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  • Writer's pictureHelen ModernPepper

KIMCHI RECIPE: Complete EASY Tutorial [SMALL BATCH KIMCHI] Whole & Sliced Kimchi (통배추김치 막김치) キムチ

Updated: Jan 14

I am SO EXCITED to share this Napa Cabbage Kimchi (BaeChu Kimchi/배추김치) recipe with you! Kimchi is something, literally, that I cannot live without...:-) And, I am confident that I'm not alone in saying so.

FYI - There are 200 plus varieties of kimchi. Depending on the province, season, and each family's kimchi traditions, kimchi recipes can vary greatly. For instance, kimchi recipes made by families of the coastal towns, commonly include fresh seafood. Also, summer kimchi usually does not contain heavy kimchi paste using starch gravy and is usually made to be more watery. More importantly, each family has its own unique kimchi recipes. Some families keep their recipes super "pure" by not using any man-made ingredients (i.e. factory manufactured ingredients). Some keep their kimchi recipe simple, following the ChoSun Kimchi that doesn't use starch gravy, and use fewer ingredients. And some also use gourmet ingredients that are expensive and difficult to procure (i.e. commissioning local farmers to produce organic kimchi vegetables and pepper flakes). Some families also make super delicious kimchi under a tight budget. Some shy away from using refined sugars, and some use lots of refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and even MSG. BUT there are certain ingredients that are NEVER used in authentic-traditional kimchi. (See below under 🥬Common Kimchi Making Mistakes😊.)

This Kimchi recipe video is lesson-based as if I'm right here with you. My goal is for you to walk away from watching this video with:

1. Loads and loads of Kimchi Making Confidence

2. Give you all the necessary and EASY TO FOLLOW Kimchi making instructions

I believe that ANYONE can make delicious and authentic Kimchi...:-)

*Ingredient substitutions are listed below for friends that do not have access to Korean grocery markets.

🌱Vegan Friends🌱 Please see my Vegan Kimchi (ChaeShik Kimchi 채식김치 레시피) video which includes Vegan "Fish" sauce and fermented salt brined seaweed (to replace the fermented salt brined shrimp) recipes. Written Vegan Kimchi Recipe:

Napa Cabbage Kimchi (BaeChu Kimchi 배추김치) Recipe Includes:

1. Small Portion Recipe for ONE Napa Cabbage or up to 6 lbs of Napa Cabbage(s)

2. Options for Sliced Kimchi or Whole Kimchi:

  • Sliced/Pre-Cut Kimchi (Mak Kimchi 막김치, aka Instant/Casual Kimchi)

  • Whole Kimchi, cut into quarter sections (ttong baechu Kimchi 통배추김치/Pogi Kimchi 포기김치). Typically made for preserving the longevity of Kimchi life. This method is used for KimGang 김장, when a large amount of Kimchi is made to be consumed for months (i.e. enough to last through the winter season).

3. How To Make Fresh Kimchi (Geot-Jeori 겉절이), using the inner core leaves (sweet yellow leaves) of your Napa Cabbage. Fresh Kimchi is like a side kimchi salad, made to be eaten right away. If you never had this, this is a MUST...SO YUM!

4. Items that are NOT/NEVER-EVER used in traditional-authentic kimchi recipes.

5. How To Store & Ferment Kimchi (properly storing and fermenting your Kimchi is the 2nd half of making sure your Kimchi tastes delicious)

CLICK ON the blue timestamp for recipe demonstration

00:00 Intro

02:30 Shopping Tips

03:43 Cutting Napa Cabbage

04:50 Salting, Brining & Washing

11:13 MUST HAVE & Up-Grade Kimchi Ingredients

18:00 Kimchi Paste Making

24:30 Kimchi Storage & Fermentation

25:10 Fresh & Crunchy Unsalted-Brined Kimchi: GeotJeori 겉절이

25:50 BONUS: Kimchi with Fresh Oysters & Pork Belly

(Ferment a slab of pork belly with your homemade kimchi for two weeks to make the tastiest and super moist Pork Belly Kimchi Stew/Jjigae). Watch Pork Belly Kimchi Stew/Jjigae (김장 삼겹살/돼지고기 김치찌개 레시피 + 먹방 キムチチゲ)

