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A white bowl of homemade kimchi. You can see slices of napa cabbage and the Korean red pepper flakes on the kimchi.
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5 from 1 vote

How To Make Kimchi at Home

This recipe makes almost half a gallon of Kimchi. Make sure to read through the recipe and plan ahead as it needs a few days to ripen.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Author: Mirlandra Neuneker


  • 1 Napa cabbage 4 pounds
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • water to cover
  • 8-12 oz daikon radish about 1/2 of a small to medium radish - moo
  • 1 cooking onion
  • 6 scallions
  • 1/2 cup ginger peeled and grated
  • 2/3 cups Korean red pepper powder
  • 1 cup fish sauce 3 crab brand is the best
  • 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. Korean fermented salted shrimp called salted shrimp sauce - optional


  • Cut cabbage into slices about 1 1/2" wide.
  • Layer the cabbage with salt into a large bowl. Cover with water and let it sit overnight. The next morning it will be tender.
  • In the morning, wash it 2-3 times to get the salt off and place it back in a large mixing bowl.
  • Peel the radish and cut into matchstick size pieces. Add to the cabbage.
  • Slice the cooking onion in half and then slice each half thinly. Add to the cabbage.
  • Trim the scallions and cut into 1" chunks. Mince in food processor until finely chopped. Add to the cabbage.
  • Add the ginger, red pepper powder, fish sauce, garlic and shrimp to the cabbage. Stir gently with large spoon or hands until combined.
  • Stuff the kimchi into a 1 gallon glass jar (lid should be plastic, not metal) and use a rock to hold the fermenting cabbage down. Leave the jar on the counter for 1-2 days. The mixture may foam as it ferments. This is normal. If the jar is very full, try placing it in a bowl to catch any drips.
  • After 1-2 days, open the lid and let any accumulated gasses escape. Then recover the jar with the lid, wash outside of jar if needed and place in the refrigerator.
  • The Kimchi needs to ripen for about 5-6 more days. You can eat it while it is ripening but it will be best after this time.
  • Usually Kimchi stays good in the refrigerator for about a month. After that Americans usually toss it and Koreans boil it into soup.


Korean Salted Shrimp are found in the refrigerated section of your Asian store. They look like this. . If putting a spoon of tiny shrimps into your Kimchi is a bit overwhelming you can leave them out the first time and see what you think. If you need too add extra fish sauce to amp up the flavor.