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, fermented squid for kimchi?
A: Choose about 300 grams (⅔ pound) of very fresh squid. Then:

  1. Remove the guts and backbone and rinse it.
  2. Add 3 tbs kosher 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 making kimchi in this video.


  • 10 pounds baechu (napa cabbage)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup sweet rice flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • water
  • 1 cup of crushed garlic
  • 1 to 2 tbs ginger, minced
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 1 cup fish sauce
  • salty, fermented squid (see FAQ, above)
  • 2½ cups Korean hot pepper flakes (gochugaru) (to taste)
  • 2 cups leek, chopped
  • 10 green onions (diagonally sliced)
  • ¼ cup of carrot, julienned
  • 2 cups Korean radish, julienned


  1. Trim the discolored outer leaves of the 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.
  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 sweet rice flour 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 minutes 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 fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, crushed garlic, minced ginger, and minced onion.
    *tip: it’s 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 green onions, chopped leek, Korean radish, and 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. JimmyJimmyJay Australia joined 11/21 & has 1 comment

    The recipe looks great and I want to try it out but 10lb/5kg of cabbage seems a lot.

    Struggling to do all the exactly conversions to make a 1/4 of this.

    I know the cabbage reduces but still.

  2. Panduu Germany joined 10/21 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi! I just made your Kimchi! Im using a stone vessel to keep kimchi in it. It means i cannot put it in my refrigerator Is it all right?

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 515 comments

      Your kimchi looks so good with beautiful red color!
      I think you already know the answer by now. You should refrigerate the kimchi even though you keep it in a stone vessel. Otherwise, the kimchi will ferment too fast. As time goes on, the kimchi will get sourer and go soggy. Keep it in the fridge, please.

  3. one wolf Atlantic Beach, NC joined 10/21 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi – thank you for the wonderful recipes and videos. I made this kimchi for the first time 6 months ago and it was amazing. I have made it twice more since and neither as good – both times there is an overly acidic taste… any idea what I’m doing wrong that would lead to acidic flavor?

  4. cyleet Western NC, USA joined 10/21 & has 2 comments

    Hello Maangchi! I watched your kimchi videos, and finally did it. I used the easy kimchi technique, but did the veggies a bit differently (added some chopped bok choy and sliced daikon as well as carrots.) The porridge was SO EASY to make! I could hear you checking it over my shoulder :) I have a big tub of fresh in the fridge, and a jar on the counter. I even gave a jar to my friend at work (he’s a BIG kimchi fan) and he loves it. My family stops at the jar every day to get a fork full “just to try it out.” I have added a few photos of the work and the red pepper flakes I used; I think they were a good quality and it turned out great. I needed to add more cabbage the second day, I had a lot of paste and it was so strong that it needed some more vegetable. That was the perfect touch, and I really got the feel for how the recipe works. Thank you for your videos, I am learning so much.

    See full size image

  5. catngps Singapore joined 7/21 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi! Thanks for the quick and easy recipe. I just made it 2 days ago and it was delicious! I can’t wait to try out your other recipes

    See full size image

  6. Matty2838 Toronto, Canada joined 5/21 & has 1 comment

    안녕하세요 토론토에서!

    I love making kimchi with this recipe! Since finding it, it has been a staple in my fridge! Soo good with everything

    However, I do have two questions. During the salting process, am I supposed to keep water in the basin when the cabbage is soaking? Or am I supposed to wash the cabbage and get off as much water before adding the salt? Also, I’m trying to keep my cabbage crunchy, but it seems to lose a bit of it during the salting process.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!



  7. colleensun United States joined 2/21 & has 1 comment

    One of my favorite Korean dish it is! Looking at this makes me want to order with my favorite kimchi again.

  8. sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 279 comments

    Dear Maangchi,

    a very good American friend of ours made this two days ago and is overjoyed as are our common friends who have tasted it so far.

    Her reply to the compliments she got (“Best kimchi ever”)? “Praise Maangchi!!!”

  9. elker singapore joined 9/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,

    I ordered salted shrimp paste but it only arrived after 3 days of me making the new kimchi batch.

    Can I add the shrimp paste to the 4 days old kimchi?


  10. vixmix5 USA joined 8/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I’m so glad to discover all your tasty recipes! I love korean food and enjoy trying new recipes. I made this kimchi last time (about a month ago) and let it ferment outside the frigde for 6 days. It became fairly sour but my brother and I have been eating it nonetheless! I just made your kimchi jjigae with the rest of it so its time to make a new batch! So in the last batch, the cabbage was quickly wilted even though I was careful to follow your recommendations of time and measurements. I don’t know why this happened but I’m wondering if I possibly put too much salt? (As a side not, my brother did not like the fish sauce taste and recognized it right away so this time I will make a separate batch for him with soy sauce as you mentioned above. I did not taste the fish sauce as he did.) So I like when the cabbage feels fresh and crispy though it is done fermenting..how can I obtain this result? Do I cut down the time while salting? Please guide me, thank you!

  11. Uwing Germany joined 8/20 & has 3 comments

    Hello from Germany!
    It was the 3rd time I made Kimchi. First time with this recipe. Thank you so much.
    It is very delicious. I let stay for two days at room temperature. I only closed the lid lightly. The room temperature was very hot 28 degree .
    As I opened it, it act like a bomb

    See full size image

  12. P Tan Malaysia joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

    Thanks for this recipe! Made my second batch today. I used a tablespoon of white miso to replace the salted squid.

    See full size image

  13. Hshin06 California joined 6/20 & has 1 comment

    Hi maangchi!! :)
    Can I use saewoojot instead of salted squid? If so, for this recipe, how much saewoojot should I use?
    Thank you! <3

  14. Blessed Singapore joined 4/10 & has 18 comments

    This is the 2nd pic of the Lock&Lock metal containers. It claimed that this is for fermentation purpose.

    Kindly advice.

    See full size image

  15. miami07 Alaska joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    hi maangchi,
    So I made my kimchi couple days ago but didn’t use enough chili powder on my kimchi so it’s not spicy at all. Can I add more chili powder to my kimchi while still fermenting? Is it going to ruined my kimchi fermentation?

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