26:15 Kimchi Storage & Fermentation

26:55 Mini Kimchi Eating Show/Mukbang

🥬Below You'll Find:

INGREDIENTS (*substitutions included)

🌿For My GreenThumb Friends (kimchi vegetable seeds & drying method-instructions for red peppers)

Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 Shopping & Storage Tips

Common Kimchi Making Mistakes Of Ingredients


RECIPE INSTRUCTIONS (includes troubleshooting tips)

Kimchi Storage & Fermentation Information & Tips

I would love to hear from you, so please do leave me comments, questions or simply say Hi...:-)

If you haven't done so yet, please SUBSCRIBE to Modern Pepper YouTube channel. And click on that Notification Bell so you will be notified when I upload my next recipe. I WOULD LOVE TO COOK WITH YOU AGAIN...:-)


Please take a photo of your Kimchi when you make it, posted it on your social media, and TAG @ModernPepper. I would love to see your Kimchi creation!

Also, leave me requests for future recipes for both traditional Korean cuisines and everyday meals with a Korean twist.

See you soon in my next video recipe...:-)

Thanks for watching!



(This small-batch kimchi recipe is for up to 6 lbs of fresh napa cabbage(s). Adjust the amount of the ingredients according to the TOTAL WEIGHT of the cabbage(s) you are using)

*Ingredient substitution options

Napa Cabbage/배추/BaeChu (up to 6 lbs.) *Regular white cabbage/Irish cabbage/양배추

Starch Gravy/Pul/풀 (1/2 Cup White Flour/All-Purpose, 2 Cups Water) see below for recipe *Sweet White Rice Flour or Potato Gravy - overcooked into a gravy consistency

1.5 Cups Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu 고춧가루: Coarse Grind Only

*See below under Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 Shopping & Storage Tips

1/3 Cup Korean Beef Bone Broth/사골육수/ShaGolYookSu *Substitution option Dashima broth

1/4 Cup Fish Sauce/멸치액젓/MeolChiYekJeot

1 Tbsp Korean Plum Extract Syrup (MaesilChung 매실청) *Substitution option: Honey

1 Tbsp Salt Brined Shrimp (Saeu-Jeot 새우젓)

Optional Ingredient: 1/2 gram/1/2 Individual Packet Artificial Sweetener *Substitution option: Monk Fruit sweetener, honey, or brown sugar

Salt-Brining Cabbage Leaves

Approximately 1/2 Cup Brining Salt/Coarse Kosher Salt (For Fast Method). MUST use coarse salt.

For Slower-Method, additional Brining Salt/Coarse Kosher Salt is needed

Starch Gravy

(Options: All-Purpose White Flour, Sweet White Rice Flour or Potato)

1/2 Cup White Flour

2 Cups Water


4 to 5 Scallions/Green Onions/파/Pah (cut into 1 to 1.5 inches in length): If you are not adding the up-grade vegetables listed below, double the number of scallions

6 to 8 Garlic Cloves/마늘/MaNul

Fresh Ginger (less than thumb size)

2.5 to 3 inches section of Korean radish (Mu 무) peeled and cut into sticks, slightly thicker than a spaghetti noodle *Substitution option: 6 - 8 Round pink/red radishes (remove the red/pink skin) or Japanese daikon. DO NOT skip on adding the radish. The radish is just as important as the napa cabbage when making authentic-traditional kimchi.

