Homemade Kim Chee

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

To make Homemade Kim Chee, you will need a 2 quart jar, with a tight fitting lid. Use a glass jar, as plastic will absorb the Kimchi’s odors and you will never be able to use it for anything else. Also, the Kimchi will be fermenting in the jar for some time, and plastic containers leach plastic particles into your food – not a good thing.

homemade kim chee

(Photo Attributed to Author: Nagyman)

Homemade Kim Chee Recipe-

  • 2 large heads napa (bok choy) cabbage (if you are making cabbage Kimchi – again, you can use any veggies you want, but for the purpose of this sample recipe, we will stick with the most common vegetable in traditional Korean cuisine for our homemade Kim Chee)
  • 1 or 2 Daikon radishes, julienned
  • 24 large cloves garlic, peeled and rough chopped
  • 6) 1″ nodules of fresh ginger root, peeled and rough chopped
  • 2 cups salt for the brine water, plus 1 more cup for the fermentation spice mix
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 jar of Saeujeot (Korean salted tiny shrimp)
  • 1 cup Kochukaru (Korean hot red chili powder)
  1. Remove the outer, tough and/or wilted and/or discolored leaves from the cabbage heads.
  2. Now chop the cabbage in half lengthwise, then chop the halves in half. Cut out and discard the tough root part.
  3. The next step is important. Take the quartered cabbages and place them in the sink and, running lukewarm water over them, clean them thoroughly, especially digging down into the core areas, where pesticides tend to accrue and are difficult to get out.
  4. Once the quarters are well cleaned, place them into a large container—an icebox thermal cooler works well.
  5. In a large bowl, place the 2 cups of salt in the bottom, then fill the bowl with warm water. Stir until the salt is all absorbed into the water.
  6. Pour the salt water over the cabbage, and allow the cabbage to sit in the briny mixture for at least 4 hours—overnight is even better.
  7. Peel and julienne your radishes.
  8. Peel and rough chop the garlic cloves and ginger root, place them in a blender and puree them.
  9. When your cabbage quarters are well salted, remove them from the brine, pat them dry, and crosscut them into 2” wide pieces.
  10. In a very large bowl, place the kochukaru, the saeujeot, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of salt, and the julienned radishes. Mix and blend all the ingredients together well.
  11. Now add in the cabbage pieces and toss them with your hands until all the pieces a completely coated with the blended spicy mixture.
  12. Take your 2 quart glass jar, and tightly pack the entire mixture into it, then screw on the lid tightly, to ensure a good seal.
  13. Put the jar in a dark, cool place (not the refrigerator) for a good 24 hours. It will probably start to bubble, when the fermentation starts. Keep an eye on it, and loosen the lid enough to allow the gases to escape, then reseal the jar. You may have to do this a few times during the 24 hours.
  14. Now that the fermentation is well underway, slow your homemade Kim Chee down some by refrigerating the jar. Keep it in the fridge for at least 2 full days before eating it, and if you can have the patience, it will taste the best if allowed to cure for a full week.
  15. This batch of homemade Kim Chee will be good for eating, if kept refrigerated, for up to one month.


Here is a well done, short video that will walk you through with a good visual understanding of the process of making your own delicious homemade Kim Chee.