Kimchi is a staple of Korean life and many Koreans include it in their meals three times a day. You can eat it by itself, or use it in so many different Korean recipes. When Koreans make kimchi, they make an effort to make the best kimchi possible and include many regional ingredients.

Today I will show you how to make a traditional-style kimchi with oysters, and we’ll also make radish kimchi (“kkakdugi”) with the same kimchi paste, which saves us from having to make these two kinds of kimchi separately. This is how I make kimchi and kkaktugi, because I need both in my house, but you might be interested in my “easy kimchi” (mak kimchi) recipe if you don’t have a lot of time, or in my kakdugi recipe if you want to make only kakdugi, or make my traditional napa cabbage kimchi recipe by itself if that’s all you need. Also, if you don’t like oysters, you can leave them out.

Many people think you have to wait for kimchi to be fermented before eating, but personally I prefer to eat fresh kimchi, as soon as I make it. And I like to make stew (kimchi-jjigae) out of older kimchi.



  1. Cut the cabbages in half, and then slit each half through the core, but not through the rest of the leaves.
  2. Soak each piece in cold water and sprinkle salt over the each leaf , and then set it aside for 2 hours.
    *tip: the stems should get more salt than the leaves
  3. Peel 2 kg of Korean radishes and cut them into 1 inch cubes. Do this by cutting them into several disks, and then cutting horizontally, and then vertically. Put them in a big bowl and sprinkle them with ¼ cup of kosher salt. Then set these aside, too.
  4. 2 hours later, turn the pieces of cabbage over so they get salted evenly. Turn the radishes as well.
  5. Another 2 hours later, you will see the cabbage look softer than before, and it should have shrunk.
    *the total salting process will take 4 hours
  6. Rinse the salted cabbage and radish with cold water 3 times.


Making Kimchi paste:

Make porridge

  1. Put ½ cup of sweet rice flour and 3 cups of water into a skillet and mix them up. Then cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
  2. When you see some bubbles, pour ¼ cup of sugar into the porridge and stir one more minute. Then cool it down.
  3. Place the cold porridge into a big bowl. Now you will add all your ingredients one by one.
  4. Add  fish sauce, hot pepper flakes, crushed garlic, ginger, and onion
    *tip: it’s much easier to use a food processor.
  5. Add green onions, Asian chives, and radish.
  6. Add  2 cups of frozen oysters, but this is optional. (I found out lots of people can’t eat them.)
  7. Mix all ingredients well.

Are you ready to spread our paste on the leaves and make your kaktugi?

* I recommend you wear rubber gloves so that you don’t irritate your skin.

  1. Spread the kimchi paste onto each leaf of the cabbage, and make a good shape out of the leaves by slightly pressing with both hands.
  2. Put it into an air- tight sealed plastic container or glass jar.
  3. Mix your leftover paste with your radish cubes to make kkakdugi.

You can eat it fresh right after making or wait until it’s fermented. Put the Kimchi container at room temperature for 1 or 2 days and keep it in the refrigerator.

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. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe.

  2. Atitatit Ohio joined 11/18 & has 2 comments

    Hi! Maangchi. I love your videos and I made some of your recipes always turned out good so delicious.. im about to make my napa and raddish kimchi but just wondering if u can use thai fish sauce, would that be ok? And can I use fermented shrimp instead of oysters? Thank u so much

  3. Shannydoo Kent, WA joined 11/17 & has 1 comment

    Mmmmm, I made an extra big batch because everyone loves it so much!

    See full size image

  4. Maangchi, I was very excited to find all the ingredients… until I saw that the rice flour is not glutinous rice flour, just normal rice flour. Will this negatively effect the recipe/taste of my kimchi if I can’t get glutinous rice flour?

    Also I have a second question. How much does this recipe make? I cook for one (me) and have a very small fridge. Does it work to make half of the recipe?
    Thank you :-) Love your recipes :)

    • igotrice Manila joined 9/17 & has 1 comment

      Hi! I just made an account so I could let you know that there should be no distinguishable difference using either rice flour variety as the glutinous kind just has more starch content, but I’m positive boiling the regular rice flour in water will make a thick paste as well.

      I think its purpose anyways is to just have sort of a vehicle for the other ingredients to be easily spread throughout the batch, and help in the fermenting as well. It’ll still end up thinned out and not sticky at all.

      tl;dr: Your rice flour you have on-hand is fine for this purpose! Enjoy making your kimchi! ;)

  5. Sille Florida joined 7/16 & has 3 comments

    Hi! I just finished making it. Tried it and it is awesome, better than the store bought. Thanks for sharing your recipes.

