Napa cabbage kimchi and radish kimchi

Baechu-kimchi, kkakdugi 배추김치, 깍두기

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.


  • 2 large size napa cabbages (about 8 pounds: 3.6 kg) and 2 Korean radishes (about 4-5 pounds: 2 kg)
  • 1½ cup of kosher salt
  •  ½ cup  sweet rice flour, ¼ cup sugar, water
  • 4 cups of hot pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fish sauce,
  • 1 medium sized onion, minced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup of  fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 7 stalks of green onions, chopped diagonally
  • 2 cups worth Buchu (Asian chives), chopped,
  • 2 cups of matchstick-cut radish
  • fresh oysters (optional)



  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.



  1. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    I used 1 cup of fish sauce for the recipeinstead of using salt.
    Soon detailed recipe will be posted.

  2. Hi!

    Thank you so much for the kim chi video.
    I have one question. Do you add salt to the kim chi paste? If so, how much? In other web sites, I saw recipes that said I need to add salt to the kim chi paste. I am a bit confused. Thank you for your reply!


  3. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    It’s ok to use your bare hands, just be sure to wash them! The gloves are to protect your skin, not protect the food.

  4. Hi Maangchi,

    Thanks so much very your very informative video. Just one question, I noticed that you were wearing gloves while squeezing the water from the cabbage. If one doesn’t use gloves, will this have any effect on the process ? Should one not handle the cabbage bare-handed after it has been salted ?

  5. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    I’m happy to hear that you are becoming interested in korean cuisine. Yes, I will post the kimchi recipe for the kimchi video. It may take time though.
    Thanks again! : )

  6. Hello. I’ve become a recent fan of Korean food after I happened to find a jar of kimchi in Walmart of all places! I can’t believe I’ve overlooked Korean cuisine! I love Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Chinese foods but have never encountered Korean before.

    I’d never heard of kimchi but it looked interesting and I fell in love after making a tuna jigae. I am an amateur cook and I do like experimenting and I went online looking to see exactly what kimchi was and I found your youtube page.

    Of course I had lots of ingredients except for Korean ones in my cabinet! Who knew that there was a Korean market five minutes from my house? So, I tried making kimchi yesterday and it didn’t turn out so well! I think I miscalculated amounts and put too much of everything; I also think I used the wrong kind of red pepper powder. I got a kind that said “coarse” on it and it just didn’t seem to dissolve very well. Should I have bought fine powder?

    Oh, and would you mind posting your recipe like you did for the kimchi soup, please? From your video I couldn’t tell how much red pepper powder, ginger, oysters, green onions, leeks, and chopped radish to use.

  7. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    This is my response about neunwest’s comment on Youtube. YouTube doesn’t allow us to write more than 500 words, so I chose this method. : )

    You must be a student staying in a boarding house. I will translate your korean writing for those who may be interested in knowing what you say.
    “I’m going to try to make kimchi. How long do I have to wait before keeping it in a refrigerator? I may need very a very good container.”

    My answer: ok, you seem to live in a foreign country and miss kimchi. : ) Do you like sour taste kimchi? Then you can wait for a day or 2 days until its taste turns sour before putting it into a refrigerator.
    I like fresh kimchi, so I usually keep it in my refrigerator right after I make it.

    If you worry about kimchi smell, keep it in tightly sealed double plastic bags.

  8. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments


    It’s great news that you will post the pictures of kimchi you made on your blog. I can’t wait to see it.

  9. I just made this today and will be posting a little blog about it (with pictures) on my website. I hope it ferments well. Thanks for all your help and for posting the recipe on your site.

  10. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments


    That’s why we squeeze all the water from salted cabbage before spreading kimchi paste between the cabbage leaves. Even though you don’t see much water when you are making kimchi, you will see lots of liquid from kimchi come out afterwards. No worry. Press kimchi using a spoon. The juice from kimchi will be delicious when it fermented.

    You don’t know what to do with the leftover kimchi paste?
    I usually Keep it in a freezer and use it someday when I need to make kimchi quickly.

