Make a quick batch of bok choy kimchi with fresh chilies, and sweet apple. You will fall in love its refreshing taste and crunchy texture.

Top view of bok choy kimchi in a serving dish.

I love making simple kimchi with different vegetables. This bok choy kimchi is one of the favorites everyone raves about. If you are looking for a bok choy recipe, I urge you to try this one.

The crisp and crunchy texture of raw bok choy is perfect for making fresh kimchi, which we call geotjeori. It’s lightly seasoned and not meant for long fermentation.

Bok choy kimchi in a stone bowl.

You’ll love its light, delightful taste right from the start. Think about how refreshing it would be to enjoy during spring and summer.

This Korean bok choy recipe is so easy and straightforward. Once you try it, you’ll make it again and again.

Raw Bok Choy

Bok choy is a type of Chinese cabbage that is often cooked to serve in Asian cuisine. So, you might wonder if raw bok choy is safe to eat. Yes, it is perfectly safe!

When eaten raw, you get to enjoy the crisp texture and a slightly sweet, mild flavor. Just be sure to thoroughly wash it before consumption, like all raw vegetables, to remove any potential contaminants.

Ingredients

Ingredients for bok choy kimchi.
  • Bok choy – I used baby bok choy but any type of bok choy will work for this recipe
  • Coarse sea salt – for quick brine
  • Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) – A must-have for making kimchi
  • Fresh red chilis – It adds a fresh taste to the kimchi. I recommend using red fingerlong chilies. If fresh chilies are not available, increase the amount of Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) slightly.
  • Sweet apple – sweet component to the kimchi adding refreshing flavor.
  • Onion, garlic, and ginger – savory addition
  • Korean anchovy sauce or fish sauce (the one with 3 crabs on the label)
  • Sea kelp stock – optional. It provides the extra umami to kimchi

How to make Bok Choy Kimchi

Cut Bok Choy and Brine with Salt

Baby bok choy halved or quartered with a knife.

This is baby bok choy. Cut them lengthwise in halves or quarters depending on their size.

Korean coarse sea salt in a cup.

Dissolve the coarse sea salt in water. If you can’t find Korean coarse sea salt, you can use kosher salt, but reduce the amount in half.

Bok choy soaked in salt brine in a bowl.

Put bok choy in a large bowl, and pour the salt brine over it. Let it soak for 30 minutes. Rinse them once and drain well.

Simmer Sea Kelp Stock – Optional

A piece of dried sea kelp in a stock.

Meanwhile, make sea kelp stock. Adding stock to the kimchi enhances the flavor. It’s an optional ingredient but I highly recommend it. If necessary, use plain water instead of stock.

To make the stock, simmer a piece of dried sea kelp in water for 4-5 minutes. Discard the kelp and let the stock cool down.

Make Kimchi Sauce

Chunks of fresh red chili added to onion garlic puree in a blender.

In a blender, puree onion, apple, and garlic with 1/4 cup of sea kelp stock until smooth. Add the sliced red chilies and pulse the mixture until the chilies are processed into small pieces.

Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) added to make kimchi filling in a bowl.

Put the pureed mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add the Korean chili flakes, anchovy sauce, and ginger puree. Mix well.

Toss Bok Choy with Kimchi Sauce

A hand tossing bok choy with kimchi sauce.

Toss the bok choy with the kimchi seasoning paste. Be gentle when you are coating the bok choy with the paste so that you don’t bruise them.

Enjoy this kimchi as a salad or a side dish. It pairs particularly well with bulgogi or LA galbi. You can also try it with other Asian dishes like Tonkatsu or Jajangmyeon.

Recipe Tips

  • Fresh baby bok choy works best for this recipe. If not, Shanghai bok choy is also a great alternative. Luckily, both types of bok choy are easy to find in many American supermarkets.
  • Add fresh chili – In order to make your kimchi more refreshing, I recommend adding fresh red chilies such as fingerlong chilies. They are mildly spicy chilies that create a lightness to the flavor. They also add a beautiful bright redness to your kimchi.
  • Sweet apple makes the kimchi more fruity and delicious. By doing so, you don’t need to add sugar to balance the flavor.

How long will it keep?

Bok choy kimchi tastes best within 2-3 days, as it is not meant for long-term storage like most Korean kimchi. If there’s any leftover, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you prefer it fermented, leave it at room temperature for one day before refrigerating. I recommend consuming this kimchi within 2 weeks if fermented.

Bok choy kimchi served on a bowl of rice.

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Freshly made Bok Choy Kimchi is served in a stone bowl

Quick Bok Choy Kimchi

Make a quick batch of bok choy kimchi with fresh chilies, and sweet apple. You will fall in love its refreshing taste and crunchy texture.
4.90 from 19 ratings

Ingredients

For kimchi sauce

  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 1 sweet apple, seeded and diced
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp Korean anchovy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sea kelp stock , or water (see notes below)
  • 5 fresh red fingerlong chilis, diced
  • 1/3 cup Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste

Instructions 

  • Place clean bok choy in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the sea salt in water and pour over to bok choy. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then drain.
  • To make the kimchi sauce, puree onion, apple, and garlic with 1/4 cup of sea kelp stock in a blender until smooth. Add the sliced red chilies and pulse the mixture until the chilies are processed into small pieces.
  • Put the pureed mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Add the Korean chili flakes, anchovy sauce, and ginger puree. Mix well.
  • Toss the bok choy with the kimchi seasoning paste. Be gentle when you are coating the bok choy with the paste so that you don't bruise them.
  • Bok choy kimchi tastes best within 2-3 days, as it is not meant for long-term storage like most Korean kimchi. If there's any leftover, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you prefer it fermented, leave it at room temperature for one day before refrigerating. I recommend consuming this kimchi within 2 weeks if fermented.

Notes

To make the sea kelp stock; simmer a piece of dried sea kelp in a cup of water for 4-5 minutes. Discard the kelp and let the stock cool down.
Calories: 40kcal, Carbohydrates: 7g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 3768mg, Potassium: 361mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 4661IU, Vitamin C: 53mg, Calcium: 95mg, Iron: 2mg
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