Easy Cabbage Kimchi

by Beyond Kimchee on March 14, 2012 · 105 comments

Easy Cabbage Kimchi
Every once in a while I have this strong urge to make kimchi.., it must be the Korean blood in me!
So I made a simple cabbage kimchi called “mak-kimchi”.
I have posted 3 episodes of how to make the authentic Cabbage Kimchi about a year ago.
Although the method of that type of kimchi in those posts will yield truly amazingly tasting kimchi, it is quite time and labor demanding work.
This version is the Easy Cabbage Kimchi. “Mak” literally means whatever fast.
I will show you how easy it is to make delicious cabbage kimchi with its pungent yet refreshing flavor.
Even a novice to kimchi making can succeed with a great result.
I bet you would like that.

The only advice I can give is that this kimchi will ferment fast and has shorter storage life since they are all pre-sliced before made into kimchi. It meant to be eaten within a month or two.

So, don’t make more than 1 head of cabbage unless you have a crowd to feed.


Easy Cabbage Kimchi

You will need a large shallow mixing bowl to soak the cabbage.
If you don’t have it, use your kitchen sink.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

Want to make a good kimchi? Use good salt.  I, very highly, recommend to purchase Korean sea salt.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

Mix salt in the water.

Now, let’s give some attention to this cabbage.

I like to see cabbage leaves have some holes like this. You can guess what this means, right?

Bugs! Don’t panic.., it is okay. Remember that we share our planet with these little creatures.
I like it better because it means your cabbages are not overly pesticide.
You need to wash the leaves to get rid of the bugs though.

Cut your cabbage leaves like this; a little bigger in the leafy part than the white stem part.

If the white stem part is too thick, cut in half in the center.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

Dump the cabbages in the salted water and mix well. Press down on top to wilt a little.
Let it soak for 1 hour, then turn them around so the top side will go to the bottom, and continue to soak for another 45-60 minutes.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

They should be lifeless.

Rinse 3 times…

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

and drain well. Press firmly on the top to get rid of extra water. Set aside .

Meanwhile, let’s make a quick stock.
I used anchovies and shrimp heads. You can use anything as long as they are from the ocean. Fish, squid, crab, or whatever. Adding an extra sea flavor will make your kimchi so flavorful when fermented.
Boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

As you see, you will have a gorgeous stock. Strain the stock and discard the anchovies and shrimp.

Cut these into chunks; apple, onion, ginger, and garlic.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

Now, my recommendation for the rice glue; I use a little bit of leftover white short grain rice.
This will get rid of the extra step of making rice glue separately.

Put them all together in a blender, add the 1 cup of reserved stock.

Blend until smooth. I call my blender, “the smooth operator… ♪♫

Here are the anchovy sauce, salted shrimp, Korean chili flakes, and sugar.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

Combine the blended rice mixture with them in a bowl.
Don’t worry about the chunks of shrimps. They will melt down in 5 minutes.

Mix well and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. See? you don’t see any shrimps there.
The chili will absorb the liquid and make the paste more spreadable. The color will also be intensified as well.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

Slice some Asian leaks (or onion) and green onions.

Add about 2/3 of your kimchi filling to cabbage and onions in a mixing bowl. You can add more filling later if you need.

My cleaning lady accidentally used my designated holy kimchi gloves to clean the toilet. Alas…!
Protect your delicate hands with rubber gloves or disposable gloves.

Toss well.

Taste! It should be slightly saltier than you would hoped for.
You can add more anchovy sauce or salt if needed.

Add 1/2 cup of water to the mixing bowl, swirl around, and pour over the kimchi.
Check this gorgeous color of kimchi made with Korean chili flakes…

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

This type of kimchi taste excellent when freshly made, so enjoy the fresh taste on the first day you made.
You can let it sit on the counter for 1 day and it will ferment to the perfect stage. Store in the fridge afterward.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi

If you have leftover kimchi filling like I always do, store in a airtight container in the fridge. It will last up to 3 months. This will make a wonderful base to a small batch of radish kimchi (kkackttugi), or spicy stews, etc.

