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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

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!
4.95 from 53 votes
Prep Time: 2 hrs
Fermentation time: 1 d
Total Time: 1 d 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 1 gallon
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Ingredients 

For the cabbage:

  • 5 pounds napa cabbage, cut into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • 1 cup water

Seasonings for kimchi:

  • ½ medium sweet onion
  • 1 bulb garlic, peeled
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ 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.

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 gallon | Calories: 763 kcal | Carbohydrates: 146 g | Protein: 42 g | Fat: 25 g | Saturated Fat: 5 g | Sodium: 56844 mg | Potassium: 7879 mg | Fiber: 60 g | Sugar: 47 g | Vitamin A: 56445 IU | Vitamin C: 707 mg | Calcium: 1980 mg | Iron: 17 mg

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: cabbage, kimchi

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




Tim

Saturday 10th of April 2021

Very easy to do. This was my first time making it thank you

Cecily

Saturday 10th of April 2021

My sister and I had fun making this and everyone loved it! Need to make another batch asap! Thank you for the video and recipe. It was super easy.

Chris Clinkinbeard

Monday 22nd of March 2021

I notice that you don't use ginger or fish sauce. Just a preferred taste for you?

Julie Chiou

Tuesday 23rd of March 2021

no, it's just what Chunok traditionally makes

Sue Denomy

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

If I rinse my kimchi before eating, will I still get the benefits of eating fermented food. Mine is too hot to eat.

Julie Chiou

Friday 19th of March 2021

you should, yes

Kelsey

Tuesday 16th of March 2021

Thank you for creating a video for making this recipe!! Delicious simple recipe, thank you for listing this on your blog. I love how easy this recipe is, and you don't need odd items like dashima or fish sauce to make it taste good. The flavor is delectable. I buy daikon radish since Korean radish is not available to me. I also added 2-3 carrots, and spiralized both carrots and radish. I also slice up a bosc pear to add (in lieu of Asian pear since those are hard to find in my area).

Once I blend up the seasonings for kimchi, I mix everything together and it all fits into a one gallon jar. I have a jar that's meant for fermenting/pickling, and it came with ceramic weights. So I pack the kimchi in the jar as tightly as possible and put the weights on top. Usually there is enough salty liquid left on the cabbage leaves that that it moves to the top as a layer of brine that protects the kimchi from outside molds and bacteria. I personally allow the kimchi to ferment for about a full week.

Not sure if this will help anyone (not that anyone was asking), but I found that this works well for me.

Thank you once more for this easy, EASY recipe!!!