1 Small Carrot (cut into the same size as the radish) 당근/DangGheun

1/4 Medium Size Onion (양파/YangPa)

1/4 Slice of Korean Pear (배/Bheh) - (onion and pear similar in amount) *Bosc pear. If no pear, use Fuji apple or any sweet apple


4 to 6 Garlic Chives/Chinese Chives (BuChu 부추)

3 to 4 YeolMu/열무 (Korean leafy radish leaves) - Baby radish greens. *Substitution option: Use the leafy greens from the round pink/red radishes


2 Slices Fresh Squid (O-Jing-Uh 오징어)


6 to 8 Fresh Oysters (Gul 굴) Small/Medium Size

Fresh & Crunchy Kimchi (Geot-Jeori 겉절이)

1/2 Cup Kimchi Paste

1/2 Tbsp Fish Sauce

1/2 Tsp Honey or Plum Extract Syrup

BONUS: Ferment Pork Belly Meat With Kimchi For 2 Weeks To Make The TASTIEST & SUPER MOIST Pork Belly Kimchi Stew

1 lb Raw Pork Belly Meat

1 Tbsp Coarse Salt

About 1 cup of Kimchi Paste to rub and coat the meat

2 Quarters of Napa Cabbage dressed with Kimchi Paste OR 5 - 6 cups of sliced kimchi)

Watch Pork Belly Kimchi Stew/Jjigae (김장 삼겹살/돼지고기 김치찌개 레시피 + 먹방 キムチチゲ)

🦐Homemade Salt Fermented Shrimp For Kimchi Recipe: EASY Salted Shrimp Recipe 새우젓 레시피 Saewoojeot

🌿For My GreenThumb Friends

Here are the seeds to grow your own vegetables for kimchi

(Click on the item to view)

Korean Radish/Mu/무 (you can also use the leafy greens as YeolMu)

🌶Drying & Processing Red Peppers:

Once the green peppers turn bright red on the plant, harvest them. Lay the red peppers under full sunlight, but with some breeze, preferably late mid to late afternoon. (Don't leave them out under scorching sunlight. Under extreme heat/sun, it will "cook" and damage the peppers.) Every other hour, turn over the peppers. Once the sun goes away, bring the pepper indoors, and leave them in a cool part of the kitchen, unwrapped. And repeat the sun drying process, until the peppers are fully sun-dried. This will take days to complete, depending on sun exposure. Then split open the dried pepper and remove all the seeds. Using a food processor, pulse-blend to coarse grind. Do not over blend as the heat of the blades can "burn/cook" the peppers. Double/triple wrap the coarse ground pepper, place in an airtight container, and store in the freezer to preserve its freshness.

🥬Korean Red Pepper Flakes/GoChuGaRu/고춧가루 Shopping & Storage Tips

  • To make kimchi, only coarse-grind GoChuGaru is recommended.

  • If your budget allows, my recommendation is to buy Made In Korea GoChuGaRu. It does cost more than those manufactured in other countries. Personally, I justify spending extra on Made In Korea GoChuGaRu since I am saving so much $$$ when I make my own Kimchi. Store-bought kimchi is delicious, too, but costly when compared to the cost of making homemade kimchi. Also, many families go above and beyond to buy directly from pepper farmers from Korea.

  • Store any unused GoChuGaRu in the freezer to preserve its freshness (double/triple bag it or store it in an airtight container).

  • If you can't find Korean red pepper flakes where you live, go to your local spice purveyor, show them the red pepper flakes from this video, and the link below. Hopefully, they can find you a similar match (with NO seeds and must be a coarse grind).

Kimchi CONFUSED? Have QUESTIONS about making Kimchi? YOU NEED TO WATCH THIS! Kimchi Making Q & A

🥬Common Kimchi Making Mistakes😊

I wholeheartedly appreciate fans of kimchi for making homemade kimchi💛🧡💚. I could see how these common mistakes are made, especially for non-Koreans, that did not grow up eating and being surrounded by Korean cuisine. Just listing these items below as an FYI for those wishing to make authentic-traditional kimchi. BUT if you are using any of the ingredients below and it works for you, I say do what makes you and your homemade kimchi HAPPY😋. There is NO Kimchi-Police😂😭🤣

The following ingredients are NEVER used to make authentic traditional kimchi:

  • GoChuJang/고추장 (Korean red pepper paste)

  • Soybean paste/된장 (Korean soybean paste) or Japanese miso paste

  • Vinegar/식초

  • Mirin/미린 (cooking wine)

  • SsamJang/쌈장 (condiment for Korean BBQ lettuce wraps)

  • Oyster Sauce (Chinese cooking sauce)

The following substitutions will NOT work for making authentic traditional kimchi:

  • paprika

  • cayenne pepper

  • Italian pepper flakes with seeds

  • Any non-Korean red pepper flakes

  • Finely ground Korean red pepper flakes

(These are affiliate links, which means, I get a small commission when you make a purchase using these links, AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU. Thank you for your support!)