Easy Cabbage Kimchi
Kimchi is a kind of dish that you need to get used to if you never had it before.
But once you get used to, you will be hooked.
Serve your kimchi over freshly cooked rice.
Your adventure with Korean cuisine will just begin…


Cabbage Kimchi


Kimchi, the easy version (mak-kimchi)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: makes 1 head of cabbage
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 head (1.5 lb or 1.5 kg) Korean Napa cabbage, sliced into 1.5-2" (smaller at stem part)
  • 8 cups water
  • 1¼ cup Korean coarse sea salt
  • 1 Asian leek or onion, thinly sliced1 bunch green onion, sliced into 2" long
Ford the quick seafood stock:
  • 5-6 dried anchovies
  • 3-4 whole shelled small shrimps
  • 2 cups water
For the Kimchi filling:
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1" small piece of ginger, diced
  • ½ sweet apple, peeled and diced
  • ⅓ cup cooked white rice
  • ⅔ cup Korean chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoon Korean anchovy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon salted shrimp
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  1. Dissolve the coarse sea salt with the water in a very large shallow mixing bowl or in the sink. Add the cabbage slices and toss to mix. Press top so the solution will sip through the cabbage.
  2. Soak the cabbage for 1 hour in the solution, toss so the top side will go down to the bottom and let it soak for another 45-60 minutes until the cabbages are well wilted.
  3. Meanwhile, make the seafood stock. Combine anchovies and shrimp in the water, bring to boil first, then simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. Let it cool and strain the stock. Reserve 1 cup.
  4. Rinse the cabbage 3 times and drain very well. You might need to press the cabbages firmly to remove the extra moisture.
  5. To make filling, place onion, garlic, ginger, apple, and rice in a blender. Add the reserved stock and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree into a medium size mixing bowl and add the rest of the filling ingredients, mix well. Let it sit for 10 minutes so the chili flakes will absorb the moisture.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, combine drained cabbages, leek(or onion), and green onion. Add ⅔ of kimchi filling first and toss everything very well. You might need to add the rest of the filling if your kimchi doesn't seem to be red enough.
  7. Taste your kimchi and adjust seasoing by adding more anchovy sauce or slat. It should taste a little saltier that you would hope for. Transfer your kimchi into the storage container.
  8. Pour ½ cup of water to the mixing bowl that you made kimchi in, swirl around to wash the filling and pour over to your kimchi.
  9. Serve this kimchi on the same day you made to enjoy the fresh taste or let it sit on the room temperature for 1 day to ferment, then store in the fridge and consume within the next 1-2 month.
  1. Store your kimchi in an air tight container and place 1-2 boxes of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odor.





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{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

maria tomato March 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Thanks for the recipe. I just run out of my radish kimchee, I'll try this easy version.


nana March 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

oh i love this!!! thanks for sharing


Meagan Ness March 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

The advantage to this type of kimchi is that it is very easy to make a giant batch and store in quart jars. I sell my homemade kimchi and I always use this method. Makes the whole process go faster. 


Jeremy Bates March 14, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Two things I have always noted when it comes to Korean food are: 1. they are typically colorful; and 2. they are rife with vegetables.

I generally neither have the tie or inclination to make Kimchi, so when I do get the urge, I buy some from one  of the many Korean places here in Manila.

Usually, I prefer to eat yook gae jang or bulgogi (yeah, meat!).

Your images of the preparation are alays great, thus it's no wonder you have so many followers.


Hyosun Ro March 14, 2012 at 8:55 pm

That's one nice looking mak-kimchi, Holly!


Susan March 14, 2012 at 10:06 pm

I am salivating!!! I should be going to bed soon but now, I have an intense desire to eat rice with kimchi! I look forward to trying my hand (a first) at making it this weekend. Thank you for the step by step photos. Lovely!


MS BC March 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

oh my this looks so goooood
my korean hubby will be so impressed!


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Tiffany March 15, 2012 at 12:41 am

Hi Holly

I live in KL, Malaysia, With regarding to the anchovies, do you buy yours from a Korean grocery shop or you can just use those from the market? Secondly, can you leave out the bottled salted shrimps? 

I was told that the Malaysian cabbage (those grown in Cameron Highlands) is loaded with pesticides. How do you clean yours?

Thanks for the amazing post, once again.


Ethelmarygarcia March 15, 2012 at 12:52 am

This recipe made Kimchi more delightful and easy to make. Thanks a lot!