  11. hi! I made kimchi a couple of days ago, using the help of your video. however, after putting it in the container and leaving it…I notice there is a lot of liquid. Is that normal? Actually, I think I made too much of the mixture thing to begin with. Should I pour it out? Also, some of the mixture is left over, in a different container in the fridge. Can I do anything with it? (Another recipe perhaps?)
    Thanks in advance! And thanks for making that kimchi video :)

  12. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    Here is another successful kimchi making from my recipe.
    He made 3 kinds of kimchi: cabbage, raidish, and cucumber. They all look delicious!

  13. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    We have “Mool Kimchi” which we make kimchi with water. You need a spoon to eat the kimchi.

    So I think it will be ok. If my mother hears this, she may say,
    “No~ you have to get rid of water by squeezing them tightly!”

    Let’s see, if your kimchi is ok, I may not need to squeeze them anymore while making kimchi. : )

  14. Deborah Toronto, ON joined 4/09 & has 47 comments

    i saw this video for your kimchi on evil jungle prince’s web page. i tried it! and i think it’s come out well? i have not actually tried it yet b/c i just haven’t had the time to yet. but, i forgot to squeeze the water out of the vegetables before mixing with the paste. will this affect the kimchi?

  15. Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

    I’m going to quote myself and copy and paste some recipes for kimchi soup and stew that I wrote on YouTube to answer a commenter’s question there.

    Kimchi Soup:
    It’s very very simple to make, but tremendously delicious. : )

    1. Chop 3 cups of kimchi and put
    it in a pot.
    2. Pour 9 cups of water.
    3. Add several dried anchovies
    (of course remove the intestines)
    and a little bit of sugar and
    4.Boil it about 20 minutes.
    5.Tofu is optional. When the
    kimchi is cooked, cut Tofu into
    cube shape and add it.
    6. You don’t need any other side
    dishes for this soup. In a big
    bowl, ladle kimchi soup and rice
    and enjoy it.

    Kimchi stew (chigae):

    1. Cut some kimchi into bite sized
    pieces and put them in a shallow
    2. chop or slice some pork and
    place it on the kimchi.
    3. Slice some onion and green onion
    and put them on the kimchi and
    4. Some sugar, hotpepper powder,
    and a little salt.
    5. Pour water until all
    ingredients are submerged.
    6. Boil it until it is cooked.
    Don’t forget the last touch, a few drops of sesame oil.

    • geoi& has 1 comment

      Hi, is it ok if i soak the cabbage leaves for only 1 hour? what will happen on this? thank you.

    • Hello Maangchi,

      I have a question: I salted the cabbage dry instead of rinsing with water before salting. The flavor of the kimchi is wonderful but it does need a little more salt. It also is not making the amount of kimchi juice that I think would be normal. Should I use more salt and mix the pieces of cabbage or should I use soy sauce? I think the soy sauce would add the salt but also provide a deeper flavor. However, I think it would add more liquid than the kimchi would normally produce. What do you think I should do?

    • Michelle& has 1 comment

      Hello Maangchi,
      I’m new here and wanted to thank you for generosity in sharing your wonderful recipes. My husband is a kimchi addict and after trying a lot of different recipes, I found your video and tried your version. He says it’s the best kimchi he’s ever had! One of his other favorites is shiso (perilla) in kimchi sauce so I’m growing plenty of that as well as Napa and the other ingredients I need.
      I have two questions. I apologize if you’ve answered them somewhere else before.
      1) I live out in the country and have to make a special trip for some of the staples. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the red pepper flakes I used last time so I bought what I could find – which is a bag of Course Hot Pepper Powder (Assi Brand) which doesn’t have any of the pepper seeds – and a bag of Crushed Chili Peppers (Roland Brand). Do I combine the two to make 4-6 cups or just use the powder?
      2) Since I will be harvesting in smaller quantities – can I make a full batch of paste and store it in the refrigerator unfermented?
      Thanks again,

      • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,006 comments

        Wow, it sounds like you have a big garden. I wish I had a garden, so I could grow baechu (napa cabbage) and perilla leaves like you! : )

        Your question
        1: Use just hot pepper powder. I have never used crushed chili pepper produced by Roland Brand, so I can’t give you right answer.

        2. If I have leftover kimchi paste, I put it in small plastic bags and keep them in the freezer. Put it in small portions to make thawing fast.

        Thank you, Michelle,

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