More Korean ingredients & kitchen gadgets at

Korean Red Pepper Flakes (GoChuGaRu 고춧가루)

100% Premium Korean Origin Red Pepper Powder Chili Flakes From Famous Award-Winning Region of Yeong Yang Korea

100% Premium Korean Origin Dried Red Pepper Powder

Budget-Friendly Korean Red Pepper Flakes

(Mild or Very Spicy)

Premium Korean Anchovy Fish Sauce

Three Crabs Brand Fish Sauce

Natural Premium Sea Salt for Kimchi Brining: the Jewel of Sinan Island by Chung-Jung-One

Pacific Ocean Gourmet Sea Salt - 5 lbs. Bulk Medium Coarse Grain by San Francisco Salt Co.

SaltWorks Pure Ocean Sea Salt, Extra Coarse Grain, 5 Pound

Immaculate Baking Organic All-Purpose Flour, 5 Pound

Mochiko (Sweet Rice Flour) - 16oz [Pack of 1]

Cheong Maesil Plum Extract - 420ml

Korean Beksul All-Purpose Plum Extract Syrup 매실청

Ha Bongg Jeong Maesil Plum Extract, 23.64 fl. oz.

100% Pure Raw & Unfiltered Honey - Kosher Certified

Truvia Natural Stevia Sweetener Packets

CJ Beksul Beef Bone Broth Soup Concentrate (2-Pack)

bibigo Korean Beef Bone Broth Soup 17.6 oz (Beef Bone Soup, 3-Pack)

CJ Hetbahn Cooked White Rice, Gluten-Free, Vegan

🌶4.5 Liter Kimchi Container was used in today's video:

Crazy Korean Cooking Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Fermentation and Storage Container with Inner Vacuum Lid (1.3 Gal (5.2L))

Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Container Probiotic Fermentation with Inner Vacuum Lid (Earthenware Green, 1.9 gal/ 7.4L)

Stainless Steel 101oz(3L)Rectangular Seal Kimchi Food Leakproof Airtight Storage Container

Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers 304 New Clips - Leak-Proof, Airtight, Smell-Proof - Perfect For Camping Trips, Lunches, Leftovers, Soups, Salads & More (Set of 3)

Mamison Quality Kitchen Rubber Gloves (2 Pack) (M)

VitaMix 5200 Blender Professional Grade (64 oz Container)

VitaMix Certified Refurbished (2 Speed Blender)

All-Clad 4204 with loop Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Sauce Pan with Loop Helper Handle and Lid Cookware, 4-Quart

OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Silicone Balloon Whisk

STAR-TOP Handmade Jujube Tree Wooden Korean dinnerware combinations Utensil,Spoons and Chopsticks

Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife

Wüsthof Twelve Piece Block Set

Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set

John Boos Maple Wood End Grain Reversible Butcher Block Cutting Board, 20"x 15" x 2.25 Inches



The size of the napa cabbage is less important. Look for cabbages that feel dense and "heavy." Ideally, you want to buy a napa cabbage that is compact with lots of leaves. So the weight of your cabbage is definitely more important than its size.


Look for radishes that are wide, stumpy, heavy, and firm to touch. If using fat and wide radish, use about 2.5" to cut into sticks. If using a "skinny" narrow radish, use about 3.5" to cut into sticks. (Cut into sticks that are slightly thicker than the spaghetti noodles, but not as wide as linguini noodles.). DO NOT skip on adding the radish. The radish is just as important as the napa cabbage when making authentic-traditional kimchi.

1. Napa Cabbage Cutting:

Remove the outer layer of the cabbage leaves, if they are bruised and/or falling apart. Do not throw these away. You can use these bruised leaves to make Crispy & Juicy Napa Cabbage Pancakes. Yup, we, Koreans, don't throw away anything, unless we really need to, when it comes to kimchi ingredients.

