This 30-minute kimchi recipe makes it possible to make authentic Korean cabbage kimchi quickly from scratch. It is a gluten-free and delicious.

Cabbage kimchi made within 30 minutes still has a crisp texture.

Do you think it is possible to make a batch of cabbage kimchi within 30 minutes from start to finish? This 30-minute kimchi can prove that.

Around this time of the year, I often have a craving of freshly made kimchi. After the winter season of having many dishes made with deeply fermented kimchi, I feel like it is about the time to embrace the spring cabbage and make a batch of fresh kimchi.

Yes, it is possible to make kimchi within 30 minutes all from scratch. I will call it 30 Minute Kimchi.

30-minute Kimchi

Authentic traditional cabbage kimchi takes 2 days to make. More simplified version of easy cabbage kimchi takes about 3 hours. Then how can this labor intense kimchi making be done in 30 minutes?

Koreans call this particular type of kimchi, “Gutjeori (겉절이)”, which translates into briefly salted kimchi.  However, even the traditional Gutjeori kimchi itself takes at least 1 hour alone to soak the cabbage in salt. But today I am going to share with you a unique way to speed up the soaking process.

You only need 15 minutes of soaking time. 15 minutes!!! Wonderful, isn’t it? I learned this technique from an article I read in Korean newspaper the other day and guess what? It worked! And I am so happy. (You know I am the kind of gal who gets happy with simple things in life)

How to make Kimchi in 30-Minutes.

1. Cabbage Preparation

Napa cabbage (baechu) is needed to make Korean kimchi.

Here are some cabbages. Koreans like to use young napa cabbages for this recipe which yield tenderer and sweeter flavor. They are more yellowish than full grown napa cabbage.

I am using local cabbages here and they seem to be more elongated than Korean origin.

Cut off the stem part of kimchi with a knife

Cut off the stem part of the cabbage.

Slice the cabbage leaf  in half lengthwise.

I like to cut the cabbage leaves vertically this time. For smaller leaves, cut in half.

Slice off the cabbage leaf into pieces.

For bigger leaves, cut into 2-4 sections.

2. Salt Brine

Add salt to water to make salt brine.

Now, The important part!  let’s soak this cabbages in express salt brine.  Mix 1/2 cup of Korean sea salt with 5 cups of water.

Boil salted water in a pot.

Bring it to a full boil, stir to dissolve all the salt. Let it cool down just a little, about 5 minutes.

Pour hot salt brine into cabbage in a large bowl.

Pour the hot salt brine over the cabbages and stir well.

Using a hot brine will help salt to penetrate into the cabbages faster to withdraw their moisture. It won’t cook the cabbages but creates crispier texture.

Let it sit for 10 minutes!

Toss cabbage with salt brine in a large bowl.

Turn the cabbages over and let it soak 5 more minutes. That’s it!

Salted cabbage is flexible and bendable.

And you will see the stem part of cabbage will bend without breaking.

Salted cabbage pieces are being rinsed under the running water.

Rinse once and drain thoroughly.

3. Kimchi Filling

Meanwhile let’s work on the kimchi filling.

Anchovy sauce is added to onion and garlic in a mini blender.

Combine garlic, ginger, diced onion and pear (or apple) in a blender. Add anchovy sauce and puree all together until very smooth.

Korean chili flakes and sugar are added to onion and garlic puree.

Pour the onion pear puree in a small mixing bowl and add Korean chili flakes and sugar.

A tablespoon of Korean plum extract is adding to a bowl of onion puree chili mixture.

This is plum extract for tea which is my secret ingredient in many Korean dishes, and it is home-made. You provably will have a hard time finding it outside of Korea.

Therefore, disregard this ingredient. You can omit it and your kimchi will still taste good.

Kimchi seasoning paste is made for 30 minute Kimchi

Mix all together very well.

4. Assembling Kimchi

Combine cabbage and kimchi filling in a large bowl.

In a large shallow mixing bowl combine the cabbages and the chili filling. Add sliced fresh red chilies and green onions, too, if you are using.

Toss kimchi and seasoning with hand

Toss well with your hand. Make sure you wear a protective glove for your delicate hand.

Taste a piece of kimchi to determine it seasoned right.

Take a piece and taste. You can add a little more salt or anchovy sauce if needed. Mine was just perfect the way it was. Store this kimchi in the fridge all the time.

I want to mention that this type of Gutjeori kimchi is meant to be consumed soon, within 10 days if possible. They will go ferment after that but they are not ideal for a long term fermentation.

A piece of quickly made kimchi is served with rice.

I do LOVE freshly made kimchi over freshly cooked rice. It just reminds me home of my childhood. But this type of kimchi shines the best when serve with Korean knife cupt noodle soup called Kalguksu. Such a comforting combination for me.

Well, do you think you can make this kimchi within 30 minutes or so? Would you give it a try? If you do, I would love to hear from you how it turns out.

Kimchi making is fun. Enjoying your labor of love is rewarding. Hope you enjoy this kimchi as much as I did.

Freshly made kimchi is showing its bright red color and crispy texture in a bowl next to rice.
Freshly made kimchi is showing its bright red color and crispy texture in a bowl next to rice.

30-Minute Kimchi (Quick Cabbage Kimchi Recipe)

You can make authentic Korean cabbage kimchi from scratch within 30 minutes. Step-by-step instruction will improve your kimchi making skill.
5 from 5 ratings

Recipe Video


  • 3 lb napa cabbage
  • 2/3 cup Korean salt
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 Korean pear or 1 sweet apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 7 clove garlic
  • 4 tbsp Korean fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 2 tbsp tablespoon Koran plum extract , optional
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 Asian leek , or 3 green onion, sliced
  • 2-3 fresh red chilies, sliced, optional


  • Cut off the stem part of cabbage. Cut each cabbage leaf in half or 3-4 section (depends on the size). Place the cabbage leaves in a large mixing bowl.
  • Combine salt and water and bring to a full boil and dissolve the salt; cool down for 5 minutes. Pour the salt water over cabbages in mixing bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes, turn the cabbages over to the other side and continue to soak for 5 more minutes. Rinse once and drain thoroughly.
  • Meanwhile make kimchi filling; combine garlic, ginger, onion, pear(or apple), and anchovy sauce in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the puree in a small mixing bowl. Add Korean chili flakes, sugar, and Koran plum extract( if using); mix well.
  • Place drained cabbages in a large shallow mixing bowl. Add the red chilies, green onions (if using), and the kimchi filling. Toss all together to coat evenly. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds and toss well.


This kimchi will stay fresh in the fridge for 10 days. Not ideal for a long term fermentation.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @beyondkimchee on Instagram. I love to see your masterpiece.