LucyL March 15, 2012 at 7:42 am

oh this looks so good, and i have all the ingredients at home so will make this wkend! only thing i don't have is anchovy sauce – what can i use instead? Thanks holly! x


KimyoungJin May 13, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Fish Sauce is fine


Conniewalden March 15, 2012 at 9:59 am

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful food.  Connie


beyondkimchee March 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I use Korean anchovies that I purchased in my hometown in Korea (the best of the bests). I store them the freezer and they can last forever. You can buy Korean anchovies at the Korean grocery stores. For the stock, you can use local anchovies but I would recommend dried fish I often see at the local groceries. They will make your kimchi very flavorful as well.
For cabbage or any vegetables or fruits, I always wash with baking soda. Soak vegetables with 1 tbsp baking soda in cold water for 5-10 minutes (or scrub if you can), then rinse out. It cleans out pesticide very well and seems to improve its crispness.
No matter where you shop most vegetables are loaded with pesticide unless you purchase trusty organic products.


beyondkimchee March 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

You are welcome. Hope you get to try this recipe soon.


beyondkimchee March 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm

You can use Thai (or Vietnamese) fish sauce with a little less amount. Have fun making kimchi this weekend and let me know how it turns out.


Mark March 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm

Gorgous. I'm an American guy, who worked in Korea for about 6 months,
and fell in love with the food. (The people, and the beautiful country, are
pretty nice too). I love finding a slightly easier way to make kimchi. I
actually have sort of skipped the seafood stock bit, although I've put
in anchovies. I'll try it this time. The first time I made it, it was way
too salty; but I've gotten a little better at it. I figure: keep trying,
and eventually I'll get it just right.  Mark


beyondkimchee March 16, 2012 at 12:51 am

Hi Mark
Thank you for the comment. Yes, kimchi making is a little challenging at first, but keep trying. You will get the feel for a good kimchi as you keep challenging.


mina kim March 17, 2012 at 4:20 am

looks like a beautiful recipe. i can't wait to try it.


Stefania Boccolato March 18, 2012 at 1:16 am

all the food you make seems to be delicious, i have to try the teriyaki chicken.



kitchenriffs March 19, 2012 at 8:15 am

Great post.  Kimchi is on my list of things to make this year (I love the flavor, just have never made it).  I liked your longer recipe, but this one is more doable for a novice.  (David Chang's recipe in Momofuku is also quite good.)  As always, a well written and presented recipe – thanks.


LucyL March 20, 2012 at 2:51 am

Hi Holly, I made the kimchee and it turned out great! I didn't read your recipe properly though and use 2 cup of stuck and about half a cup of rice, so I think the consistency is slightly wrong. I'm going to try again after I've finished eating and sharing this batch with friends! Have noticed a minor mistake on step 4 of the recipe, you forgot to include the rice going into the blender. Thank you again for this MAK recipe, anything mak is good in my kitchen! x


beyondkimchee March 20, 2012 at 7:08 am

Thanks. Hope you can try to make kimchi this year. This Mak-kimchi would be perfect for the beginner.


beyondkimchee March 20, 2012 at 7:10 am

Thanks for pointing out the mistake, Lucy. I will fix it. I am glad that you liked the mak-kimchi.


Mary Bergfeld March 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

This sounds delicious and I need a recipe for kimchi. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary


Lyndsey@TheTinySkillet March 22, 2012 at 7:47 am

We have a Korean market so close to my house and each week they make kmchee and if I happen to be in there on the day they make it the whole place smells wonderful. If this is the easy version…wow, I can't imagine how much you have to do to make the  authentic cabbage kimchi . Must be a labor of love. :)


Ola daleka_droga March 26, 2012 at 6:07 am

you know that this cabbage here is called "Pekin cabbage"?:)
Life and



beyondkimchee March 26, 2012 at 8:12 am

Thanks for letting me know. I like the name.


JessicaP March 26, 2012 at 5:49 pm

Hi, Holly!
I'm an American married to a Korean man and excited to try this mak-kimchi.  Thanks so much for posting it!  I'm actually making it this week to take to a Korean family gathering this weekend.
Can you please tell me how much Vietnamese fish sauce I can use for the stock since I don't have anchovies?  Also, can you tell me how much leftover rice I should use in the rice paste?  I don't have time to practice, so hope to get it right the first time!
Also, will 3-4 days be enough time to ferment?
Thanks in advance!


beyondkimchee March 26, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Hi Jessica

If you are using Veitnamese fish sauce, use about 2 tablespoon first along with Korean salted shrimp in the recipe. As for the leftover rice, use about 1/3 cup (room temp).
After you make kimchi with cabbage, taste it to check the seasoning. It should be slightly saltier that you would hope for. The water in the cabbage will continue to ooze out and dilute the sodium level. You can always add more fish sauce if you need.
Leave kimchi on the counter 1-2 days to ferment (no more than 2 days, otherwise it will be too sour), until you see a little bubbling gas forms, then, put in the fridge to slow down the fermentation.
Good luck! and let me know how it turns out.