Korean Vegetable Pancake: CRISPY & JUICY Napa Cabbage Pancake (Baechujeon) [배추전] (야채전) VEGAN🌱

Lay the cabbage on its side. Starting at the middle, side part of the cabbage, cut it down the middle, towards the root end. Don't cut the leafy part of the cabbage with your knife. Using both hands, split open the cabbage from the root end, all the way to the leafy ends.

Repeat the process by cutting the halves of the cabbage down the middle, yielding you 4 quarter-cut cabbage. Gently slice a thin layer of the root end to remove any discoloration parts. Using your hands, gently pull off the inner yellow leave at the core of the cabbage (as shown in the video). Any leaves shorter than 4 inches, remove and save in a bowl to make Fresh Kimchi (Geot-Jeori 겉절이)

For Sliced Kimchi: Same cutting process as above. Cut off the root ends and discard them. Then cut the leaves into 1 to 1.5 inches in length.


The purpose of salt brining the cabbage leaves is to deflate/soften the firmness of the white firm part of the leaves while enhancing the taste of the cabbage with light penetration of salt. Only use coarse salt. And the salt also sterilizes the leaves.

Fast Method: (MUST-USE COARSE SALT) Starting with the last/biggest leaf in the back, add a small pinch/less than 1 Tsp (as shown in the video) to the firm part of each leaf. For those leaves that are extra big, add more salt. Do not sprinkle salt on the leafy part of the leaves. Repeat the process until each leaf is sprinkled with salt. Using a big-wide mixing bowl, lay the cabbage with the inner core facing up. Using less than 1/2 cup of room temperature water, sprinkle the water on the leaves with your fingers. For Sliced Kimchi, sprinkle only half of the salt and hand toss the slices. Then sprinkle the rest of the salt on top. Sprinkle the half cup of water on top.

In about 3 to 4 hours, your cabbage should be ready. ( About halfway, gently move and toss the cabbage around the bowl.)

Recommended Method/Slower Brining Process: Repeat the salting process above. In a large bowl add some salt and room temperature water so that the water tastes mildly salty. Pour this saltwater on the leaves. (TIP: You want to add just enough water so that the leaves are NOT submerged in water. Just below to the top of the leaves in your mixing bowl.) Let the cabbage sit in this liquid for 10 to 12 hours or overnight. Same method for Sliced Kimchi. (About halfway, gently move the cabbage around the bowl.)

How To Test If Your Salt Brined Cabbage Is Ready: Find the thickest leaf and do a roll test, as shown in the video. The thickest/white part of the leaf should still be firm but flexible enough to bend without cracking. If the thick/white part of the leaf cracks when you bend it, it means the leaves need more salt brining time.

Troubleshooting TIPS: So you followed the instructions above and your leaves are still very firm and not passing the test above. This can happen, depending on so many variables (i.e. the temperature of your kitchen, altitude, climate, how fresh the cabbages when you bought them from the store...etc.). Gently drain any water from the cabbage, using a strainer. Put it back in the mixing bowl and add the salt again to each layer of the leaf, as outlined above. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and check on it in an hour. If still firm, let it sit for another 3o minutes to an hour.

RINSING: In a large bowl, fill with cold water and rinse each leaf, submerge completely in cold water, gently rubbing the thick/white part of the leaves with your fingers to remove the excess salt (as shown in the video). Then repeat the process again under running water. Gently squeeze the leafy part of the leaves and let it rest in a strainer for good 30 minutes (TIP: Root end facing up and the leafy part facing down). For Sliced Kimchi, rinse twice in small batches and let it rest in a strainer for 30 minutes.

DRAINING EXCESS WATER: After the cabbages are rinsed, it is important to let the rinsed cabbage leaves drain naturally in a large colander (do not squeeze or press to drain the water) for at least 30 minutes. For Sliced Kimchi, reshuffle the leaves at halfway mark. For Whole/Quartered Kimchi, let the rinsed quartered cabbage drain (with the root end facing up) naturally in a large colander for at least 30 minutes, as shown in the video. TIP: Place the strainer on a sturdy bowl/upside down, so the strainer is elevated. This way the water will drain and cascade away from the strainer. Otherwise, as the water drains, the lower part of the strainer will be sitting in a pile of its own draining water.


