Easy-to-make kimchi

Mak-kimchi 막김치

Hi everybody,

I’m introducing “mak-kimchi” to you today! It’s made with napa cabbage (baechu in Korean), pre-cut into bite size pieces, so you can serve it without cutting. This way of making kimchi is really time saving compared to making whole cabbage kimchi. But the taste is exactly the same as whole cabbage kimchi because the ingredients are the same! So I am translating “mak-kimchi” into “easy kimchi.” I hope this recipe makes your life easier! : )


Since I posted my whole cabbage kimchi recipe in June 2007, so many people have surprised me with their kimchi related stories and questions. A lot of my readers make their own kimchi on a regular basis and they email me the photos of their delicious kimchi! Some people modify the recipe to their taste and some people add more ingredients to invent their own kimchi!

For example, Julie made vegan kimchi. She skipped fish sauce and used a little soy sauce and salt instead. Smart! Isn’t it? Some people like Reinier, James, Sylvia, Clyde, Sara make kimchi on a regular basis. They say, “oh, my kimchi runs out, I will make it this weekend.” If any of you reading this might want to be included the list of people who make kimchi on a regular basis, please email me. I will include your names here. : )

I’m surprised to see all these mouth-watering looking kimchi photos!

But as you know, the kimchi recipe was not using exact measurements. You remember? I said, “use 2 medium napa cabbage and 2 radishes.” The size of cabbage is actually huge by American standards! ; ) And the amount of kimchi paste you need to make is for both cabbage kimchi and radish kimchi. Some people only want to make only cabbage kimchi. They sometimes ask me, “Maangchi, can you tell me how much salt do I have to use for only 1 napa cabbage?”
How can I know?

I didn’t measure when I filmed the first video recipe years ago. : ) Anyway, whenever I was asked the similar questions, I felt kind of bad and a little bit guilty and I always thought I should post a more accurate kimchi recipe.

Here you go! : )

So this recipe will be for a total beginner. Just follow the recipe step by step. This recipe is mine that I have been using for my kimchi for decades and popular among even my Korean friends.

If you want to use whole cabbage kimchi, you can check my whole cabbage kimchi recipe and this easy kimchi recipe, then you will figure out what to do. Only difference is how to handle cabbage: cutting , salting, and how to put or mix the kimchi paste with the cabbage!

Did you see how many questions and answers were made for my whole cabbage kimchi?  So far  831 comments!  These questions are the most frequently asked, so I’m letting you know this.


Q: Maangchi, do I have to make porridge to make kimchi? If I don’t want to use porridge, what shall I do?
A: No, you don’t have to. Some people don’t use porridge, but I always make porridge to make good kimchi paste. Porridge helps hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and all spices mix together. Otherwise, the kimchi paste will be too thick to put it between cabbage leaves easily. So you can use sweet pear juice instead of making porridge if you want. I sometimes use pear to make kimchi paste, too.

Q: Why do you give a shower to the cabbage before salting? : )
A: If you sprinkle salt on cabbage directly without pre-soaking in water, the salting process will take too long: this is “osmotic pressure.”

Q: Maangchi, kimchi never goes bad? How come there is some white stuff on the top of my kimchi?
A: If you keep your kimchi properly, it won’t go bad months and months. Don’t forget to press down the top of kimchi in the container with a spoon whenever you take some. It will prevent your kimchi from being exposed to air. If you see the top of your kimchi already has white stuff (mold), remove the top layer of the kimchi and you still can eat the rest of the kimchi.

Q: Maangchi, you used squid this time! Last time your kimchi was made with raw oysters! My other Korean friends never use oysters or squid.
A: Kimchi recipes vary from region to region, so some ingredients will be different. You can follow a few different recipes and choose the best recipe that suits your taste.

Q: I’m interested in adding raw oysters or squid in my Kimchi, but afraid that it might go bad so that I may have a stomachache.
A: You should use very fresh oysters or fresh frozen product, then it will ferment along with your kimchi.