JessicaP March 27, 2012 at 11:05 am

Thanks, Holly! After looking at the printed recipe, I realize you had written some of the details that I was asking about.  Oops!  Sorry to make you repeat yourself.  I'm so excited to try this.  I had to special order the Asian cabbage since K-town only sold boxes of 50 heads of cabbage!  I've been slowly gathering the ingredients with the help of a Korean girlfriend and hope it turns out well!  I will let you know.  :)


beyondkimchee March 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

 Thanks Mary. I am glad that you found my site. Hope you can find a good recipe in my blog that you can try. Let me know if I can help you with anything.


Daily Deal Blog March 30, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Fresh taste! I Surfing your yummy blog.


Jessicapark April 11, 2012 at 11:35 am

Hi, Holly!
I wanted to let you know my kimchi was a big success and now my husband's family are teasing me that I should have a kimchi business! One sister-in-law told me she didn't expect my kimchi to look so professional, my husband told me it tasted authentic and everyone raised their chopsticks with kimchi in an ode to kimchi during our lunch.  :)  We also tried your mandu recipe, but I think I need to practice that some more as it was pretty bland, and my filling wasn't small and even enough.  Here's a picture of my kimchi and the family making mandu!  Thanks for your recipe and for explaining it step by step, making it easy for this Mee-gook mind to follow along!  :)


beyondkimchee April 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I am so happy to hear that your kimchi turned out so well. It looks really good from the photo. Yes, you should be in the kimchi business.
For the mandu, try chopping your noodle smaller. Easier to assemble that way. Also maybe reduce the amount of tofu and increase the pork. It will be quite bland to taste if there is too much tofu. You can always adjust amount of each ingredient for your liking. Don't forget the dipping sauce, either!
Thanks for taking your time to write me. Comments from my readers like you do motivate me to continue the blogging.


Thomas May 20, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Hello Holly !

I had spotted your 3 posts about making the long version a long time ago but was hesitant given the complexity. I finally tried this fast version and it gave amazing results ! Now we are trying the concumber..
Do you think it is possible to make brocoli-kimchi ? I would love to mix crunchiness and spiciness ! Do you think it is better to drown it into salted water, or to cover it with boiling salted water like the concumber ??

thank you for your advice

greetings from Paris !


Holly May 20, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Hello Thomas

Yes, it is possible to make broccoli kimchi. You wan to sprinkle a little bit of (about 1-1 1/2 tablespoon) coarse sea salt over 1 head of broccoli and let it sit for about 15 minutes so that broccoli gets pre-seasoned. Rinse and spin well to get rid of moisture. Add chili fillings and toss.
I am so glad to hear that the easy kimchi version came out great for you.


Erica June 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for this recipe!

I’ve made a few mak kimchi recipes before and so far this one is my fave, especially with the leftover rice tip. Though I had to make some adjustments (forgot to get ginger, out of fish sauce so I used soy sauce, instant dashi instead of anchovy stock, and I only used green onion and added strips of radish), it turned out wonderful! I also appreciate the tip on saving the leftover paste and using it for a quick kkadugi, which I did and is also delicious.

I just really need to get my hands on some good Korean sea salt, and better cabbage next time, though that’s hard to find here. I think I’ll grow it in the garden next year, maybe even this year though it’s a bit late to start from seed. Hm.

Thanks again! I love your blog.


Emily Henson June 26, 2012 at 12:03 am

Hi Holly! I’ve recently started following your blog and I wanted to tell you how lovely it is. My husband is American (I’m British) and we lived in Seoul for 2 years back in 2002. We fell in love with the food and I miss it terribly, especially now that we’re living in London and it’s not as easy to get good Korean food. I’m thrilled to see this recipe for easy kimchee since I crave it ALL the time. I could eat it every day. Now I have to find somewhere to buy the ingredients…


Holly June 26, 2012 at 12:55 am

Hi Emily, I am glad that you found my blog, too. I hope you can find some good Korean ingredients to make your kimchee soon.


