The Best Korean Kimchi Recipe

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Esther grew up cooking with her grandma. Grandma taught Esther everything about food, including how to love every ingredient, appreciate and respect the process of making every dish. Esther believes that is what Korean food is all about: dedication and passing on that kind of love to people.

So you may be wondering, what exactly is kimchi? Kimchi is a fermented side dish, which is usually made of napa cabbages, garlic, gingers, scallions, daikon radishes, and a variety of seasonings. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, iron, and contains lactic acid bacteria. Health magazine even named kimchi in its list of the top five “World’s Healthiest Foods”.

Korean loves kimchi so much that they made it a national dish. South Koreans consume about 40 pounds of kimchi per person every year. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War, its government requested American help to ensure that South Korean troops were receiving their kimchi supplies. That’s how important kimchi is to Koreans.

Korean Kimchi Recipe 

  • 1 head of napa cabbage, cut lengthwise, quartered
  • 5 tablespoons of rock salt
  • 3 oz of Korean dried cod, shredded (bugeochae)
  • 1 medium daikon radish, about 1 pound, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
  • 1 bunch of scallions, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ of apple, pureed
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic, minced
  • ½ of onion, pureed
  • 1/4 cup of salted shrimp (saewoo juht)
  • 1/4 cup of anchovy fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup of lance fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup of plum extract
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet rice flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)


1. Rice glue: In a small saucepan, add the rice flour and 2 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes, whisking constantly until the liquid is thickened to a ribbon-like consistency and you can see the bottom of the pan while whisking. Set aside to cool.

2. Add 1 cup of water inside a big bowl, dissolve 2 tablespoons of rock salt, put the Napa cabbages inside the bowl, and rub rock salt on every leaf. Leave them there for 5 hours, then flip them and leave them there for another 5 hours. After 10 hours, drain all the excess water.

3. Soften the dried cod with a half cup of warm water. Put it aside for the kimchi paste.

4. Kimchi paste: In a big bowl, combine the daikon radish, scallions, ginger, garlic, salt shrimps, anchovy fish sauce, lance fish sauce, plum extract, rice glue, dried fish, Korean red chili pepper flakes, and mix everything well to become a paste.

5. Bring the cabbages into this bowl, and rub the paste into every single leaf.

6. Tightly pack the kimchi into jars or containers with tightly fitting lids, or cover tightly with plastic, making sure it is not exposed to the air. Allow the kimchi to sit at room temperature for at least 2 days, or longer if you desire a stronger flavor. Then put it in the Refrigerate for another 5 days.


Trending now:

41 thoughts on “The Best Korean Kimchi Recipe”

  1. Thanks you CeCe for sharing this. I will try this out and will let you know more. I always want to know how to make Kimchi.

  2. Hi, recipe looks interesting, but how big the nappa cabbage for these proprtions of ingredients? I’ve seen 3 lbs cabbages and 7-8 pounds cabbages, and these 2 will lead to completely differently hot kimchi. Thanks for this detail.

  3. Wow..I saw your video and tried doing it, but i cut the cabbage into 2″ pieces instead of leaving the leaves one piece. It turned out awesome and so delicious, infact i am writing this email and i have a bowl of Kimchi just beside me. I advice everyone to try this recipe for Kimchi. Thank you CICI. I love it.

    Eng. Bassel

    1. Bassel, thanks for the comment and letting me know that the kimchi recipe works out for you well! Now, my mouth is watering too! 😀

  4. I made Kimchi many times in Aus and UK. But I might try this Kimchi recipe .
    Thanks a lot for share and nice to meet you both.

  5. Hi, I’ve never used those fish sauce before, would you mind showing me where to get it and how the bottles look like? I also want to know for the sweet rice flour too. Thanks.

  6. Robert Henderson

    Love the video! Went to Asian market today and started gathering all the ingredients. What restaurant was that .

  7. I love kimchi , can’t wait to try this recipe. .where do you get the plum extract? and do you rinse the cabbage after being salted… tnanks!

    1. Hi Esther,

      You can find plum extract in Korean supermarkets. On the East Coast, we have it in H Mart. Or you can simply get it on the internet, like Amazon.

      And you don’t have to raise off the salt. Let me know how it works out for you. Enjoy! 🙂

  8. Hi Cici: I’ve tried it yesterday. Thanks a ton!
    Now I have a question: I put too much salt and made the kimchi too salty. Is there any way to change it?

    1. Hi Amy, if your kimchi turned out to be too salty. You can add some other vegetables, like radishes into the kimchi container. It will dilute the salty taste a bit.

  9. Hi, need help here. I want to know what type of Rice flour is sweet rice flour. Is it glutinous rice flour pls ? also what is anchovy fish sauce and lance fish sauce differs from ? are they not the same ? What type of plum sauce are you using ? can I use plum paste instead ? and lastly for the apple puree, are you using red or green apple ?

    Thank you


  10. Hi ~ Ceci~
    I am really big of korean food and its cultures 😀

    Q: can I use chili powder instead of flakes??

    Thanks or the recipe~~

    1. It will last for many months. I had mine in my fridge for over a year, but by this time it’s best to stir fry (with maple syrup bacon) or make kim chi soup. Kim chi really never gets bad, just gets smellier and better for you the longer you wait.

  11. Hi,

    are you sure it should be air tight? last time my kimchi container exploded becuz of the generated gas during fermentation.

  12. Thanks for posting this video Cici
    Ive been making almost the identical recipe for years but this is the first time Ive seen the rice paste added. Im going to give it a try for my next batch.
    Best regards

  13. Where can one find authentic Korean red chili flakes used in this recipe and not the ones produced in China? Any link will be much appreciated..


  14. Hi Cici,

    I wanna try to make the Kimchi, but can not find Plum Extract,
    What is the plum extract use for ? Is it to give the sour taste to the kimchi ?
    Can we substitute this item with may be apple vinegar ?

    In your recipe, there are 2 fish sauce, can we just use one of it ?

    Can we use glutinous rice flour to substitute the sweet rice flour ? Or any other suggestion for substitute

  15. Hi Cici,

    I wanna try make kimchi from youir recipe.

    What is the plum extract use for ? Is it to make the sour taste to the kimchi ? If I can not find the plum extract can it be substitute with apple vinegar or anything else ?

    There are 2 kind of fish sauce in your recipe, can i use just one of them ?

    Sweet rice flour can be substitute with glutinous rice flour or just ordinary rice flour ?

  16. After soaking the cabbage in the salt brine, plus having rubbed every leaf with rock salt, you don’t mention anything about a final rinse of the cabbage after the 10 hours. After adding the additional ingredients, of which many (fish sauce, salted shrimp) wouldn’t the final kimchi be way to salty to the taste? Could you address the issue of a final rinse please.

  17. Hi, I love kimchi very much, but I can’t find Korean red chilli pepper flakes in kedah, Malaysia. Can I use paprika for the kimchi?

  18. I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your website.
    It appears as if some of the text within your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and let me know if this is happening to them as
    well? This might be a problem with my internet browser because I’ve had
    this happen before. Kudos

      1. Hi again Kudos, I looked into it, but I don’t see any problem on my side. I tried a few browsers and on the phone. They all look ok to me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Recipes

You may also like


Never Miss A Story

Get our Weekly recap with the latest news, articles and resources.

Free Subscription

Never Miss A Recipe

Get a weekly recap of CiCi’s new recipes, videos & cooking tips.

Cookie policy
We use our own and third party cookies to allow us to understand how the site is used and to support our marketing campaigns.

Asian home recipes right into your inbox.