Best Kimchi Recipe – How to Make Kimchi

Photo: Andrew Boye; Food moderator: Brock Kesson

Kimchi is a broad name for a type of Korean banchan – or side dish – that is served alongside most meals in Korea. In fact, it is perhaps more accurate to refer to kimchi as a way to ferment and preserve vegetables. This version contains napa cabbage and daikon radish, which are popular ingredients in kimchi in the United States and international supermarkets. Serve the kimchi alongside bibimbap, stir it up with fried rice, or flip it into creamy noodles.

Kimchi has been around for thousands of years on the Korean peninsula, but in fact only in the past few centuries has chili peppers been added, most likely by Portuguese traders. Now, gochugaru (Korean chili powder) is standard in many types of kimchi, such as in Napa Cabbage and Daikon kimchi. It’s an easy-to-use short version for kimchi lovers who want quick – but still delicious – kimchi. It’s unusual to start by soaking cabbage and daikon in a hot water marinade, but it speeds up the process, bringing you closer to ready-to-eat kimchi.

When preparing the cabbage, cut the lower core with a knife and then use your hands to open the halves so that the leaves are intact and not cut with the knife. For spicier kimchi, increase ½ cup gochugaru to 1 cup. Can’t find a little salty shrimp? Use 1 tablespoon of fish sauce instead.

Note: Be sure to open the kimchi container occasionally. This ensures that it will not explode!

For more information on kimchi, check out our guide “What is kimchi?”

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yields:

20


cups

Preparation time:

0

hours

15th

minute

total time:

0

hours

45

minute

1


Large daikon radish (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes

1


1 medium nappa cabbage (about 2 lbs.), cut through the core and torn by hand into 8 wedges

1 tbsp.

small salted shrimp

1 tbsp.

Minced fresh ginger

6


Green onions, cut into 1 inch thick pieces

1


Large yellow onion, sliced

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  1. Combine 8 cups of water with 1 cup of salt and daikon in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Put the cabbage in a large bowl. Sit aside.
  3. Meanwhile, make the kimchi dough: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, whisk together sweet rice flour with 1 cup of water. Heat in 30-second intervals, whisking in between, until thickened and pudding-like. Stir in gochugaru, fish sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, small salted shrimp, garlic, and ginger until well combined. Add green onions and onions. Sit aside.
  4. Once the daikon mixture boils, pour over the cabbage. Make sure the cabbage is completely submerged. Leave for 15 minutes until the cabbage is soft. If not, continue soaking for another 5 minutes.
  5. Rinse and drain the cabbage and daikon at least twice to remove excess salt, discard the water from the bowl, and then return to the same bowl. Sprinkle sugar on top and stir until well covered.
  6. Foam the dough between each fold of the cabbage to ensure all the pieces are coated. Repeat until all the cabbage pieces are completely covered. Excess paste will fall off the cabbage and should be used to coat the daikon radish.
  7. Eat it fresh or let it ferment for at least two days at room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  8. When storing for fermentation, gently fold the kimchi in half lengthwise and wrap the loose ends of the leaves around the cabbage’s equator. One by one, pack the cabbage and daikon tightly into a large glass bowl so that there are hardly any gaps between the kimchi. Scrape up any remaining paste and juices in the container. As the kimchi sits, more fluid and gas will build up, so be sure to leave at least 2 inches of space at the top end of the container.
  9. Open the container once every 12 hours before placing it in the refrigerator to release the buildup of gases and push the kimchi under the accumulated juices if necessary. Once fermented, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Keep in mind that the kimchi continues to ferment in the refrigerator, so be sure to eat the kimchi within a week.

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Napa cabbage and daikon kimchi

Photo: Andrew Boye; Food moderator: Brock Kesson

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