Julie lee August 30, 2012 at 10:37 pm

Thank you. I put too much onion in mine (I don’t know why) but it is soo good!


Holly August 31, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Glad that you liked it. You can never put too much onion. I love onions!


Charos September 14, 2012 at 4:10 am

I have one question, I coudn’t find anchovy sauce, can i use fish sauce?
Many thanks.


Holly September 14, 2012 at 7:40 am

Yes, you can use fish sauce. But use a little less amount if the fish sauce has more sodium (usually Thai fish sauce is quite salty). You can always add more if you need.


Charos September 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm

Thank you very much.. I recently soak cabbage in salted water. I am so excited:-)


Shundara September 25, 2012 at 12:30 am

I am going to make kimchi this weekend, but can I use rice flour with this recipe instead of rice??


Holly September 25, 2012 at 6:56 am

Of course. You need to cook into rice glue to add to the filling, though.


Eden October 8, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Hi, I’m a kitchen newbie and I’m going to try more recipe from your blog after my first successful spicy dummy pork. ^_^
My location is in Penang Malaysia, if I can’t get the korean salted shrimp paste, can I replace it with the cincalok? As I saw the ingredient is also shrimp and salt, and they looks a like…
here is the image http://ediblyasian.info/resources/recipe-images5/cincalok.jpg


Holly October 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

I have seen them at the store. Never tried though but if they are just shrimp and salt, it should work. I am glad that you liked my pork recipe. Good luck on making kimchi. I am visiting Penang in December and I am quite excited.


Fashionista October 18, 2012 at 12:06 pm

Hi Holly, I stumbled upon your website to make kimchee. I linked your blog to my post. I am in the process of trying it myself. Thank you for sharing your recipe.


Noemi Agustin November 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Hi Holly!
I ran into your blog and got curious,since I love trying new food. I’m a Filipino and my problem would be where to find some of the ingredients of Kimchi I really wanted to try it and taste the very famous food of Korea. I’m very excited to try and taste it..


Holly November 25, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Hi Noemi
Best place to get Kimchi ingredients will be Korean grocery stores. I believe there would be some in Manila since there are many Koreans living there. You should be able to find Korean chili flakes, fish sauce, shrimp sauce, and maybe, even cabbages.


Kim Brazier January 20, 2013 at 8:45 pm

Hi Holly,

Thank you for sharing this recipe. I love Kimchi I bought every two months but I don’t know how to make. I am please to find your recipe so clear with photos so I could understand what the ingredients to use how is look like. I am from Vietnam living in Dhaka. There is Korea supermarket I think I could find all the ingredients there. Thank again.


Ruby March 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thanks for your recipe! I wanna know how much salt I should use if I use fine sea salt? And how much salt and chili flakes is appropriate if I want to make it more bland but still has taste? 감사합니다:)


Holly March 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

If using fine salt, perhaps cut down about 1/2. Also you can use less chili to make it blend, up to 1/2 the amount but your kimchi won’t be as red/orange. I would cut down about 30%.


SK Lee March 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

Hi Holly,

I stumbled upon yr blog while searching for recipe on citreon tea. I have been an ardent fan for korean food and love eating kimchee. After reading your kimchee recipe, i would like to try making it. It sounds interesting and easy to make since you have explained them very clearly. Thank you very much for the recipe. I am glad that I have finally found a step by step and easy to follow recipe.


Holly March 10, 2013 at 6:01 pm

Thank you SK Lee. Hope you can give a try on kimchi making. It requires some time but worth it. Take care!


Jasika March 31, 2013 at 8:13 am

Thank you so much for this recipe! I LOVE kimchi, but have been hesitant to try making it because I live in a place where its hard to find the right ingredients. This recipe had things that I could find or easily replicate…. So I tried it!

When I had it all stuffed in a jar, I tasted it…. OH! it was soooo awful!! haha I thought maybe I just dont like ‘fresh’ kimchi. So I let it set on the counter a night, but it was still awful. I put it in the frige for a week and tried again… it was just not good at all! But, it was so pretty and I had made so much, I couldnt throw it away.

