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How to Make Homemade Kimchi (Kimchee)

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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.

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

I also 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

4.94 from 47 votes
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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: 1 gallon

Servings are adjustable but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings.

Author: Julie Chiou

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

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Recipe Rating




Kyra

Tuesday 12th of January 2021

I love everything about this and am so excited to make it!!! I started eating Kimchi for the health benefits of the probiotics but now I just love the taste! Thanks for the video - so helpful to watch it all come together.

Jacqueline Rosser

Thursday 7th of January 2021

Julie I just watched the making of the kitchen. I plan to make this myself. I just want to comment on your hygiene practices.You need to tie your hair back BEFORE you do anything in the kitchen. I wanted to gag watching this video! No one would eat that kimchee if they knew how you made it! Hair and possible dandruff is gross not to mention the licking of the fingers then handling the food!perhaps you need to take a FOOD SAFE class! I'm sure they are in your area.

Kim

Saturday 9th of January 2021

@Julie Chiou, Good for you, Julie! I am sick of sanctimonious idiots responding to posts. I love kimchi and cannot wait to make this.

Julie Chiou

Thursday 7th of January 2021

i hope you enjoy it and tie your hair back when you make this! i don't really need to take a food safe class when i am making this in my own home and not selling it. this is a food blog of a home cook. this isn't a professional kitchen. it's literally a home cook blogging about their recipes. i hope that you are 100% food safe in your home when you cook for yourself or family if you are being so self-righteous about this! anyway, i do hope you enjoy it as so many others have!

Nellie

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

This is so easy and soooo tasty. I am now eating kimchi. I would not try at restaurants because I am sensitive to spice. My entire family loves this. I use am empty 36 ounce peanut butter jar for 3 pounds of cabbage.

Mark Romero

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

My wife’s Korean friend put ginger in hers as well as garlic. Looks delicious.

Rachel

Sunday 13th of December 2020

That was so wonderful! I feel lucky to have gotten to share this. What a sweet friend you have! I can't wait to make this. Thank you!