Mix 1/2 cup of flour (all-purpose white flour) to 1 cup of room temperature water. Whisk well. In a small pot, bring 1 cup of water to boil, then lower to heat to medium-low. Add the flour-water mixture and whisk for 1 to 2 minutes or until it thickens. Transfer the gravy to a mixing bowl and let it cool down to room temperature. Instead of white flour, you can use Sweet White Rice Flour. You can also use Whole Wheat Flour, but your Kimchi paste will come out a bit brownish in color, instead of bright red when using White Flour. Alternatively, you can use 2 cups of potato gravy (cook a whole potato with water until it is completely dissolved into a gravy consistency liquid). OR you can also use potato flour and follow the same method as using the all-purpose white flour. It is also very important to cool down the hot starch gravy before using it to make your Kimchi paste. Using hot starch gravy will "cook" the red pepper flakes and turn the color brownish-red.


In a blender, add the garlic, onion, pear, ginger, and 1 ladle of the starch-gravy (cooled to room temperature) and pulse to roughly blend. For the upgrade option, you can also add the fresh squid to the blender.

Pour the blender liquid along with the rest of the starch-gravy into a large mixing bowl. Then all vegetables and ingredients and mix well.

TIP: DO NOT skip on adding the radish. The radish is just as important as the napa cabbage when making authentic-traditional kimchi. (See above INGREDIENTS LIST for other radishes that you can use if you cannot get Korean radish.) As the kimchi ferments, all the natural juices from the radish are needed to balance the moisture of the fermentations with the rest of the ingredients. The natural radish liquid, as it ferments, is CRITICAL in making the kimchi taste refreshing and yummy.

(Optional Ingredient: 6 small fresh whole oysters. Do not cut up the oysters.)

Be gentle and mix all the ingredients in a circular motion, as shown in the video. Have a test taste by wrapping a small leaf with a little of the kimchi paste. At this point, everything should taste flaming hot from the rawness of the garlic, onions, ginger, and red pepper flakes. All this flaming rawness will subside as the Kimchi ferments. Right now, you should taste its saltiness. Is it too bland or too salty? It should not taste sweet. Kimchi paste is not meant to taste sweet at all, especially at this point. The sweetness will come naturally as the Kimchi ferments and releases all the natural juices from its cabbage and other vegetables.

For Sliced Kimchi, add the drained cabbage leaves and mix well, gently moving in a circular motion.

For Whole Kimchi, starting with the last leaf in the back, add a small amount (as shown in the video) of the Kimchi paste to the thickest part of the leaf/right by the root. Repeat the process until each layer of the leaves is dressed in this Kimchi paste. Pick up the cabbage and gently coat the exterior with more Kimchi paste. Then fold over the leafy part of the cabbage toward the inner core. Take the last leaf from the back and gently wrap the leafy foldover, as shown in the video.

BONUS: Ferment a slab of raw pork belly with your homemade kimchi for 2 weeks to make the tastiest and super moist Pork Belly Kimchi Stew/Jjigae. (See above INGREDIENTS). Rub both sides of the pork belly with the coarse salt. Then coat both sides of the pork belly with the kimchi paste. Place half of the kimchi into an airtight container. Then place the pork belly on top. Add the remaining kimchi on top, making sure the pork belly is fully covered. Cover the top with a plastic wrap. Then gently press down to release any trapped air bubbles. Cover with the lid and store it in the fridge immediately. Let this ferment for 2 weeks before using it to make Pork Belly Kimchi Stew. DO NOT eat the kimchi in this pork belly container raw. This kimchi fermented with the pork belly must be cooked before consuming.

