Easy Napa Cabbage Kimchi

막김치, Mak GimChi

Today we will experience a quick and easy way to make fresh and great tasting kimchi, if there is such a thing. 😉 In the past, I posted a recipe for making a more traditional napa cabbage kimchi.

The last kimchi recipe I made was “whole cabbage kimchi,” which is called PoGi (포기), or Tong Baechu (통배추). People use that method for making winter kimchi. It is only cut into four pieces. This time, we will cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces. This will make serving easier since you will not have to cut the kimchi. This way of making kimchi is also good if you only have one or two heads of napa cabbage. There are some more differences between the two recipes. You can figure out what they are. hehe.. Try this recipe someday. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Yield: 1 Gallon

Short Korean Lesson

  • NalSsi (날씨) = Weather
  • GaeJeol (계절) = Season

Main Ingredients

Cabbage Brine Ingredients

  • 1⅓ Cup Coarse Sea Salt (Sprinkle)
  • 20 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Coarse Sea Salt (For Salt Water)

Kimchi Paste Ingredients



Remove any bad parts from the napa cabbage.


Divide the cabbage into 4 pieces.


Remove the heart from the cabbage. (Now the cabbage has a broken heart. ㅋㅋㅋ)


Cut the remaining cabbage into 2 inch pieces. Cutting the cabbage will reduce the soak time of the cabbage. Plus, it’s easier to mix the cabbage with the kimchi paste.


Put some cabbage into the big bowl and sprinkle 1 handful of coarse sea salt onto the cabbage. In the same way, add another layer of cabbage on it and sprinkle more salt. I used 1⅓ cup of coarse sea salt in this step. Keep adding more layers in this prescribed manner until the supply of cabbage has been exhausted.


In another bowl, pour 20 cups of water and 1 cup of coarse sea salt. Stir it until the salt dissolves.


Evenly pour the salt water into the cabbage bowl. Soak the cabbage in the salt water for 3 hours. Every hour, mix the cabbage (up and down), so all the cabbage can get well salted.


After 3 hours, rinse the cabbage in cold water 3 times.


Drain the water for about 2 hours.


Wash the dried hot peppers once. Remove the stems from the peppers if they are present. Cut them in half with scissors.


To make the kimchi paste: in a mixer, grind 20 dried red hot peppers, ½ cup of cooked rice, about ½ cup of fish sauce, ¼ cup of water, ½ of an onion, 14 garlic cloves, and 3 pieces of ginger. Leave out some of the fish sauce. You can add the remainder later to adjust the saltiness to your tastes. I used a little less than ½ cup of fish sauce for my kimchi.


Cut 1 onion, 4 green onions, and 1 handful of garlic chives as in the picture.


Pour the mixture into the big bowl, and add the rest of the ingredients for the kimchi paste: ⅔ cup of red pepper powder, 2½ Tbsp of sugar, and 1 Tbsp of sesame seeds. In this step, depending on your tastes, you can add some of the left over fish sauce you saved from the grinding mixture. Add the onion, green onion, and the garlic chives into the paste. Mix well.


Add the napa cabbage.


Mix the cabbage with the kimchi paste. Put the kimchi in a glass jar or container. Leave it outside (room temperature) over night, and then put it in the refrigerator. It will take several days to a week until it is properly fermented.


Of course, you can eat fresh kimchi with the freshly cooked rice. Yummy! hehe. If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute the fish sauce with salt and water. I recommend sea salt. Thank you for visiting my blog. I’ll be back with more delicious recipes later! God bless you all.


  1. christine says

    Hi Aeri, I’m a big fan of your website; come here for all my Korean recipe needs! hii hii… Your instructions are not only clear, but also reliable! So far, among the Korean dishes I’ve tried are:
    bibimbap, kimchi, tuna kimchi Jjigae, spicy chewy myeon, kimchi bokkeumbap and japchae. One of the things I never got it quite right the first time round was the kimchi. Could you kindly enlighten me on the measurement you adopt in your recipes – is it in U.S. cup or metric cup?

    Thanks very much in advance! Every blessings!

