Cabbage kimchi

Anyone who loves Korean food will be familiar with kimchi. Mild or fiery, it’s your choice depending on how much chilli you add. This is a basic recipe using cabbage, although other vegetables—such as carrots, capsicum, cucumber—may also be added.

Ingredients: (makes 4 cups), Prep Time: 30-40 minutes

  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • Water, preferably distilled or filtered
  • 1 Tbsp grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
  • 1 Tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 Tsp granulated sugar2 Tbsp fish sauce or salted shrimp paste, or 3 Tbsp water
  • 1-5 Tbsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 cup Korean radish or daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 medium spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 1 litre jar or 4 smaller jars with canning or closable lids


  1. Cut the cabbage into 5cm strips, after removing the core.
  2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage until it softens.
  3. Cover the cabbage with water, place a plate and heavy weight on top, and let stand for 1-2 hours.
  4. Rinse the cabbage under cold water three times. Drain for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Make the spice paste. Mix the garlic, ginger, sugar, and fish sauce, shrimp paste, or water, and stir into a smooth paste. Stir in the chilli flakes, using one tablespoon for mild and up to five tablespoons for spicy. Set aside until the cabbage is ready.
  6. Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add it to the spice paste. Add the radish and spring onions, and mix thoroughly, until all the vegetables are coated.
  7. Pack the kimchi into the jar, then press down on the kimchi until the brine liquid that comes out of it covers it. Leave a 3cm space at the top, and seal the jar.
  8. Leave to ferment for one to five days, at cool room temperature, out of direct sunlight.
  9. Check the kimchi once a day, opening the jar and pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.


  • Kimchi can be eaten right away, but is best after a couple of weeks.
  • Can be refrigerated for a few months.
  • Too much garlic can make the kimchi bitter.
  • Too much ginger can make it sticky.


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