2014 at 11:13 am | # |

        I followed the recipe, but it turns out that i just needed to rinse my cabbage a few more times. Anyways, thanks for replying Maangchi!

  44. Jason-NC NC My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 27th, 2014 at 5:39 pm | # |

    I’ve made a bunch of your recipes in the past but my favorite (and my family’s) is by far kimchi. When I was in the Air Force, my supervisor’s Korean wife use to bring kimchi in for us every day for lunch. Now I get to make it myself. I make a fresh batch each month and we eat it with everything…from breakfast to dinner and as a snack during the day. Thank you so much for sharing your cooking skills with us.

  45. D California My profile page joined 6/09
    Posted June 24th, 2014 at 9:51 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, what is the refrigerated shelf life of kimchi? Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 25th, 2014 at 9:48 am | # |

      You can store kimchi in the refrigerator for months and months because kimchi never goes bad but ferment. As time passes, the kimchi will get more sour in the refrigerator because fermentation continues. I make kimchi usually every other month. Fresh kimchi will start fermenting in 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

  46. kimminji London My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 23rd, 2014 at 8:40 am | # |

    Instead of using napa cabbage, could I use the ordinary cabbage instead?


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