It sat in the back of my frige for about a month… taunting me. Till one day I dared a taste and oh em gee…. IT WAS DELICIOUS!! Wow…. really just wow. its sooooo good! Ive eaten half the jar in the last few days. Its great right out of the jar or in cooking. I love it! THANK YOU! Ill never buy kimchi again <3


Wendy April 21, 2013 at 4:48 am

I can’t wait to try this, just looked up a Korean store near me. Love me some Kimchi.


yayan April 25, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi! Holly,
Firstly,Iam so Sorry my english is poor.
Thanks for da recipe! I already tried. simple and taste also good (^_^). Me and my freind really like to try korean dish. We were so addicted with kdrama. lol.


Anasthasia May 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Hi Holly!

I am really excited to find this speedy kimchi recipe! I have been following your blog and was super delighted for your detailed versions of kimchi.

I have ran through my local grocery stores and was unable to find salted shrimp (even in lottemart supermarket!) or even a possible substitute for it (e.g. cincalok like the malaysian one) and korean store is very difficult to find in my country.

Do you have any suggestions as to a substitute for the salted shrimp or perhaps if I could make them instead of buying?

Thanks heaps!


Holly May 5, 2013 at 1:19 pm

You can omit the salted shrimp. Increase the amount of fish sauce and you still will get tasty kimchi.


Anasthasia May 6, 2013 at 12:08 am

Hi Holly,

Thanks for the speedy reply.

I was gonna substitute korean salted shrimp with cincalok as I found someone selling it but they told me that in its raw state, cincalok tastes sour.

Instead I found lee kum kee shrimp sauce, saw it was made with shrimp and salt only (although not sure if they used the same small shrimp as korean salted shrimp) so I am gonna give that a go and see how it turns out. http://sybaritica.me/2012/11/18/foodstuff-lee-kum-kee-brand-shrimp-sauce/

I managed to found anchovy sauce in my local store so in case the lee kum kee shrimp sauce fails, for next batch do you mean I should increase anchovy sauce (by how much?) or use thai fish sauce? Thanks heaps!

Can’t wait for more recipe updates from you, your recipes are really easy to follow and the pictures are just beautiful. <3


Holly May 6, 2013 at 11:02 am

The shrimp sauce you mentioned almost sounds like thin belachan to me. Belachan is quite strong to add as it is without being cooked to kimchi since it has very potent smell. Although Lee Kum Kee shrimp sauce looks thinner and maybe less potent? I am not sure.

I will tell you what. Make kimchi filling without the shrimp sauce in the recipe. Take a small portion off from the filling and add in a little bit of the shrimp sauce to it. Taste both filling to see if you can tell the difference. The kimchi filling with or without shrimp sauce won’t have much difference in taste as a filling but it will make a little difference as it ferments with cabbage with it.

If your filling with LKK shrimp sauce taste like (or smell like belachan), I wouldn’t use it. You can make a very decent batch of kimchi without shrimp sauce if you add the seafood stock in the filling, which will make up the flavor.

Most Korean fish sauce is made with anchovies. I think it is a good idea to mix Korean fish sauce with Thai/Vietnamese fish sauce. I personally never tried Thai fish sauce to make kimchi but Many Koreans in abroad do. It works but I highly recommend to use 30-50% less depends on the brand. Check the sodium level. Most Korean fish sauce is about 25-35% sodium intake per serving, and I’ve seen some Thai fish sauce goes upto 70% which is extremely salty. Start with less portion of fish sauce. You can always add more even after you mix the cabbage with the Kimchi filling.

Good luck, Anasthasia! Kimchi making is not an easy task but is very rewarding. I would love to hear how your turns out. Thanks for the compliment. :)


Anasthasia May 9, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Hi Holly,

I have made it! and the flavour is great and I used the LKK shrimp sauce.
I tried it on a small batch and it tasted more delicious with it (sort of add that depth of seafood flavour) so I added it to the rest.

It’s been about 2 days and the kimchee flavour is wonderful although mine turn out very sour not sure why exactly but I have been adding sugar gradually to try to reduce the sourness but up to now it is still quite sour. I think maybe I should have taken the cabbage out of their salt water soak bath faster than the given time.

