• 2 heads Napa cabbage, chopped
  • 2 pieces daikon radish, chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Korean red chili powder or other red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce, optional
  • 3-4 TBSPs sea salt


Trim ends of cabbage and chop any way you want – thin or thick strips is fine.  Chop the daikon radish and scallions as well.

Add the salt to the vegetables and mix thoroughly.  Let sit for an hour or two.  The salt will draw out the water.  This is known as the “dry salt” method.   If you don’t want to wait a few hours you can simply crush and squeeze the veggies with your hands.  Do this for a minute or two until the veggies get nice and wet from the water that is released.

The other method is known as brining which soaks the veggies for several hours (or overnight) in a 15-20% salt water solution.   This method allows more flavor to infuse the vegetables but requires a lot more time (and patience).

Either way, rinse the leaves two or three times after salting.

In a food processor, blend the garlic, ginger and chili flakes into a paste.

Thoroughly mix the cabbage, radish, scallions and optional fish sauce with the paste in a bowl.

Pack mixture into glass mason jars with some sort of kitchen tool with a blunted end.

Press mixture firmly into jars until the water level starts rising.  This is the key!  Continue pressing until everything is submerged under the water.  Leave at least an inch between the top of the water and the top of the jar.

Put the lids on and leave the jars at room temperature for 2-7 days.  Open the lids every day to release the gasses that form as a byproduct of fermentation.  If the water level rises, drain some off.  If the vegetables rise above the level of the water, pack them back under the water with your hands or the veggie stomper.

Taste the kimchi after 2 days.  It should taste pleasantly sour.  If not, continue to let it ferment and taste it every day until you find the taste acceptable.  Transfer to the fridge where it will continue to ferment (and the taste will change!) albeit at a much slower pace.  It will last for at least six months.

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