How To: Making Kimchi

December 31, 2012

Best of 2012 – Number Seventeen

Recipe courtesy of Ho Shim Shaw 
Photography by Chia Chong

Umma’s Kimchi
with Step By Step Directions


  • 2 heads of Nappa cabbage, cleaned and sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 ½ cups coarse sea salt, divided
  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 1 large Korean radish (called mu*) about 2 pounds
  • 6 green onions

Hot pepper mixture:

  • 1/3 cup white onion, pureed
  • 1 1/2 Cup Korean pepper flakes (gochugaru*)
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup ground garlic
  • 1/2 cup salted shrimp (sae-wu jut*)
  • 1 cup anchovy extract (myulchi-aek jut*)
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 gallon sterilized glass jar or container with a tight fitting lid

*sold in Korean/Asian markets

Yield: recipe fills a one gallon jar
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 2 days 8 hours


STEP ONE : In an extra large mixing bowl dissolve 1 cup coarse sea salt into 6 cups of cold water and place cabbage halves in to soak.

STEP TWO: Sprinkle the remaining salt between the layers of the cabbage.

STEP THREE : Let cabbages sit in the salt water for about 6-7 hours (overnight).

STEP FOUR : Rinse cabbage in cold water to rinse off all salt and squeeze to drain. Allow to dry in the large bowl or colander.

STEP FIVE : Using a sharp knife, cut the radishes and green onions in to fine julienned pieces (Japanese mandolin can be used)  and place in a medium size mixing bowl.

STEP SIX : Assemble the ingredients for the red pepper mixture.

STEP SEVEN : Add the  mixture to the radishes and green onions and mix well (Umma says your hands are your best tool from here on out).

STEP EIGHT : Stuff the red pepper mixture in between the layers of the cabbage.

STEP NINE : Squeeze the cabbage together to make it narrow enough to stuff into a one gallon size sterilized jar. If the jar opening is too small, cut the halved cabbage into quarters.

STEP TEN : Cover and allow the kimchi to sit for one or two days at room-temperature then refrigerate. Your kimchi is actually ready to eat at this point, but allowing it to sit at room-temperature starts the fermentation process. Umma likes to eat her kimchi after only two days of fermentation. It’s a matter of personal taste.



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