I remember there was a time when everyone wrinkled their nose when I would mention kimchee. Now, it’s so popular and I see it everywhere. Recently, I even noticed that a local burger joint had a kimchee topped burger on its menu.  This weekend on the Food channel, there was a bloody mary profiled, that had kimchee in it. YUM.

In case you don’t know what it is, it’s a Korean side dish made with lots of salt, cabbage and red pepper flakes that are finely ground. It also contains lots of garlic. Of course there are variations using cucumbers (my fave), onions, radish, etc. It becomes pickled/fermented by all of the salt. It’s served with almost every Korean meal……kinda like a little salad or garnish.

I love to add it to my ramen bowls, or fried rice. Kimchee fried rice is delicious too. Oh, and how about some teriyaki beef or chicken tacos with chopped kimchee as a garnish instead of the traditional lettuce. If you haven’t tried kimchee, I hope you will. It’s really good. I love it so much. I remember when I was growing up, my mom and I would stay up late watching a Japanese movie. She would fix us each a bowl of rice with hot green tea poured over it and some kimchee drizzled with soy sauce, on the side. It is to this day, still one of my favorite comfort foods.

Just a note…..might wanna have some mints close by. Hahahahah, you will definitely have garlic breath.





1 large (or 2 medium) bunch of Napa cabbage
6 -7 cloves of fresh garlic, grated or minced very fine
1/2 cup sea salt
5 green onions, sliced
1 Tblsp fresh grated ginger
4 cups water
3/4 cup Korean pepper powder (found in Asian markets)

Chop napa cabbage into large pieces. Place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the sea salt. Pour the water over the cabbage and give it a good toss. Let it sit like that for an hour and a half, tossing once in awhile.

In another bowl, mix together the pepper powder, ginger, garlic and green onions. Pour in 1 cup of water and mix everything together. Set aside.

After the cabbage has set for an hour and a half, drain the water off. Rinse the cabbage twice and drain well. Add the red pepper mixture and mix well. Dump it all into an airtight container or jar. Allow to set out on the counter for an entire day. The salt content will ferment your cabbage. After a day, place it in the refrigerator for at least a day, but I always wait 2-3 days. Give it a good shake and eat it up!

21 thoughts on “Kimchee…………….

  1. Hi Betty, The kimchee got the thumbs up even from the I don’t eat hot chilli eater…not as red colour as yours but I think your chilli pepper looks redder whereas my chilli when I ground it was a lighter colour but still very nice for my first taste of kimchee 🙂 Thank you for all your help 🙂

    • Hi Carol. Yay! It will continue to get better over the next few days. The deeper red color comes from the kimchee powder/pepper. Did you put a few drops of soy sauce on it when you ate it? I like it that way too. Mmmm, I may have to have some rice and kimchee for breakfast! Have a great day!

      • Yes, I thought might…My son is coming from the Uk in a few days so have him if he can get some Korean pepper powder..I will try it with the soy..Thank you again for all your help 🙂 Hope you have a great day 🙂

    • hi Carol. Hmmmm, you know, I don’t know to be honest. A long time ago I tried making it with dried red pepper flakes that I ground up. it didn’t have the same flavor. But if you do use the Thai chiles, let me know how it turns out!!

      • Oh ok..Thank you for your honesty…I may check out a few moe recipes to get a feel for ingredients..I haven’t eaten very much Kimchee I know someone makes it locally here but haven’t tried hers …Is it traditionally very spicy or just a hint of heat?

        • Carol, I just checked the package of the kimchee red pepper. It just says chili pepper powder. traditionally kimchee looks like it would be really hot, but it isn’t always. Ive had some that are spicy but never scorching. Ive had many different kimchees and they aren’t really all that spicy. I really am curious to see how it turns out if you try the Thai chiles. I know you can get kimchee chili powder on line though.

        • Carol, I just spoke to a Korean friend of mine. She said many red chilies can be used. It’s more about the fermenting and the large amount of garlic used. I’m going to try it tomorrow with a variety of chilies that I have drying. I will let you know how it turns out. Take care.

          • Thank you so much..I have googled it to found some but they don’t deliver surprise to Thailand…lol It is really nice of you to go to so much trouble …Thank you 🙂 It is much appreciated..Today I know will be Kha Moo which is a slow cooked pork which is amazing but first time I have made it and something with bananas as I have a lot of ripe ones… Thank you again 🙂

    • Hi Carol, ok….great news. I had some arbol and thai chiles that I had been drying out. I ground those up really fine. It still has to ferment/pickle another day or two, but so far, it tastes every bit as good as the kimchee chili powder. However, it is quite hot. I love heat so I actually like it. Follow the kimchee recipe I posted but only use about 2 Tblsp of the Thai chili. Maybe even less. you can always add more later. Let me know how it turns out.

      • Hi..Thank you so much….I will definitely make it then…I went on the hunt again yesterday to a shop that sells a lot of different spices etc but no Korean chilli …I eat hot as well so will follow exactly and then if I need to tweak the heat the next time I can….I can’t thank you enough for your help on have been brilliant… as you know if you don’t know how it is meant to taste it is hard to make a substitute isn’t it? Thank you once again .

          • Ha Ha you sound me…runny nose and all…my little grandaughter she is 4 yrs and loves Thai beef salad and sits with tears streaming saying Ped ( hot) but still eating it! She is definitely a chilli girl…lol

  2. Thank you for the recipe I make Pak Dong the Thai pickled cabbage which is nice but no chillies and I love chillies…WIth the cucumber do you add it to this recipe or replace the cabbage with cucumber?

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