Emergency kimchi

Yangbaechu-kimchi 양배추김치

Hi everybody!
In this video I’m showing you a method I developed to make kimchi simply and easily. It’s faster and easier because I skip the porridge-making step, I use common cabbage instead of napa cabbage, and I don’t use oysters or fermented squid.

Why? Because this is an emergency! : )


Total time to make this kimchi is 30 minutes. If you have fast hands, it might be 20-25 minutes.

Most people know that traditional, authentic kimchi is made with napa cabbage (in Korean: “baechu”). While I travel, I sometimes see napa cabbage sold at local markets, but it’s not available in many countries. So when I want kimchi when I travel I make it with common cabbage (in Korean: “yangbaechu”). I know others have also been experimenting with this.

It’s a recipe that I developed over numerous trips to countries where napa cabbage wasn’t available. Which is why I call it “emergency kimchi.”

You could use this recipe when you need to make kimchi rapidly, or if there’s no napa cabbage where you live.

I stayed at the beach in Puerto Escondido, Mexico for 4 days. I made this kimchi on the second day and enjoyed it for the rest of the time I was there. The leftover kimchi was given to my new friend Bev from Arkansas. I’ll tell you about her in my next blog.


Cabbage, kosher salt, hot pepper flakes, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, green onions, and carrot.


  1. Cut 2 pounds of cabbage into thin strips about 2-3 inches in length and ¼ inch wide. Place into a large bowl.
  2. Add 1 cup cold water and ¼ cup kosher salt. Mix it well with your hands to properly salt the cabbage.
  3. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  4. Make kimchi paste by mixing these ingredients in a bowl:
    ⅓ cup hot pepper flakes,
    1 tbs sugar,
    ¼ cup fish sauce,
    ¼ cup minced garlic,
    3-4 stalks of chopped green onion (⅓ cup worth),
    ¼ cup’s worth of julienned carrot
  5. Wash and rinse the salted cabbage in cold water a couple of times. Drain the water.
  6. Mix the kimchi paste into the cabbage thoroughly.
  7. Put the kimchi into a container, jar, or plastic bag.
  8. Press the top of the kimchi down with your hands to protect your kimchi from being exposed to too much air.
  9. You can eat it right away, just like salad. Or keep it at room temperature and it will ferment in a few days. Fermented kimchi can be used for kimchi stir-fried rice or kimchi stew, and it will be delicious.




  1. vsit joined 2/11 & has 4 comments

    Thank you Maangchi for the recipe. I just made it and it was awesome, perfect to satisfy my kimchi’s craving :)

  2. Reinier Rotterdam, The Netherlands joined 2/09 & has 102 comments

    Emergency kimchi on a whisper…. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. totalduck Canada joined 11/09 & has 3 comments

    Maangchi, this was one of the best kimchi I have eaten in long time. Since my wife loves cabbage but is not crazy about super spicy like I am I made 2 batches. I just love the freedom of adjusting the heat and garlic level to individual taste!
    I took the liberty and published this recipe on my blog. All the credits and links are there. You can see it at:
    It is a second post from top. Your blog is listed on right side as a blog I follow with direct link. Let me know if you want it modified.

  4. Charmayne Oregon joined 3/11 & has 2 comments

    I made this dish last night and it is delicious. I will never buy kimchi in a jar again!

  5. LittleGreenFrog joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    I am so glad you posted this! I had a head of cabbage in my fridge, but no clue what I was going to do with it. I made this yesterday after work and ate a few forkfuls with dinner before working out… I am sure all the people at the gym loved my kimchi breath! Who cares! It was worth it!

  6. totalduck Canada joined 11/09 & has 3 comments

    Maanchi, how would I use anchovy sauce (Myulchi Aecjeot)in this recipe? Would it change amount of fish sauce? I made it with just 1 tablespoon of anchovy sauce but it is a bit on salty side. Also, after opening the bottle do I have to keep it in fridge? Everything is written in Korean. Thanks, Jerry

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,074 comments

      myuchi aecjeot is fish sauce. Follow the direction in the recipe. After opening the bottle, you don’t need to refrigerate it. It’s so so salt that it doesn’t go bad.

      • totalduck Canada joined 11/09 & has 3 comments

        I am confused now. I think that I didn’t ask right question. What I wanted to know is if I add 1 Tbs. of anchovy sauce how much less of regular fish sauce do I use. I think that if I substitute anchovy sauce for fish sauce in 1 to 1 ration it would be inedible. According to label the anchovy sauce is basically liquid salt at 99% of salt by content. I tasted it and it is nowhere near fish sauce that is 56% salt. I talked to the shopkeeper that sold the anchovy sauce to me and that is making kimchi on commercial level and he said that anchovy sauce is a kimchi starter, it starts the fermentation process. Fish sauce is thin anchovy sauce that had the fermentation starting ability stopped in process. You can’t start fermentation with fish sauce alone according to him and he makes gallons of the stuff. I think it makes sense. In traditional kimchi recipe the fermentation gets started by sweet rice flour or anything sweet. So, how would I use kimchi starter in your great emergency kimchi? It can’t be 1/4 cup.

  7. leeemur SF Bay Area joined 7/09 & has 9 comments

    Even though I have napa cabbage in the fridge, I’m gonna go to the supermarket tomorrow to get some normal cabbage so I can make emergency kimchi. haha… Thank you for the awesome recipe! Can’t wait to try it!

  8. powerplantop Louisiana joined 6/09 & has 70 comments

    So who was drinking the Corona first thing in the morning?

  9. Sylvia joined 9/08 & has 78 comments

    I think I need an emergency so I can try this :)

  10. EricaT joined 3/11 & has 2 comments

    I made this last night and it’s delicious! I’ve never made kimchi before because the amount your mak kimchi recipe makes is way too much for me. Even a recipe I found that is almost identical, but for half as much, was too much! So I kept on buying my kimchi. Until I ran out and was too lazy to go to a store that had it. Emergency! I need kimchi! So I made this! Now I have delicious kimchi to keep my tummy happy, and now that I’ve made this one, mak kimchi doesn’t seem so scary so I’ll make that next. Thank you!

  11. laniekay Richmond, Virginia, USA joined 9/09 & has 15 comments

    Maangchi, you mention above that you can make kimchi with squid instead of oysters, which makes me very excited! I have access to squid, but not oysters, and have always wanted to include this part in my kimchi.

    My question is, should I ferment the squid for a month (like in “ojingeo jeot”) before adding it to the kimchi, or just toss the squid into the kimchi paste, like I would for oysters??

    And thank you for the recipe! The more I eat kimchi, the more I find that I have kimchi “emergencies!” It is such an addictive dish! It’s strange to think that I lived the first 20-or-so years of my life without it…

  12. vsit joined 2/11 & has 4 comments

    The recipe looks awesome, as always :)
    I like the Corona in the corner of the table, it gives a vacation’s mood :P
    Take care!

  13. Earthangel626 New York joined 11/10 & has 8 comments

    My mouth is watering right now! Can’t wait to try this!!!

  14. jaylivg Houston joined 7/10 & has 107 comments

    will try this once we finished our kimchi !!! this is awesome !!

  15. KillDeer Hamilton, Ontario joined 9/10 & has 33 comments

    Emergency Kimchi? More like Best Kimchi! amiright?

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