Korean Spicy Pickled Cabbage (Baechu Kimchi) Recipe

Housewives Make Korean Pickle 'Kimchi' For The Needy
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images News/Getty Images
  • 72 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins,
  • Cook: 72 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 12
Ratings (5)

This pickled and fermented Napa cabbage is the most popular and recognizable form of kimchi. Baechu kimchi is not only good as a side dish to almost every Korean meal, but it is also the foundation for many soups, stews, stir-fries, and rice dishes.

What You'll Need

  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 Napa cabbages, washed and cut into 2-inch squares
  • 1 cup coarse salt (or kosher or sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup red pepper flakes (kochukaru)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • fish sauce, optional*

How to Make It

  1. In large nonreactive bowl or pot, mix salt into water.
  2. Add cabbage to salt water and if necessary, weigh down with large plate so leaves are all submerged.
  3. Soak cabbage for 5 to 6 hours.
  4. Remove cabbage and rinse in cold water, squeezing out excess liquid.
  5. In a large bowl, mix garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sugar, and scallions.
  6. Add cabbage and coat with seasoning mixture.
  7. Pack the seasoned cabbage into a large airtight jar with lid.
  1. Let kimchi ferment in a cool place for 2 to 3 days before serving or putting in refrigerator.

*There are countless ways to make kimchi, but traditional recipes usually include fish sauce, brined tiny shrimp or fresh oysters. Try 2 to 3 tablespoons of fish sauce or 2 tablespoons of chopped brined shrimp if you'd like to experiment. I am always nervous about people oversalting their kimchi. Because every fish sauce and brined shrimp has a different amount of salt, I advise you to use them sparingly if you've never made kimchi before.