How to Make Kimchi

how to make kimchi

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  • 1 small head napa cabbage, about 1 pound
  • 1 daikon radish
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 bunch green onions (or garlic chives if you can find them)
  • about 3 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 46 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2” piece of ginger, minced
  • about 1/4 cup red pepper flakes (you can buy the bright-red kimchi pepper flakes – gochugaru – in Asian markets, but I have found that ground-up Mexican chiles de arbol make a fine substitute)


  1. Cut the cabbage in half cross-wise to separate the leafiest tops from the bottom. Cut the base from the cabbage bottom and separate all the leaves. Rinse everything in cool water and set in a colander to drain.
  2. Peel the daikon and carrots and cut into julienne pieces, about 1/4″ x 1/4″, 2-3″ long.
  3. Cut the onions into 1″ lengths
  4. Get your large bowl out and toss the carrots and daikon with about a tablespoon of salt, or enough to coat them well.
  5. Cut the stem-ends of the cabbage leaves into 1″ wide slices. Toss them with about 1 tablespoon of salt, or enough to coat them well and put em on top of the carrots.
  6. Toss the leafy tops and the green onions with another tablespoon or so of salt until coated and lay them on top.
  7. Weigh everything down with a plate and leave it on the counter for 4-6 hours or until at least 1/2 cup water has released.
  8. Stir up the vegetables.
  9. Now get out your big jar and start layering things in it.
  10. Put in a couple handfuls of the vegetable mixture, sprinkle over a tablespoon of red pepper (or less if you want it less spicy. I like it spicy!), sprinkle over some of the minced garlic and ginger.
  11. Keep doing that and as you go, use a wooden spoon to pack it down. At first, it may be hard to get everything into the jar but you’ll manage.
  12. Once it’s all in, put the lid on.
  13. Leave it on the counter for 24 hours, giving it a shake whenever you walk by. After 24 hours it will have shrunken considerably and there will be almost enough liquid in the jar to cover the vegetables. Use your wooden spoon again to cram it all down into the liquid.
  14. Now stick it in the fridge. It will keep for several months.

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