Thank you for your recipe! Will definitely make it again next time, now I can just make my own kimchi and I won’t have to buy from the store since the ones available here are not so nice.

may May 12, 2013 at 9:26 pm

Hi Holly
thank for your posting i make today.
very nice but i can’t get korean chili flake.
i used another brand and mix
korean pepper past can.


roberto May 19, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I luve Korean dishes.
Thanks for these wonderful recipes.


sall bj June 13, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hello…thank you so much for sharing this simple kimchi…do love kimchi & will try to do it myself…thank you Holly :)


Venus August 1, 2013 at 12:08 am

Thanks for sharing your kimchi recipe! one of my favorites Korean food. I would love to know more and learn to do Korean recipes!


TMB August 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

I tried this recipe last night and added some sliced carrots and daikons. The jars are still fermenting on the counter, but I just had some w/ noodles and it was really good! I’m so pleased w/ the results, I can’t wait to give some jars away to my family members. I omitted the ginger since I don’t like ginger. Last modification was that since I like things extra-spicy, I minced several Thai chili peppers and added the peppers and seeds to the mix. Thank you for being so kind as to share your recipe.


cynthia September 12, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Nice job putting this together. I’m Korean, and my mom makes her kimchee almost like this – she makes the glue though, and uses korean pears versus apple… I’ve been researching a bit of kimchee, and I think you’re steps are well done. The recipe is also the traditional one.


Hannah September 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

Thanks for this great and very easy kimchi recipe. I have tried it for four times already and would say that the final product is a-yummy-delight!! I have improvised with some of the ingredients in your recipe based on the availability in our local market. I wanted to try using salted shrimp but I couldn’t find one. Can you show us how to make the salted shrimp on our own?


Natasha October 19, 2013 at 8:38 am

I just want to ask can package kimchi be kept for the next day or more if its opened the day before? http://www.flickr.com/photos/quitepeculiar/4327837324/


Natasha October 19, 2013 at 8:39 am

I was just want to ask, how long can package kimchi be kept for? (http://www.flickr.com/photos/quitepeculiar/4327837324/)


Holly October 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

As long as you want or until you can’t stand the potent smell any longer.


Andrea November 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Hi Holly,

I made your spicy pork last night and it was fantastic! I want to try this recipe, but I am allergic to apples. Is there something else (pears, for example) that would be a reasonable substitute? Thank you for your help (and your great blog!)


Holly November 10, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Hi Andrea, you can use pear instead. You are the first person that I heard of being allergic to apples. Would pears be okay for you?


Andrea November 10, 2013 at 2:44 pm

Yes, pears are fine. I’ll try this recipe this week with a pear instead of apple, and report back. Thank you for your prompt reply.


Lianne November 19, 2013 at 3:38 am

hi.. im a filipina, and i want to make kimchi.. ahmm.. can i use, chili powder instead of chili flakes? .. i already have chili powder


Holly November 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

You can use chili powder. Use a little less than the given amount.


Lianne November 19, 2013 at 10:17 pm

ok.. thank you ^_^


Kim December 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Holly: I just wanted to say thank you for posting such a detailed tutorial for mak kimchi! The kimchi turned out just beautifully. We will have it on Christmas with the momofuku recipe for bo ssam.

I love your blog — such a great resource. Happy holidays!



Jordan February 8, 2014 at 1:25 am

Is there any way to make a small batch of kimchi? I’m the only one in my family that eats it, and whenever I get store bought the flavor is just off.


Holly February 9, 2014 at 12:18 pm

You can half the recipe. But for the salt brine, use a little more than 1/2 recipe amount.


Francesca Spalluto February 23, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Hi Holly,
I made this easy cabbage kimchee. It turned out quite well. I have a few questions for you.
If I want to use salted anchovies in place of the salted shrimps, are your anchovies very different than the Italian variety in coarse salt, if you know what I mean? Because I always have those in my fridge and are more convenient for me. Also, if I want to make a paste with glutinous flour rather than using leftover rice, should I use same quantity?
Aso, if after some time you think your kimchee doesn’t have enough liquid, can you add water with added salt? 4-5% salt is correct?
I let ferment my kimchee at room temperature for one day and half. I don’t think I’ve notice any fermentation in that time, possible?
But now after 5 days in the fridge has a very pleasant taste, although not very fizzy.


Holly February 24, 2014 at 11:31 am

Hi Francesca

This recipe uses two different sauce; anchovy sauce and salted shrimps. If you are using the anchovy sauce but not having the salted shrimps to go with, you can omit the salted shrimps in the recipe. However, if you want to use the Italian salted anchovies alone, it can be tricky but might work. Is your anchovies are covered in oil? I would use about 1 anchovy fillet per small head of cabbage. Remove as much as oil possible first then puree with the onion mixture. Then use as directed.

