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! : )

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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.

FAQ

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:

Ingredients

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.

Directions

  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.

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1,021 Comments:

  1. Fatcat Poland, Warsaw joined 1/17
    Posted January 5th, 2017 at 3:03 pm | # |

    Maangchi, I made it. Omitted the squid, because it’s quite hard to find and expensive here in Poland but still it’s incredibly delicious! It’s better than any store bought and restaurant one I had before. I love you Maangchi!

  2. stseng Canada joined 1/17
    Posted January 1st, 2017 at 1:26 pm | # |

    hey Maangchi! I love ur recipe and i made your bibimbap and bibim guksu and they were fantastic! I really want to make your kimchi but do you have to add chives, onions, and squid? because i can’t eat them.

  3. km hong kong joined 12/16
    Posted December 27th, 2016 at 10:44 pm | # |

    Hi manngchi

    Put 3 cups of water means how many cc or ml water ?

    • sanne Munich joined 8/14
      Posted December 28th, 2016 at 9:58 am | # |

      Go on the recipe site
      scroll down
      use the conversion table…

      Bye, Sanne.

  4. Aloha.phillip Maui, Hawaii joined 12/16
    Posted December 6th, 2016 at 9:46 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I really love your recipes. Well I have a question, how many people can this serve?

  5. Lynztsai Bali joined 11/16
    Posted November 20th, 2016 at 12:35 pm | # |

    Hi maangchi, I really love ur recipes.
    Well I have a question, can I using korean hot pepper paste for making kimichi ?


    See full size image

  6. Robbzilla Arlington, TX joined 11/16
    Posted November 1st, 2016 at 5:32 pm | # |

    Question: My father was stationed in Korea during the war, and had stories of the kimchi being fermented in clay pots that were buried. Does anyone do this anymore?

  7. yrh England joined 9/16
    Posted September 17th, 2016 at 3:42 pm | # |

    I love your recipes Maangchi!! Thanks for sharing them all. Can I use frozen squid for the salty squid? Would you defrost before salting? Thanks!!!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 20th, 2016 at 1:00 pm | # |

      Yes, you can use frozen squid. Thaw them out in the fridge before cleaning and salting.

  8. Riaryu Indonesia joined 9/16
    Posted September 17th, 2016 at 8:55 am | # |

    It so easy way to make it for the beginner. But i lil bit confused.. I put my kimchi to fridge right away after i made it. Is that fine? And how long i have to wait to eat it? And if put the kimchi in smaller container and pit it aside of fridge.. How long it can be fine to be eat? Anyone help me please :(

    • koralex90 Davis, CA joined 6/09
      Posted November 19th, 2016 at 12:07 pm | # |

      You can eat it right away but it won’t be fermented. You can put it in the fridge right away if you want it to ferment slower and last longer. Or you can leave it out 24-48 hours depending on how warm your house is (warmer=shorter amount of time, colder=longer amount of time) and then put it in the fridge. You can eat it for months and months.

  9. Bellsring1017 Richmond, Va joined 8/16
    Posted September 7th, 2016 at 6:26 am | # |

    Bah! I put a bit too much sugar in mine so I have sweet kimchi. On the upside my kids loved it. Ages 6 and 4.

  10. Valeria Ecuador joined 8/16
    Posted September 6th, 2016 at 3:23 pm | # |

    For this recipe, are the hot pepper flakes the spicey or milder ones?
    If I substitute fresh spicy peppers, after blended, about how much would I need for 2 cups of flakes? Would it be better to let the peppers dry out, then grind them insread of using them fresh? Taedanhee gomawoyo.

  11. meagensctt Kentucky joined 9/16
    Posted September 5th, 2016 at 10:26 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi,

    I just wanted to say a huge thank you for putting all of your lovely recipes online for free. I’m embarrassed I have not said anything sooner as I have used your recipes for mak kimchi and radish kimchi for a long while now. I have even had requests lately to start making the recipes for some of my friends. I always tel them I found the recipes on your lovely website.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Meagen

    p.s. I just purchased your book and cannot wait to read it.

  12. Joeeeeeeey Jakarta joined 7/16
    Posted July 23rd, 2016 at 7:15 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Can I use gochujang for make kimchi/?

  13. skruzich kansas joined 5/16
    Posted July 15th, 2016 at 1:02 pm | # |

    Well,made my first batch of kimchi today, with instead of squid i used salted shrimp. not too happy with it so far, way too salty for me and i don’t know if i can fix it.


    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 19th, 2016 at 11:51 am | # |

      Your kimchi looks good to me but it sounds like you added saeujeot (salted shrimp) too much. When it ferments, the taste will be better though. We have talked about salty kimchi on the forum and I gave a tip. Check this out, please. https://www.maangchi.com/talk/topic/kimchi-fermentation

    • skruzich kansas joined 5/16
      Posted July 20th, 2016 at 8:34 am | # |

      Thank you. It produce 1 1/2 gallons of kimchi, so i let half gallon set out on counter and ferment. its bee 5 days and is starting to taste better. I did not drain the saeujeot or rinse it. Just threw it and the liquid into the batch. next time i’ll rinse it good and then throw in. I understand the need for salt. But my doctor is quite upset with me about my salt intake. LOL. FYI i have lost about 20 lbs now by incorporating some of the recipes into my diet along with a new diabetic med.
      This batch did make some Excellent stir fried Pork and fried rice. I’ll tell ya one thing about your recipes. I can eat on one meal for almost a week. So i typically make a dish and use some once in a day for a meal along with other dishes i like

  14. okaysellers austin, tx joined 7/16
    Posted July 7th, 2016 at 8:24 pm | # |

    hi maangchi! thank you for the recipe! i’ve made it twice now but i’m having an issue, and i’d love some help troubleshooting it if you don’t mind.

    i think the first time i made the kimchi, i accidentally doubled the amount of fish sauce, and this resulted in kimchi that has a very deep, umami flavor. it’s not unpleasant but i like my kimchi a little more sour, SO i made kimchi jiggae and made a new batch of kimchi.

    so this time i used the regular amount of kimchi but i also forgot the tiny shrimp. my kimchi fermented super fast. i thought diluting it with new kimchi might slow it down, so i made a new batch of diakon kimchi and mixed it in. the sourness slowed down, BUT now most of my napa cabbage is soft while the diakon is crunchy and perfect. i’ve had to freeze most of it to make kimchi jiggae with later :\

    am i right in thinking that the second batch became sour faster and got soft due to less salt in the recipe? maybe because i forgot the shrimp?

    is it okay to add more fish sauce to the jars at this point, or would that cause a problem?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted July 15th, 2016 at 11:25 am | # |
      • okaysellers austin, tx joined 7/16
        Posted July 15th, 2016 at 11:41 am | # |

        already did — i guess my main question was, would adding more fish sauce have halted the process?

        i made a new batch though. i made this one with 25% more fish sauce and two extra tbsp of shrimp to make it extremely salty, then strained out the sour brine from two jars of the old kimchi (i didn’t want to waste it and i wanted to get a head start on fermentation since it was so salty). this batch is perfect.

  15. judyandpaolo Andromeda Galaxy joined 7/16
    Posted July 1st, 2016 at 6:16 am | # |

    Me and my friend Paolo love the way you cook..hehe Btw your make up is amazing too.. It’s very kampat hehe

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