Watch Pork Belly Kimchi Stew/Jjigae (김장 삼겹살/돼지고기 김치찌개 레시피 + 먹방 キムチチゲ)

🥬5. Fresh Kimchi (Geot-jeori 겉절이)

(Save 1/2 cup of the Kimchi paste to make Fresh Kimchi.) This crunchy fresh Kimchi is for immediate consumption, like freshly made salad. In my family, having geot-jeori was the reward you would get at the end of making Kimchi. It is slightly saltier and sweet in taste compared to your regular Kimchi. Mix the ingredients listed above under the Fresh Kimchi (Geot-jeori 겉절이) ingredient section, plus optional fresh oysters (up to 6 small oysters). Mix well and enjoy it. If there are any wide leaves, cut them down the middle of the core of the leaves. Mix well and enjoy it. Some also like to drizzle some sesame oil on top. This is best enjoyed if consumed right away or within 2 to 3 days max.


(Make sure to leave 1" space to the rim, if using a tight container. This extra space is for the kimchi and kimchi liquids to expand, and not spill over the container.)

4.5 Liter Kimchi Container was used in today's video:

TIP: Storing your kimchi in one big container is recommended, so all the ingredients can ferment together in their juices. Storing your kimchi into many small containers isn't ideal. Once the kimchi is ready to eat (see below KIMCHI FERMENTATION), I take out a small amount of the kimchi from the big container into a small container (enough for me to consume for over a week). This way, the rest of the kimchi in the big container continues to ferment together, with all the yummy juices releasing from all the ingredients. This is why the fermented kimchi juice so yummy. Yup, the fermented kimchi juicee is so yummy that you can just add some to a bowl of warm Korean rice, with a tiny drizzle of sesame oil, and kim/김/dried seaweed crumbles, and have an AMAZING bowl of kimchi juice bibimbap😋

Sliced Kimchi: In an airtight glass or plastic ware /Kimchi container (some of these Kimchi containers listed above come with a vacuum seal option), add the mixed Kimchi, and gently pack it down. Then add a layer of plastic wrap on top and again GENTLY press it down. This gentle press down is to eliminate any air pockets in the container. The purpose of the plastic wrap is to ensure that the moisture is contained within.

Whole Kimchi: Same process as above. Make sure to use a wide container so that you can lay down the cabbage with the inner core facing up. Best if you can stack in two layers. Add extra Kimchi paste in between the cabbages.


(Especially, during the summer months or if your kitchen is generally "hot" in temperature, cut the kitchen-counter-resting period to half. OR if you are making kimchi in the winter and your kitchen is cold, let the kimchi rest in your kitchen for 2 days maximum before storing it in the fridge.)

For both Sliced and Whole Kimchi, let the Kimchi containers rest on your kitchen counter for 10 to 12 hours, away from the heat and sun. Then place the containers in the refrigerator. If you are in a rush and really want to speed up the fermentation process, leave the Kimchi container out on the kitchen counter for 24 hours and then into the refrigerator after.

Letting your Kimchi sit in the kitchen/room-temperature for days and weeks really isn't recommended. The fermentation will peak too quickly, and then you risk the Kimchi tasting bitter and saltier. If you are pressed for time, let the kimchi sit on your kitchen counter for 48 hours maximum, then store it in the refrigerator. In about a week or so in the fridge, your kimchi is ready to be eaten. Now, kimchi fermentation taste preference is unique to each individual. (See below FERMENTATION "The Waiting-Period" & Fermentation Taste Preferences.)

"OH NO, my kimchi is making clear brownish juice?!?"

This clear brownish liquid you may see at the beginning of the fermentation is NORMAL>

If you see this clear-brownish liquid separation during the kitchen-counter-resting period, gently press down on the kimchi to reincorporate the kimchi liquid. This liquid separation is normal, so as not to worry. As the kimchi ferments, all the liquids will ferment together, resulting in delicious and highly addictive kimchi juice that you can gulp spoonfuls of, and cook with...:-)

To give your kimchi extra TLC, every two weeks, restack/rotate your Kimchi, so the bottom portion is moved up to the top and vice versa. (DO NOT PRESS HARD ON THE KIMCHI...🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️🙅🏻‍♀️) Always keep your Kimchi covered with a sheet of plastic wrap inside the kimchi container. It is like a blanket to keep the moisture as closely contained as possible.