Q: Ok, Maangchi, can you tell me how to make the salty squid for kimchi?
A: Choose about 300 grams (2/3 pound) of very fresh squid. Then:

  1. Remove the guts and backbone and rinse it.
  2. Add 3 tbs salt and mix it with a spoon.
  3. Put it in a container or glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator for a week.
  4. Rinse the squid thoroughly until not slippery and drain it (you can skin it if you want).
  5. Dry the squid with paper towel or cotton and chop it up.
  6. Add it to your kimchi paste!

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


Baechu (napa cabbage 10 pounds), salt, sweet rice flour, sugar, water, garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce, squid, hot pepper flakes, leek, green onions, carrot, radish.


  1. Trim the discolored outer leaves of 10 pounds of napa cabbage.
  2. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Chop it up into bite size pieces.
  3. Soak the pieces of cabbage in cold water and put the soaked cabbage into a large basin. Sprinkle salt.
    *tip: 1 cup of salt will be used for 10 pounds of napa cabbage
  4. Every 30 minutes, turn the cabbage over to salt evenly (total salting time will be 1½ hours).
  5. 1½ hours later, rinse the cabbage in cold water 3 times to clean it thoroughly.
  6. Drain the cabbage and set aside.

Make porridge:

  1. Put 3 cups of water and ½ cup sweet rice flour (chapssal garu) in a pot and mix it well and bring to a boil. Keep stirring until the porridge makes bubbles (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add ¼ cup sugar. Stir and cook for a few more mintues until it’s translucent.
  3. Cool it down.

Make kimchi paste:

  1. Place the cold porridge into a large bowl. Now you will add all your ingredients one by one.
  2. Add 1 cup of fish sauce, 2.5 cups of hot pepper flakes (depending on your taste), 1 cup of crushed garlic, 1-2 tbs of minced ginger, 1 cup amount of minced onion.
    *tip: much easier to use a food processor.
  3. Wash and drain the salty squid. Chop it up and add it to the kimchi paste.
    *tip: how to prepare salty squid is posted on the FAQ above!
  4. Add 10 diagonally-sliced green onions, 2 cups amount of chopped leek, 2 cups of julienned Korean radish, and ¼ cup of julienned carrot.
  5. Mix all ingredients well and your kimchi paste is done.

Action! Mix the cabbage with the kimchi paste!

  1. Put the kimchi paste in a large basin and add all the cabbage. Mix it by hand.
    *tip: If your basin is not large enough to mix all the ingredients at once, do it bit by bit.
  2. Put the kimchi into an air-tight sealed plastic container or glass jar.
    You can eat it fresh right after making or wait until it’s fermented.

I usually put all my kimchi in the fridge except for a little bit in a small container. I like fresh kimchi, so this way the kimchi in the fridge ferments slowly and stays fresh, while the smaller container ferments faster and gets sour. I use this sour kimchi for making things like kimchi jjigae where sour kimchi is better. Then, when the small container is empty, I fill it up again with kimchi from the big container. It takes a little management, but experiment and you’ll get the hang of it!

How do you know it’s fermented or not?
One or 2 days after, open the lid of the Kimchi container. You may see some bubbles with lots of liquids, or maybe sour smells. That means it’s already being fermented.




  1. JamieF New Zealand joined 1/11 & has 120 comments

    I made this last night and it worked out great! It tastes delicious and looks just like yours. It makes so much that I will be eating it for months!

  2. celerieaz joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    I’ve made your kimchi recipe before and loved it, but this time I ran into a problem. I bought a cabbage at the market that was labeled as just over 10lbs. The cabbage was big, but I didn’t really believe that it was 10lbs. I made your proportions of kimchi paste anyways, thinking that the store would have weighed it properly, and it was way too much! Now my kimchi has too much paste in it.

    What can I do to salvage the kimchi that is swimming in all the paste?

    • jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

      If i were you , i would’ve added the paste a little at a time to the cabbage , that way in case you made too much paste or not enough cabbage , you don’t have to worry about your cabbage swimming in the paste pool :D
      just a thought :D

  3. xanderislovedd joined 1/11 & has 2 comments

    Hello :D

    I’m 14 years old and I love cooking Korean food. :D Hehe~
    Anyway is it okay if i just use rice flour??ONly I couldnt find sweet rice flour.


  4. kpopJasmine joined 1/11 & has 4 comments

    Thank you so much for putting all this recipes up ^_^ they are so simple to follow it makes me feel like I’m a professional ^_^ I got one question though do you have to add the squid in this recipe or could you add something else
    Thank you ^_^

  5. gabe2x Manila joined 1/11 & has 5 comments

    Hi !!!

    made this last night and enjoyed dinner with kimchi+noodles and breakfast Kimchi fried rice !!!

    thanks! it was so hard to look for the pepper flakes/powder and i had to go to our (of all places) China Town to buy the flakes (somehow i had an inkling they have it as there is no Korean specialty food that i know of here in the Philippines)

    pix here

  6. healthysaver USA joined 2/10 & has 3 comments

    Maangchi unni!
    I just fished making this Kimchi and am now eating it with some rice…
    I’m going to make radish kimchi tomorrow and I was wondering if I can use the same salty water that I salted cabbage with. Can I use this to salt the radish or do I need to use fresh salt?
    With your video and tips, I am learning a lot. Thank you so much.
    p.s. Can you give me a recipe/tip on how to make home made MiSu Garu (미수가루 or 선식)? I’ve researched online to look for recipe for this but haven’t had any luck.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,262 comments

      ” Can I use this to salt the radish or do I need to use fresh salt?” I would not use the salty water to salt my new cabbage. Fresh cabbage with fresh salt will make better taste kimchi.

  7. Foodiewithfamily joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi- Thank you for posting this. My husband loves mak kimchi and he’s going to be thrilled when I make this for him. I have a question for you. I have everything I need to make this minus the Korean radish. Can I omit it or would that throw off the balance of flavors? I don’t have squid, either, but thought I might substitute some dried baby shrimp. What do you think?

  8. hwangokboon joined 1/11 & has 2 comments

    I have made Kimchi before, but used kosher salt. Is there a difference in the type of salt used?

  9. Thaory Montreal joined 9/09 & has 13 comments

    Maangchi!! I dont have any mochiko! I have white rice flour or glutinous white rice flour. Wich will work ??

    thank you!

  10. Chefgirl25 Indonesia joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    I want to ask…
    As I see in many people when they made kimchi…
    they didn’t use the sweet rice flour..
    What the use of that???
    If I didn’t use it… Is it okay????
    Thank you

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,262 comments

      Porridge helps hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and all spices mix together. Otherwise, the kimchi paste will be too thick to put it between cabbage leaves easily.

  11. Garlic Girl San Jose, CA joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    I LOVE your blog and am so happy I came across your kimchi recipe. I’ve prepared it before, but never with the porridge. I can’t wait to try it and know it will definitely improve my kimchi!! I am a fan now and will return again and again!

  12. laureen mass joined 1/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi. This is my first time here and I am so glad that I found your site! My mom was from Southern Korea- she passed away a while ago. I have been looking for a kimchee recipe for a while- like the way my mom would make it with me and my sisters when we were little. She never did the fermented squid, though. She used those little baby shrimp paste thing. Have you ever done it like that? And how much would I use? Thanks and love the site and videos!!!

  13. Nephry Germany joined 1/11 & has 9 comments

    Hey Maangchi!

    I really just have to tell you that I love, love, love every single one of your videos; they’re so wonderful and so easy to follow! But why I’m writing this, I have a little question. I see that in your recipes you’re adding leak, chives, carrots, radish etc. to your Kimchi paste and I was wondering whether it might be a good idea to also add some celeriac to it; I really like the taste of it and the texture as well but it has an intense taste of it’s own and I’m afraid it might ruin the taste of my Kimchi and just let it taste like celeriac. :(

    I’d be glad if you’d be able to give me some adive. :)

    Best Regards,
    Patrick. :)

  14. ularking Malaysia joined 12/10 & has 1 comment

    hi there,

    I have made my kimchi and immediately put in the refrigerator.

    Then only i realize i need to put it out temperature room for 24 hours for fermentation.

    So now do i need to take it out from the fridge and left with room temperature? Is it gonna spoil my kmchi?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,262 comments

      “..do i need to take it out from the fridge and left with room temperature?” yes, take it out from the fridge now and wait until it ferments. No problemo! : )

  15. Tatiemimosa New York joined 11/10 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi I let the squid ferment in the fridge for three days instead of a week before making my mak kimchi, is that ok?

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