  2. Margareth Lee says

    Hi Aeri,

    Thanks for your videos, I began to make kimchi by myself. As expat korean, it is not easy to get all those ingredients, besides, we do not use to have so spicy meals. We have in Brazil red huge pepper that is not spicy at all named “pimentão” that I grind with little amount of red hot pepper of any kind I can get in the season. So the kimchi is not so spicy and is as red as the spicy one

    • says

      hi Margareth Lee,
      Yes, I understand you. Sometimes, I have some difficulties to find right ingredients for Korean cooking too. What you used for your kimchi sounds interesting.. hope you enjoy it. ^^ Thanks.

  3. Isabel says

    i went to th asia shop and i found dried pepper but there small and are chilli pepper, can i use those?

    • says

      hi Isabel,
      Well, you might have to be careful to see how spicy that small chili pepper.. some Asian peppers are really really spicy. So taste it first and see if you can think of making kimchi paste with them..since you have to use a lot of peppers to make paste.

  4. Poeh says

    Hi Aeri,

    I have tried your kimchi recipe today. I just finished mixing the kimchi paste and cabbage and now it’s waiting at room temperature before it’s properly fermented. I am really curious about the end result.

    At first I was slightly hesitant to use cooked rice, because I usually use the sweet flour paste. So today I thought, I am just gonna have to try this recipe too.
    I must say i really love the flavour. The only thing I did different was, adding a fresh red pepper and mixed it with hot pepper flakes to enhance the red color.
    I like how this paste is drier than the one mixed with glutinous flour. I always found my batches on the watery side, despite properly draining the water.

    So I think this recipe is definitely a keeper.

    If I keep this kimchi after fermentation in the fridge, for let say a few months, the cooked rice in the paste won’t get spoiled right?

    • says

      hi Poeh,
      I enjoyed reading your detailed story.. thanks :) I want to try your kimchi right now. hehe
      Yes, the cooked rice is basically the same with the sweet rice flour in Kimchi..so no worries..
      I like my kimchi this way too. ^^ Thanks

  5. Izza says

    I’m still a student and course salt are quite pricey here in my place. Can I replace them with regular salts? And if I do, is it still in the same amount as the course salt you’ve said in the recipe? I hope to do this asap. Thank you! :)

    • says

      well.. the coarse salt and regular salt is different in volume and saltiness.. so you can not use the same amount.. You should adjust the amount of salt you use for this recipe. Thanks

  6. Annie Nguyen says

    I forgot to put sugar in the paste, but I left some kimchii juice that I bought from Korean market and mix it in the paste. So do u think my kimchii still alright and can ferment well

  7. keurinrin says

    Hi:D I just made kimchi last saturday, and this was the website where I got the recipe:https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=3&cad=rja&ved=0CFYQtwIwAg&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.about.com%2Fkoreanfood%2FHow-to-Make-Spicy-Kimchi.htm&ei=tlWcUqPvIuSbjAL_1YCIDA&usg=AFQjCNGQA9m4YnqL-Zj5IFM4MUDNIGNjcQ

    ..I have a question, how mant times should I rinse the kimchi after soaking it in salt for 6 hrs?? because I tasted my kimchi and it was really salty. I am wondering whether it was too much salt or I just din’t rinsed it many times.. thanks:D by the way, my cousin just followed your kichi recipe and it was reaaally great!! 😀 😀 😀 😀

    • says

      hi keurinrin,
      Yes, as you said..it can be both of the cases.. it can be.. too much salt.. or soaked too long.. salty kimchi last longer… so that case.. you can reduce salty ingredient for the kimchi past.. since your napa cabbage is too salty.. or you can rinse several times.. or soak in no salt cold water for sometime to make it a little less salty.. or.. you can put some chunks of raw Korean radish between napa cabbage leaves when you put some kimchi paste on them.. hope my tips help..

  8. Linda says

    I just made this dish for the first time last weekend and it was delicious! The Kimchi was so flavorful and tastes better than the store bought ones. Thank you so much! I love your picture and video tutorials.