🥬FERMENTATION "The Waiting-Period" & Fermentation Taste Preferences

How tangy/sour or fresh-tasting you prefer your kimchi is very personal to each individual. Personally, I start eating my kimchi 3 to 4 days later (after it started fermenting in the refrigerator). BUT some also the fresh taste of their kimchi as soon as it is made. Every week, the taste of your Kimchi will change. Usually, I love how Kimchi tastes on day 4 for that "fresh-tasting" taste, where the kimchi paste is still flaming hot. BUT my favorite kimchi taste period is anywhere between weeks 2 and 3, where the Kimchi tastes sweet, juicy, and plump with just the right about of saltiness. My husband, on the other hand, loves his kimchi in weeks 4 and 5. I usually eat my Kimchi, as is, until week 5 or 6. For me, after week 6, it tastes too tangy to eat as is. And after that, I recycle the Kimchi to make loads of delicious Kimchi dishes. This is mainly the reason why we, Koreans, make extra Kimchi, to budget for extra-fermented Kimchi so it can be turned into many Kimchi dishes. The classics are Kimchi Fried Rice, Kimchi Mandu/Dumplings, and of course Kimchi Stew...YUM! Getting so hungry thinking about these dishes.

"Does kimchi ever go bad?"

No, not really. As long as the kimchi is stored in the fridge or at cool temperature (buried in the ground in a clay pot, in a shaded part of the yard) it can be fermented for years. There are specialty dishes that require using kimchi that has fermented for at least 1 year. Some specialty restaurants ferment their kimchi for 3 years. One famous dish that requires kimchi that has fermented for at least a year is GamJaThang/감자탕 (pork neck bone broth cooked into a spicy stew with potato, and extra fermented kimchi). Some wash their super fermented kimchi in cold water to rinse off all the kimchi paste and liquids. Then use the washed kimchi leaves to make lots of other dishes. We, Koreans, never throw away kimchi.

🥬KIMCHI REFRIGERATORS: Just like "wine refrigerators for kimchi"

Slowly fermenting your Kimchi and keeping it at a cool and controlled temperature is ideal. You may already know but there is such thing as Kimchi Refrigerators. Yup, just like wine refrigerators, we, Koreans have Kimchi refrigerators. These are the modern refrigeration replacement of how Kimchi used to stored in clay pot/onngi/옹기 buried in the ground. My grandmother used to store Kimchi in huge onngi pots buried on the shaded part of the yard and it is a lot of work to clean it. I remember my uncles cleaning the onngi pot for her and it would turn out to be a full day's worth of work.

If you are planning on fermenting your kimchi in onngi, it needs to be buried in the ground to hold its cool temperature and in a shaded area of the yard, never in direct sunlight.

Korean Kimchi Refrigerators/like "wine refrigerators for kimchi"

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Check out my Non-Spicy White/Baek Kimchi and Cucumber Kimchi (proper name is "OYeeSohBhackYee" 오이소박이) recipes. Click on the link below.

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66,226 views4 comments


Mihaela Laura
Mihaela Laura
Mar 07

Hi, I am so grateful to you for making these super helpful videos! I have a question, just purchased 2 crazy Korean kimchi containers (3.4 L each). Approximately how much Napa cabbage in weight do I need if I want to fill both?


Ke Velthaus
Ke Velthaus
Mar 03

I cannot wait to make this! I make my own sauerkraut in a fermenting crock. Can I use that for the Kimchi? I love your videos - they are so welcoming, friendly and you give great teaching methods! Thanks


Sonia Peterson
Sonia Peterson
Apr 23, 2021

do we rinse the cabbage before adding salt or salt water? If we do the short method with salt, do we wait for it to dry before adding salt?


Oct 13, 2020

Wow! First time impressions.....the phrase "including the kitchen sink" comes to mind. Your post is full value....and thank you! I will start to make kimchi in West Australia...the stuff in coles just reminds me of what it should taste like!

Thanks again Mal

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