How to Make Homemade Kimchi (Kimchee)

  • As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch!

    I FINALLY KNOW HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE KIMCHI!!

    My friend’s Korean mother came over to my house and taught me how to make homemade kimchi and I am forever grateful.

    Jason and I eat so much kimchi. We buy bags of them at the Asian mart and they aren’t cheap. One bag is about $13 and it only lasts us about a week.

    We love incorporating kimchi into a variety of dishes.

    I put kimchi in fried rice (I have a kimchi fried rice in my cookbook), on top of scrambled eggs, on top of burgers, on top of bulgogi, and so much more.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch!

    What is kimchi?

    Kimchi or kimchee is a staple traditional Korean side dish made of fermented and salted Napa cabbage and radish.

    What does it taste like?

    It has a multitude of flavors. The prominent flavors are garlicky, sour, and spicy.

    Is it really spicy?

    Depends on what kind of kimchi you make and/or buy. Some can be really spicy but with homemade kimchi you can tailor it to your spice level.

    Why is it spelled kimchi and kimchee?

    Kimchee is the traditional way that South Koreans spell it. Apparently ‘kimchi’ was made up from Japanese and it’s some kind of word-war.

    Why is homemade kimchi better than store-bought?

    1. So much cheaper (cost-effective)
    2. You can make it your own
    3. You can share with friends and family
    4. It’s fun!

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch!

    Can you use American cabbage?

    No, it won’t be the same.

    Can I use gochujang instead of the red pepper powder?

    No, no, no.

    Can I use regular salt?

    In the video, Chunok told me that you should try to get coarse sea salt and not salt like Morton’s or Diamond kosher salt because it makes the cabbage too soft and wilted and pulls out too much moisture so you’ll have a lot more liquid.

    So definitely look for coarse sea salt granules.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch!

    What if I can’t find the red pepper powder?

    I know for sure they have it on Amazon.

    How do I get my homemade kimchi more sour tasting like what I’m used to?

    Leave it out longer before you put it in the fridge.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch!

    How do I get my homemade kimchi less sour? It’s too pungent for me.

    Put it in the fridge earlier. Leave it overnight after you’ve made it and then put it in the fridge in the morning.

    What if I don’t have a blender?

    You can use a food processor.

    What types of jars did you use for your homemade kimchi?

    I bought wide mouth half gallon jars. The wide mouth jars make stuffing the kimchi into the jars a lot easier.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch!

    Watch us make homemade kimchi and then make it yourself!

    Thank you so much Chun Ok for showing me and everyone how to make homemade kimchi! This will be a forever treasured gift.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch! #homemadekimchi #kimchi #kimchee #fermented #fermentedcabbage #koreanfood #kimchirecipe

    5 from 2 votes
    Print

    Homemade Kimchi (Kimchee)

    If you love kimchi, then you will want to make this homemade kimchi because it's so much more cost-effective to make at home than to get at the store!
    Prep Time: 2 hrs
    Fermentation time: 1 d
    Total Time: 1 d 3 hrs 40 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Cuisine: Korean
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 1 gallon
    5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify MealtimeSign up here for all the secrets!

    Ingredients

    For the cabbage:

    • 5 pounds napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces
    • 1/2 cup sea salt
    • 1 cup water

    Seasonings for kimchi:

    • 1/2 medium sweet onion
    • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1/2 cup red pepper powder
    • 1 bundle green onions, julienned

    Instructions

    • Place cabbage in a very large bowl. Mix together sea salt and water and stir until sea salt has dissolved. Pour over cabbage and mix together with your hands. Let sit for 1.5-2 hours.
    • In the meantime, blend together onion and garlic with 1/4 cup water to create a puree. Pour into a medium bowl then mix together with red pepper powder and green onions. If you are making a separate radish kimchi, save a bit of this mixture for the radish kimchi.
    • Once the cabbage has significantly wilted, rinse cabbage to get most of the salt water off. Place back into the very large bowl then toss the cabbage with the red pepper seasoning mixture until well-coated.
    • Place seasoned kimchi into a large mason jar and using your fist, punch down the cabbage to compress it all in the jar. Keep stuffing the jar until it's completely full and use another jar, if needed.
    • Tightly close the lid on the mason jar(s) and leave out at room temperature overnight. Taste the kimchi the next day and if you prefer to have it more sour, leave out for another day or more. If you think it tastes fine after it has sat out overnight the first night, place in the fridge.
    • Kimchi can last for a very long time in the fridge because it's a fermented dish. I would say probably no more than one year though, but that's just me haha ;)

    Video

    Notes

    The recipe we made in the video is for roughly half of what the recipe above is for. The recipe above is for 5 pounds of Napa cabbage and is the recipe that Chun Ok uses every time she makes kimchi.
    For the radish kimchi, you use the same seasonings and do the same steps (salting, rinsing, coating in seasonings). You can also choose to put the radish with the Napa cabbage together but Chun Ok likes to do it separately.

    If you've ever wondered how to make homemade kimchi, my friend's Korean mother taught me how and we made a VIDEO! Head to the blog to watch! #homemadekimchi #kimchi #kimchee #fermented #fermentedcabbage #koreanfood #kimchirecipe

  • 11 Comments
    Julie Wampler of Table for Two
    Meet The Author: Julie Wampler
    Dinner for Two Cookbook
    Order My Cookbook!

    Dinner for Two

    Leave a Comment

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

    Comments

  • Sharon Rausch says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your helpful information. It’s very unique post

  • Jennifer says:

    Hi Julie, loved the video…Your friends mom was wonderful :-) I know there is a specific type of radish to use? What is it called?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thanks! She is a natural. She called it ‘korean radish’ – I suppose you could just go to the store and show them a photo? It would honestly also work with american radish!

  • Kristin says:

    I have so many red pepper powders. What’s the difference between the one you posted and other red pepper powders?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I believe it’s specifically because it’s made with Korean chilies. What kind of red pepper powders do you have? Like what are the types of peppers?

      • Kristin says:

        Chipotle, California (Anaheim)…mostly this continent. We have a pretty diverse community and so many Asian markets in our town that I’m sure I can find Korean chilies. Thanks and looking forward to it!

        • Julie Wampler says:

          Ah okay, you can hopefully find a small bag!

  • Ryan says:

    Fantastic recipe! Simple, quick, and gluten free! Much of the kimchi in local asian markets and grocery store have wheat in them, and this doesn’t!

    Will this recipe work for cucumbers?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yes! It will

  • Rebekah says:

    How much Daikon radish would I add to it if I wanted it mixed it in with the cabbage? And do I need to cut back on the amount of cabbage if I am adding radish?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I would say you could add one or two heads of daikon radish and yes, i’d cut back a little on the cabbage.

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime
    Would you like to receive notifications for the latest recipes and updates?