    See full size image

  6. Mi Heui Iran - Tehran joined 5/16 & has 18 comments

    HI maancghi
    can i add frozen shrimps or fish in kimchi???

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      I add Fresh shrimp and fish when I make my special winter kimchi which is very salty. You can add shrimp and fish to your normal kimchi but the kimchi should be made with much more salt than usual kimchi. After making it, keep it in the fridge for a few months before eating until the shrimp and fish are well fermented. I will post the recipe someday.

      • andrew_ysk germany neuss joined 6/17 & has 1 comment

        hii Maangchi,

        your cooking recipes are wonderful. love it.
        just made a batch of my napa cabbage kimchi.. oyster is expensive here in germany.. 1 oyster is 1.50 euro.. i used 5 just to make a taste better. i think.

        you said can use shrimp and fish. do you have video on it ?
        do you also know how to do oyster sauce ? sometime ago, i went to holland and got a lot of oyster.. i am thinking can make a true oyster sauce out of it.. unlike the oyster sauce in the market , all fake..


        • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

          “You said you can use shrimp and fish. do you have video on it ?”
          No, not yet. But I will post a video someday. If you add fresh shrimp or fish to your kimchi, you should wait until the kimchi ferments before eating it.
          Shrimp or fish take time to ferment. When I add shrimp and fish (pollack), I eat the kimchi at least 3- 4 months after making it because it won’t ferment in a short time. So I add shrimp and fish to my kimchi only for winter kimchi. I make my winter kimchi usually in the beginning of December but I divide the kimchi into 2 containers. One is for eating right after making and the other is for eating later that contains fish and seafood.
          And regarding your 2nd questions, I don’t know how to make oyster sauce.

  7. meowsen Singapore joined 3/16 & has 1 comment

    HI! IS there any way to save my kimchi? I added thai fish sauce in the kimchi and it tastes weird now! HELP NEEDED!

  8. LouiseDaniel USA joined 1/15 & has 11 comments

    Kimchi is quite popular as well as delicious Korean food. Most people love it.

  9. juls Montgomery TX joined 10/14 & has 2 comments

    Thank you for a user friendly site. I wanted an Onggi pot and your site suggested Super H market in Houston. I live about an hour outside of the city. Love that store!
    Lots of Koreans in the store very friendly, clean and super stocked. They have #3, #10 and #5 Onggi earthenware pots in stock. I will be making Kimchi very soon as the weather is turning cool finally. Thank you again and i will tell you how it turns out, hopefully won’t have to buy store bought Kimchi in a jar anymore. PS went to the 99 Ranch store since they are about a block apart it was very nice too, but the Super H will see me again.

  10. ArinDCD Colorado joined 4/14 & has 1 comment

    After I’ve made the kimchi, is it ok to cut it up and put it into pint sized mason jars to ferment or do I need to let it ferment whole before cutting up and jarring?

  11. Dreamtrekker Pennsylvania joined 3/14 & has 2 comments

    Made this yesterday and now waiting, impatiently! Can’t wait to try your stews and pancakes.

  12. byron182 Philippines joined 3/14 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi

    I made three batches of Kimchi from your recipe and it turned out fine. But On the fourth batch it turned out slimy and gross. The cabbages where still crunchy but it has a slimy coating. I can’t seem to figure out what happened. What is the cause of this? and what are the key steps insuring that this doesn’t happen. Thanks again

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      There could be a few reasons. First, use fresh good quality napa cabbage. Second, be sure to salt the cabbage evenly. If cabbage doesn’t salt enough, the kimchi may go bad instead of fermenting. Third, after salting and rinsing the cabbage, be sure to drain it well. Good luck!

      • byron182 Philippines joined 3/14 & has 2 comments

        I just finished my latest batch yesterday and this is what I did. I chopped the cabbages into bite sized pieces. Then I used the wet method and added more salt than I was comfortable with about 1:10 salt/water ratio for 5 hours. I also added a tablespoon of vinegar to the paste because I forgot to keep my good kimchi juice for the starter culture. Then I placed the kimchi in an old unused fridge for a day to ferment. I just tasted it and it was fine. Thanks for the tip about the salt.