    • says

      hi Linda,
      Thanks for your comment. wow, it was better than store bought ones? love to hear that.. maybe I should start to sell my kimchi then. hehe joke.. Enjoy your kimchi. :)

  9. Heidi says

    Hye , i really like your videos and recipes . . .
    but i have a question ,
    if i don’t have garlic chives , can i use scallions instead ??

  10. meike says

    hi aeri, I really love this site, it’s the best site to find korean recepies ^-^
    next mondag i’ll cook for the first time, but it’s so fast i don’t have time to put the kimchi in the refrigerator, is it possible to use it right away? and i don’t have a mixer for the kimchi paste, what can i use the best?

  11. Jessie says

    Hi!!!! Aeri

    I watched your video about napa kimchi. That’s so easy and I really like your recipe. But I was wondering why my napa kimchi didn’t have sour taste yet. I leave them outside the fridge but it’s not be sour still.

    Is it about the temperature?

    Now I currently live in Arizona, USA. The temperature is a little cool down.

    Please give some advise.

    Thank you so much! 😛

    • says

      hi Jessie,
      I don’t know how long you waited for the kimchi… I mean..how old that kimchi is…. it takes time… so maybe you didn’t wait enough yet.. in 2 or 3 weeks.. it will be fermented and become sour.. thanks

  12. says

    Hi Aeri,

    I am soaking the kimchi now with salt solution. Can I replace the kimchi paste recipe (using cooked rice) with the one meant for the whole napa cabbage (using sweet rice flour)? I have lots of sweet rice flour on hand, and want to get rid of it, but I have already cut the cabbage into pieces, so I can’t use whole cabbage for making kimchi.

    Thanks for your help!

  13. S says

    Hi Aeri,

    I wanted to ask, if I were to substitute sweet rice flour+water for the cooked rice how much would I need for this recipe?

  14. chin027 says

    Hi Aeri!! 😀
    I so so love all your recipes! I almost tried all of them and it’s very delicious! And also the “Easy Napa Cabbage Kimchi” turned out great! :mrgreen: May i request on how you make a Korean Beef stew 😀 I can’t find the right one on the net(i would really appreciate it if you’re the one who makes it 😎 ) Thanks! 😉

  15. Isabel says


    I’m going to make for the first time Kimchi.
    I have some questions:
    With a cup: do you mean a tea cup format?
    20 dried hot pepers: isn’t that a litle hot? Can I use 10 or 15 dried hot pepers?


    • SL says

      Hi Isabel,
      In North America there are standard measuring cups for dry and liquid ingredients used in cooking. One cup is the equivalent of 250 ml in metric.

      In regard to 20 hot peppers, that is correct because kimchi is usually hot. You can certainly use a little less for your first time and if you find it not hot enough increase the amount the next time you make it.

  16. Jinnie Joy says

    Hi Aeri,
    Can you take a shortcut and use a ready-made red pepper paste in place of the kimchi paste ingredients? The one I have is 태양초 고추장.

    Btw, thx for your effort in making all these nice recipes ^^

      • SL says

        I’m curious to know why you would use both dried hot pepper and hot pepper powder. Why not use only hot pepper powder as in the whole cabbage kimchi?

        • says

          hi SL,
          It is just personal choice. Original way to make Kimchi from my hometown.. (at least, that’s what I’ve seen from my mom from young age..hehe) they grind dried hot peppers with other ingredients as i did in this post…. and mix with hot pepper powder.. I think.. it’s more for flavor..and give some texture to the kimchi when you eat it.. .. the dried hot pepper gives some fresh.. hit.. flavor.. (oops hard to explain..) but anyway.. you can use both ways for making kimchi. ^^

  17. LinS says

    Hi Aeri,

    Thanks for all the wonderful recipes. I was just wondering if I can substitute cabbage with tofu and turn it into tofu kimchi instead?

    • says

      hi LinS,
      well..that is an creative imagination..but to be honest, i’ve never heard of it before. ^^ For me, I will not try that…but each person’s taste is different.. so.. If you want.. you can always try what you imagine and see how you like it for cooking.. thanks :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *