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. erika1990 New Jersey joined 3/10 & has 12 comments

    Can you please upload the picture of the pepper flakes you use? And a picture of the sweet flour you use? Actually, Can you upload the pictures you used for this video? It was not really clear in the video because I would like to use the same ingredients. I would also like to ask if you can use uncooked frozen squid to put in the kimchi? Would that be fine? How long will the kimchi last for until it is expired?

    Thank you Maangchi… Your the best!!

  2. kimchicraze joined 3/10 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I’ve tried making kimchi for my first time, but it turned out to be slightly bitter. Do you know what cause bitterness in kimchi? The cabbage itself is not the source of the bitterness.

    I’ve made excessive kimchi paste. Is there a specific way to store it? How long can I keep it?

    By the way, thanks for sharing so many korean recipes with us :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,563 comments

      “I’ve made excessive kimchi paste. Is there a specific way to store it? How long can I keep it?”
      Yes, freeze the kimchi paste for later use. You can keep it in the freezer for a few months!

      Your kimchi turned out to be a little bitter? Check your hot pepper flakes and other ingredients. They should not be bitter.

      • kimchicraze joined 3/10 & has 4 comments

        Thanks for the fast reply :)

        “Check your hot pepper flakes”
        I bought it from korean grocery store. How do I check it?

        Is it possible for any excessive/ shortage of ingredients that cause the bitterness? i.e. more garlic/ salt than recommended?

        I have added red chili peppers into the food processor. Could that be the reason to the bitterness?

        Other than that I think I’ve used the same ingredients as above.

        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,563 comments

          I meant check the taste of the hot pepper flakes. If they are bitter, your kimchi will be bitter. Check the taste of all the ingredients that you used in your kimchi. It could be many reasons: poor quality of hot pepper flakes, bitter taste cabbage or radish… I have never experienced bitter kimchi. Check this out, https://www.maangchi.com/talk/topic/slightly-bitter-kimchi

          • kimchicraze joined 3/10 & has 4 comments

            Thanks for the link. My mum said that I have added too much garlic. Will reduce the portion and update you the results next time I make it. Thanks for your help =)

  3. Rp09 joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    Hey, Maangchi,

    I really love your recipes!!! I’ve already tried some of them and they all turned out really tasty~ Thank you so much for sharing these recipes with us~>3<y~

    This time, I want to try making "Kimchi". Unfortunately, I can't find "Hot pepper flakes"…so I bought "Hot pepper paste"…Can I use the paste instead of the flakes!? If yes, how about the "Sweet rice flour" amount, do I have to adjust it!?

    Please HELP me, Maangchi!!!

  4. Discfun70 Belgium joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    I made your Kimchi for my husband and he finds it fantastic!. On a scale of 100, he gave me 200 points. As a Belgian, who has not the habit of making Kimchi, I was very proud. With love.

  5. Tracey Chigae joined 2/10 & has 4 comments

    Hello Maangchi!

    My mother is Korean and I’ve been watching her cook all these dishes my whole life, but I’m just now starting to try to cook everything on my own. Your site has been a huge help!! She is from Seoul so your recipes tend to differ slightly and I love that, it gives me all different ways to cook Korean :)

    I don’t really have access to really fresh seafood in Kansas City so I used some salted baby shrimp, also I just used regular flour but it turned out looking the same with good consistency so I think I did pretty well. Take a look…


  6. karizmatic San Francisco, CA joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    love your videos, maangchi! thank you! thank you! thank you!

    i’m actually deathly allergic to shellfish (crab, oysters, shrimp, mussels, etc; the allergy developed in my teens) – so much that my skin breaks out when my husband eats it and then gives me a kiss. however, i have found that i have not had any problems eating any kimchi. i was curious to know if the seafood component is typical in most commercially made kimchi or is that a special part of YOUR recipe? i’m not allergic to squid (as far as i know), but i am definitely supposed to stay away from oysters and i am very curious to know why it doesn’t affect me at all when i eat it in kimchi (assuming that i am). i am even more curious to know if there is an antidote in kimchi that i can tap into so that i can eat shellfish like a normal person again. i love exploring new foods and really hate this allergy limitation)

    thanks again for sharing your expertise :)

  7. Summer joined 2/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, my first time posting here ;)
    I’ve tried many of your recipes and i absolutely love them!
    This is the first time i’ve made kimchi and everyone say its delicious! Photo here. Except that its not sour at all. I guess it’s because I put it in the fridge right away. You mentioned that you transferred from the big container to a small container. Is it ok that we take kimchi from the fridge and put it in a container outside the fridge? Does the cold and hot matters? We’ve just finished 5kg of kimchi, lol, within a month! I share it with my friends and relatives. Definately gonna make this again ;)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,563 comments

      Congratulation! Your kimchi looks great and well made!
      “Is it ok that we take kimchi from the fridge and put it in a container outside the fridge? Does the cold and hot matters? ”

      Yes, take some kimchi from your fridge and keep it outside the fridge to ferment sooner.

      Fermentation of Kimchi depends on your room temperature, and the saltiness of your kimchi. Mostly, it will take a few days to ferment your kimchi at room temperature. However if you live in a warm country, it may take only 1 day because your room temperature will be higher.

  8. anything Toronto joined 2/10 & has 3 comments

    Hm, I guess there is a big difference between cayenne pepper flakes and hot pepper flakes lol. So hot! I don’t remember it being that bad in restaurant

    • tooki Zurich, Switzerland joined 4/10 & has 6 comments

      Yes, cayenne is much, much hotter than Korean chili flakes, which aren’t that strong.

      If you can’t get the Korean flakes, use chili powder — just look for a kind without cumin. It’s very similar, a tad less spicy actually.

      When I make kimchi, I use a little paprika for extra color. I guess you could mix sweet paprika with cayenne in an emergency!

      • ryulite Brisbane,QLD, Australia joined 2/14 & has 5 comments

        thanks tooki.. i used just about 10g of ceyenne pepper powder and about 15g of hot chilli powder for my 2.2kg cabbage.. wow it is spicy!! but I like it!!! cant wait to taste!!! and good idea on the sweet paprika and ceyenne mix!!

  9. martoufmarty Manitoba, Canada joined 2/10 & has 3 comments

    Hi, your blog is wonderful! I discovered this recipe a few days ago. I’ve never had Korean food before, but I’m a lover of foods from all over the world and I decided to make kimchi following your recipe.

    I didn’t follow it exactly as I only used one head of cabbage and sort of ‘winged it’ with the amounts I needed for everything. I let the cabbage sit soaking in the salt in the fridge overnight, finished making the kimchi this morning, and it’s sitting in the fridge. Several times today I went to the fridge just to look at it.

    I hope my kimchi turns out alright. Even more so I hope I like it! ;)

  10. Maneerat joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,

    I have a question to ask you. Why my Kimchi has too much gas and its taste is like I add Soda and a bit bitter.

    I have never made Kimchi by myself but I always buy packs of instant Kimchi from supermarket.

    That gas and taste always happen when I put it in plastic jar adding drinking water because I want it ferment to be sour taste and have more Kimchi Juice for my Kimchi Stew.

    I always put the jar in refrigerator and the jar itself swells. Then, sometimes, when opening the lid, I heard a sound of small explosion “pop”.

    Thank you for reply in advance.

  11. kennethmoore Washington, DC joined 2/10 & has 8 comments

    Maangchi, I hope you are enjoying Costa Rica!

    Yesterday, for the New Year, I made your easy kimchi. I have been wanting to make some of your kimchi for a long time! I did not use any squid for this, and I didn’t have the right red pepper flakes, but it sure tasted good anyway!

    Check out how it looks.

    If I ferment this outside of the fridge, how long will it last? I’m waiting for maintenance to fix my fridge, so I can’t really use it right now–thus, yummy kimchi!

  12. Tintti joined 2/10 & has 2 comments

    Dear Maangchi,

    thank You for the great recipes! I LOVE your video of how to prepare easy kimchi. This was my fourth time to make kimchi, but this was the first time I think I got everything right. We’ll see! At least the fresh kimchi tasted way better than all the so-called kimchis I’ve made before :)

    I wonder if I am the first reader from Finland? :)

    Thank You again! I’m really looking forward to try your other recipes, yummy!

  13. Cselestyna canada joined 2/10 & has 8 comments

    Hey Maangchi!!! I have been following your youtube videos for years and I was so happy when you decided to create a website, I never had the opportunity to comment.

    Today a made my first sucessful easy kimchi!!!!

    I first made one months ago with none of the right ingredients and I used to much paste :( It ended up going into the garbage :(

    So today I made your easy kimchi, but I modified the amounts as my grocery store only had one head of napa cabbage, and I am pleased to say it turned out great!!!! lol my arms still hurt from squeezing the water out :)

    Thank you for taking the time to post and demonstrate these recipes!! I was also ecstatic when you posted yukgaejang! I had been looking for the recipe for years! I had no idea what it was called, only that it was yummy…I havent made it yet but as soon as i can get my hands on some of that cut of meat I need I will makes some, it just might take another year or two…but i just wanted to let you know how awesome you are for putting the effort into doing all these recipes and videos, I wish I had posted this Waaay back when you started your youtube stuff :)

    Happy asian new year ( well it’s not for 3 days but I thought I’d say so now anyways!)

  14. CJM joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    Can I use potato flour instead of sweet rice flour for making porridge?

    By the way, I love your tutorials.They are very easy to follow. I watched almost 99% of them on your youtube channel!

    Thanks! Keep working!

  15. jycnyc joined 2/10 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi – Is it OK to 1/4 the recipe?

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