Korean Baechu Kimchi (chinese cabbage kinchee)
DISCLAIMER : If you are not *hot* for spicy food, then this post will make your eyes water!!! Enter as per discretion and let it be known that you are one courageous gourmet!! :) Anyone who is not new to making pickles at home, will not be intimidated from making Kimchi. But then, if you have not made them before, this post will show you how easy and simple it actually is, to make this Korean specialty by your own, without having to grab the kimchi jar at your local supermarket. Kimchi, also spelled gimchi or kimchee is a traditional Korean side dish(banchan) and is made by fermenting vegetables. This was originally done with the purpose of preserving vegetables as a means of storage for the winters. Because of its unique flavors and the preserving tendencies, it has come to be enjoyed by the rest of the world too.
Korean Baechu Kimchi (chinese cabbage kinchee)
There are quite a few variations of making Kimchee, spicy Baechu(cabbage) Kimchi being the most popular which is what I have made for this post.I have this recipe from an "Authentic Korean cooking" cookbook which I have adapted a bit to my taste and availibility of ingredients. I have blanked out on the name of the author and will update the post with the same once I recall/find the author's name. You can adjust the ingredients according to your taste buds. :)
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 8+ people
  • 1 large chinese (Napa) cabbage
  • 1 medium daikon radish
  • 3 scallions (spring onions), chopped
  • 1 bunch mustard leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2" ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup red chilli powder
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups sea salt (kosher salt)
  • 10 cups water
1. Remove the outer leaves of the Napa cabbane. Cut of the edges. Seperate the leaves. Keep aside 3-4 leaves and then chop the rest into quarters.
2. In a large skillet, add the 10 cups of water along with salt. Give it a swirl and then soak the cabbage leaves for 6-8 hours.
3. After soaking, remove the leaves, wash/rinse in cold water and squeeze out any excess water. Set the salted water aside. Dont throw it away. Slice the daikons into matchsticks. Chop the mustard greens if using. In a bowl, add the ginger garlic paste and the chilli powder -
4. make it into a paste by adding about 1/2 cup of water.
5. To this paste, add the daikon,scallions,mustard greens and mix until blended. Gloved hands are your best bet.
6. now add the squeezed out cabbage and blend it along with the rest of the chilli mixture.
7. Take one of the leaves ( which has not been chopped), set it on the board. Put few spoonfuls of this spiced mixture on it.
8. Now place another cabbage leave as a layer above it and then repeat the process until all the leaves have been used.
9. Take a Jar and lift this napa-spice layers and push it down the jar. Pack it tightly.
10. Add any additional mixture to the jar on top.
11. Use the salt water (used for soaking the cabbage) and pour it down the jar to the brim.
12. Set aside this jar for 2-3 days ( for the process of fermentation) and then enjoy it with rice or any other korean main dish. There you just made yourself an authentic spicy korean vegetable preserve.

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By Sri Latha on Feb 28, 2013

I have always wanted to try a Kimchi without anchovi/fish sauce (am a veggie :roll: ).. Since, its the main ingredient of kimchi my Korean friends couldnt give me an alternate for anchovy sauce.. some say it can be alternated with soy sauce or worcestershire sauce, but that the taste will differ from the traditional kimchi.. i will try this.. :)

By Natalie on Nov 29, 2010

Hej, I love your new found site! Makes me wanna go and cook :-P I miss some more pickle recipes, that would be so cool. I looove pickles, but most pickels have way to much chillis for me, I don't like vineger pickles plus next indian store is way to far. But I'd love to have some more pickles with our food, and since I'm making parathas more often since visiting your site (was a revelatation that paratahs are quite simple to make actually), I would really appreciate some pickle recipes, if possible. I have always thought pickles are real difficult to make, do you ever make your own, or only buy? Maybe it isnt worth the effort? Anyways, I will survive without the pickle also I guess :(

By Authentic Chinese Recipes on Nov 19, 2009

chinese cabbage is easy to buy and this dish is easy to follow.

By Ruthey on Jun 13, 2009

I love kimchi! Thanks for this recipe. It will go great the next time I make Bulgogi. I lived on Okinawa in the early 70's and fell in love with Asian Cuisine. Then my sister was stationed in Korea and made kimchi and bulgogi for me when she came home on leave. She extended for 2 extra tours of 13 months each. Thanks Ruthey :) We love this too, since its almost like Indian pickling process...My husband likes Bulgogi too! Will post some day in this blog..:)

By PJ on Apr 2, 2009

I was waiting for this recipe :)
Thanks for sending it across to AWED..

By Shree on Apr 1, 2009

This looks great DK :)

By veggie belly on Mar 31, 2009

1/2 cup of chili powder, you said? this is totally up my alley! thanks for the recipe!

By Gita's Kitchen on Mar 31, 2009

I have seen kimchi jars in Asian markets though I have never tried it, sounds intresting and looks fiery spicy. Thanks for sharing such an authentic recipe DK :)

By Madhu on Mar 31, 2009

Looks super hot, love it.

By Madhumathi on Mar 31, 2009

Haven't heard of kimchi..This pickle indeed looks like a fiery hot one!Lovely pics :)

By Akal's Saappadu on Mar 31, 2009

intersting and nice demonstrations; will try that sometime (when i gather all the ingredients); i don't get daikon nearby (have to drive an hour to get that :)
looks good, i love pickles; this is new to me, have never tasted pickled veggies other than the indian ones! looks lovely with those mustard leaves in between!

By Priya on Mar 31, 2009

Wow this looks too good, i would really like to taste this spicy kimchi..Delicious DK!

By DEESHA on Mar 31, 2009

that looks very beautiful DK

By Cham on Mar 30, 2009

Cotsco sells a huge jar of this one :) Very tempting and i dare to taste it too !

By Suparna on Mar 30, 2009

Hi Dk,
the stuff looks awesome would love to have it. lovely presentation.

By Pavani on Mar 30, 2009

Home made kimchi.. I've never tried kimchi, but your version looks hot and delicious.