Saturday, July 5, 2014

the bestest, easiest, fastest kimchi yet! (UPDATED)

Tewshooz and Dani - this one's for the both of you!

this kimchi is awesome! i love it! it's super-quick and can be eaten immediately and it will still taste like kimchi. but because it's made with regular cabbage and not nappa cabbage, it is far crunchier. i don't know about you - but i love my kimchi to be crunchy!


1 head of cabbage, cored
1 cup of cold water
1/4 cup of kosher salt
1/3 cup of red pepper flakes (the korean kind, not chili flakes)
1/4 cup of fish sauce
1/4 cup of crushed garlic
as much chopped green onion (or chives) as you like (i like about 1/4 cup cut into one inch pieces)
1/2 cup of carrot, julienned
1/2 cup of daikon radish, julienned (i left this out this time as i didn't have any)
1 tbspoon of sugar
rubber or surgical gloves - A MUST!
a clean, sterilized glass jar with lid

(i am so sorry that i didn't get pictures of the steps of the process. if anyone wants to see the actual steps, let me know and the next time i make a batch - which will be soon! i will have my husband take pics!)

1. chop the cabbage as coursely, or as finely as you wish. some people like uniformed, julienned strips whereas i prefer a much courser chop. i just cut mine into big chunks.

2. in a large non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic), put in your cabbage, followed by the water. using your hands, rub the cabbage all through the water so that it all gets wet.

3. now add your kosher salt to the bowl and really get in there with your hands and rub the salt all through the cabbage and the water. you will feel the cabbage start to wilt almost right away.

4. now set aside your cabbage and crush enough garlic to make 1/4 of a cup. depending on the size of your clove you might use the whole clove or 2/3 of it. no matter. add the crushed garlic to another bowl in which you will make the kimchi paste. go and massage your cabbage for a bit moving all of the leaves through the water and rubbing the kosher salt on all of the leaves.

5. now add the red pepper flakes to your kimchi paste. add the fish sauce to the kimchi past. go back and massage your cabbage again.

6. add the green onion, carrot, daikon and sugar. go back and massage your cabbage again.

7. now stir your kimchi paste with a wooden spoon - it won't properly come together until you mash it up with your glove-wearing hands.

8. now massage your cabbage one last time before dumping it into a colander and rinsing, rinsing, rinsing. make sure to rinse several times and be sure to rinse every piece. put the cabbage into a non-reactive bowl big enough to mix in.

9. dry your hands really good and put your gloves on. mash the kimchi paste with your hands and really mix it up together.

10. grab a nice handful of kimchi paste and start rubbing it through your cabbage leaves. repeat this until you are out of kimchi paste and all of the cabbage has been rubbed with the paste. just smash your hands in there like you were mixing a salad or kneading bread.

11. now take small handfuls of your cabbage and drop them in the jar. with every handful, push down with your hand, or if your hand is too big to fit in the jar use a large wooden spoon. press down as hard as you can. you will notice that the cabbage is now releasing juice and that's a good thing!

12. keep adding handfuls to the jar, pressing as hard as you can to release the juice and get rid of air bubbles.

13. fill the jar to one inch head space, wipe the outside and inside rim with a damp cloth and put the lid on.

you can eat this kimchi right away and it is delicious! or you can let it sit at room temperature for 3 days in order to ferment a little more. we always eat a big forkful right before we put the lid on and then let it sit for 1 day.

i swear this is the best-tasting kimchi out there. and i do know my kimchi. i love it with the cabbage and it keeps so crisp and fresh - yummeh! the other great thing is that cabbage is cheap whereas nappa is expensive. cabbage keeps much longer than nappa as well.

anyway,  i hope that you enjoy!

here is a pic of the korean red pepper powder that is traditionally used in making kimchi:

this is the front of the bag. the korean reads:  HAE CHAN DEUL, KO CHA(S) KA RU, which basically translated is, the name of the company is HAE CHAN DEUL, and KO CHA(S) KA RU, is exactly translated as red pepper powder.

here is the back of the bag:

as you can see, from the pictures on the bag, the powder is made from a cross between a jalapeno and cayenne pepper. apparently you can not order the seeds for these peppers from Korea due to some strange embargo or something. but you can order red pepper powder over the internet from a variety of places. just look up korean red pepper powder on the net.


  1. Mmmmm Just looked up Korean Pepper flakes. Super hot and there is is Korean Chili. Which? Also there is anchovie fish sauce and shrimp fish sauce. Which? I have to order online anyway as there is nothing like that here in the boonies. Thanks,

    1. Tewshooz - i just updated this post to show you what the bag looks like. you want korean "red pepper powder" for making kimchi and there are places all over the net that sell it. also, the brand of fish sauce that i use is called "Thai Kitchen Fish Sauce" and it is anchovy based. try to find a site that sells both and order from them.

    2. Hi Kymber....OK, I have the chili flakes coming and also found the fish sauce. Now, if you eat this right away, it is not fermented, is it? How long does it take to ferment? Argggggh so much to learn. Can I make this with napa cabbage? Ha ha....take something easy and I can make it complicated.

  2. Sweet Kymber,

    With this recipe can I omit the garlic??

    I can't wait to try this recipe, I don't have cabbage therefore, I will need to get some the next time I'm in town.

    Woooohooooo Baby, thanks for the recipe.
    Lot's of love,
    P.S. I finally sent you the e-mail.

    1. Sweet Sandy - omitting the garlic will really change the taste and possibly the fermentation process. i am honestly not sure. give it a try and let me know how it turns out. i also have a recipe for radish and carrot kimchi listed on the side bar - it is much milder and does not include garlic. you could try using that recipe with the cabbage instead.

      i got the email and have one ready to send back to you! much love to you and all of yours, always! your friend,

  3. Hang on, haven't even gotten to try the other version yet and now there's another? I'm never going to get caught up. Just waiting for the cabbages now.
    How long does this one keep? I'd love to make loads once the harvest is in and keep it for using over the winter - any advice?

    1. Moonwaves - depending on how much you love kimchi - this recipe will last a week or up to a month refrigerated. i have had people ask me if i can my kimchi and no - i don't. i'm not sure i've ever heard of anyone do that. cabbages keep very well in a box in the basement, or a cool area of your house with just a towel to cover them, which is how we store ours. i would recommend that you store your cabbages and then make fresh kimchi each time you need it. if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!

  4. Ahem - I've done a copy and paste to MS word, and called it "kymbers kimchi". Thanks my friend :)

    1. I l-o-v-e ginger, rspecially in winter, so I'm thinking of adding some - thinly sliced ;)

    2. teeheehee! i'm glad you named it kymber's kimchi but i actually call it kymberZ kimchi! i love using Z's instead of S's - bahahahahah! ginger would go lovely with this kimchi so give it a whirl! much love to you and yours Dani!

  5. thanks so much for this recipe! i will make it soon. thank you for your comment on my blog. that was really very nice. these kids break my heart!

  6. thank you for this your broadcast provided bright clear concept..


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