  13. bondperry florida joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    I am 73 years old and my partner is 65. He is Japanese and calls Kimchi “kamuchi”; we both love it. The supermarket carries a brand that gets us by…but it isn’t very good. The Asian market has a brand they get from Brooklyn, that is really delicious….good flavor and fermenting. The local Asian market makes their own…but it is much too mild and fresh for our taste.

    I want to try your recipe and technique. I have the ingredients on hand EXCEPT, I bought a pound bag of Shin Sun MI Korean Red Pepper Coarse Powder (not flakes)….this is a lot of red pepper powder…..can I substitute it for the flakes? Can I use the fresh Packaged oysters from the seafood counter, can I use chives or green onion instead of the Asian chives…..I haven’t seen them locally.

    Thank you for your help

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Yes, you can use it. “Red pepper coarse powder” sounds like it’s hot pepper flakes.

      “Can I use the fresh Packaged oysters from the seafood counter” yes, it’s even better.
      “Can I use chives or green onion instead of the Asian chives” yes, you can.

      Good luck with making good kimchi!

  14. Toto Bonn, Germany joined 6/10 & has 37 comments

    Dear Maangchi,
    after making Kimchi for 3 years now I just had a question: I saw some recipes where they didn’t salten the cabbage directly but putting it into a brine for 3 hours or so. Is there a difference in taste or consistency or is it just the same? Is there actually any difference in the end product at all?
    Thank you, Toto

  15. Gobi Singapore joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi,

    I was surfing around for kimchi recipe, found your website and tried making using your recipe today. Mine tasted a little too sweet but not too bad for someone who had never went to Korea or had never ever made kimchi before~

    It was also a breeze using your recipe and watching your video. Thank you for your wonderful recipe and video! Looking forward to try out your other recipes!

  16. LIYA Almaty, Kazakhstan joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, you are the best of the best!
    Thank you for your great work and great site!
    It is really very helpful for Koreans born abroad to refresh our memories about our real cuisine.

  17. Two Beers Germany joined 8/13 & has 1 comment


    Thanks for saring your recipes with everyone. i´ve been using quite a few of them recently and i love flavours. two days ago i´ve been making a big amout of kimchi following your recipe and i used crushed red peppers from vietnam which i found in a local asia shop. unfortunatelly it turned out to be so hot that its hardly edible. i just had a little amount of it just to try and about half a minute later i started breaking out in sweat. my mouth was burning so bad, even some yoghurt didn´t help. i like to eat hot usually, but this is really bad. it took me 8 hours to make the kimchi and now i´m afraid that all the work was for nothing.

  18. StrawberryAngelic Texas joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    i , made this but one of my friends said i needed to add vinigar to it,is this true? it turned out way salty

  19. Endang Jakarta joined 6/13 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi, your kimchi is become my favorite kimchi recipe at home. Simple and very easy to get the ingredients. I made it several times in a bunch and kept in the fridge for months ^_^. But I still failed to make kimchi pancake, maybe my kimchi is too sour. I posted my kimchi using your recipe in my blog and many readers tried it. The problem is we found it’s difficult to get Korean chilli flakes so we tried the local one and it turned soooo hot! Sometimes they tried the fresh chilli also hahaha. Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  20. EnricM Hilversum, the Netherlands joined 6/13 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    In Daegu I got a different recipe, it didn’t involve any oyster sauce and daikon. I’m anyway vegetarian so that I will leave it out.

    I will in any case try this method as mine results a little bit too watery (but great in taste!). I will use seaweed for the “fishy” taste.

    Ah, and thanks for the Gaji Namul recipe, my wife loves it!

  21. Amsterdam joined 9/12 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I tried your recipe some time ago and it was delicious! After some experiments I came up with a bit different recipe, by adding pears and using chinese cabbages. I tried both eating it fresh or fermented and I was quite happy with the results!
    Let me know what do you think:
    Kimchi on

  22. jpjwarren1 Manchester, Britain joined 4/13 & has 1 comment

    Made this the other day it’s great!! :D Although I think I got a bit too excited with the chili powder! To any British contingents reading this, I’ve discovered Napa Cabbage is called Chinese Leaf Cabbage in England and although they’re a quite different our little red radishes are still really nice in it! (I couldn’t find any daikon!) Thank you Maangchi!

  23. hellokitty08 joined 5/10 & has 35 comments

    I just made this. Is it normal for the water to separate at the bottom while its fermenting?

  24. Jennifer joined 9/08 & has 20 comments

    I gave this recipe to my family in thailand and they said that it fermented really fast that the juice overflowed lol

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