For the rice glue, you can definitely use that instead of the leftover rice. I would suggest to use about 1/2 cup for this recipe.

For the kimchi juice, do not add the salted water after it is fermented. It will change and thin out the flavor of kimchi. If you like to have lots of kimchi juice, after you toss your cabbage with kimchi filling, transfer the kimchi into a container first. Your mixing bowl should have a little kimchi filling remaining. Pour a little more water (and add 2 tablespoon more of kimchi filling if there is any leftover) to rinse out all the residue of the filling and pour back over to kimchi in the container. Your cabbage will continue to let the moisture out as it gets fermented, so don’t add too much water.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need further assistance. Good luck and have fun making the kimchi!


Francesca Spalluto February 24, 2014 at 1:35 pm

Hi Holly,

your answers are very very helpful. The good italian salted anchovies are very different than the one commercially available in the US. Also we have different styles: under oil, under salted brine, or under coarse salt. I’m referring to the last kind, they look similar to this https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTwGf1I7N-xU5z-HXCnAlx4_xtWkUJXqJM7GFDUv7vWw0f5PqBKVQ

And thanks also for the liquid suggestion. Now my kimchee has been in the fridge for 3-4 days and has not released a lot more liquid. But my (chinese) husband is a big fan. He wants me to make a huge container and add a fresh habanero.
I still have some of the paste and I’m thinking of using for the huge amount of broccoli stems I have in the fridge that my children refuse to eat.

I love how people from different parts of the world can finally try to grasp another cuisine, thanks to blogs and the internet!

P.S.: This is how my rendition of your kimchee looks like



Myrna Nelson April 28, 2014 at 9:01 am

Hi, Holly! I’m a subscriber to your blog and I enjoy reading it very much. I love your sense of humor! I also love most of the recipes you posts. Thanks for having your blog and recipes!


nina May 2, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Dear Holly:

I have bought some salted octpus from the local korean store. The sales lady told me that it can last for months in my refrigerator. It is saltier than I expected, so it naturally sit in my fridge for a long time now. How long do this side dish last?


bmint July 14, 2014 at 1:27 am

Even though my children are born and raised in the US, they love kimchi and refuse to eat any Korean soup/stew if there is no kimchi as “ban-chan.” After many failed attempts at making them myself, I recently came across your website and finally made my first successful batch with your easy kimchi recipe. As you probably understand, the greatest measure of success is the approval from your children. I was glad to receive a “two thumbs up, Mommy” comment from them.

I admire your talent and dedication. I feel so inspired to cook many of your dishes. Thank you for sharing.


Holly July 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

Hi bmint
Great to hear that your kimchi turned out with a success. Kimchi is so essential to Korean cuisine and I think your kids got the authentic Korean tastebud. Thank you so much for your kind word. It is a quite of work to keep up the recipe blog. I do sometimes get overwhelmed by the amount of hours I need to put in to maintain, but readers like you inspire me to keep on going. I appreciate for your support. Thank you!


chili sauce July 15, 2014 at 1:00 am

Great information. Lucky me I came across your blog
by accident (stumbleupon). I’ve saved it for later!


Ayu September 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm

I must try this. =) I was wondering…how long can this kimchee last stored in the fridge?



Capri September 23, 2014 at 8:15 am

Great recipe!. The best part I liked is, you can store it and use for next day. The fermented taste also seems good. Usually cabbages with holes are not recommended, but your point seems to be thought provoking. Do visit http://cabbage.recipes/recipes for simple cabbage recipes. Thanks!


touzes.Tv September 25, 2014 at 10:11 am

Un postе rempli de vérités


Holly May 9, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Yeah! that is great!
I am so glad to hear that the LKK sauce worked very well in the recipe.
I think the reason your kimchi went too sour is either the cabbages were not fully soaked in the salt water, or maybe your room temperature is too warm during the fermentation. The fermentation level can vary depends on the surrounding temperature. In the summer time I usually leave my kimchi only a day in the room temperature, then store in the fridge. They will continue to ferment in the fridge but slower in the speed.
Homemade kimchi tastes much better than store bought for sure!
Thanks for the update, Anasthasia!


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