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Traditional Kimchi Recipe for Beginners 🌶️

Learn how to make traditional kimchi from scratch with this easy recipe for beginners. Discover the flavors of Korea with Food Fluff.

Traditional Kimchi for Beginners

You will need:

  • Napa cabbage1 medium-sized Napa cabbage
  • sea salt1/4 cup sea salt
  • water2 cups of water
  • grated garlic1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • grated ginger1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • sugar1 teaspoon sugar
  • fish sauce3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Gochugaru1-5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (Gochugaru)
  • radish8 ounces radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • scallions4 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Start by cutting the Napa cabbage into quarters lengthwise, then remove the cores.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the sea salt in the water. Soak the cabbage leaves in the salt water. Ensure all leaves are submerged by placing a heavy object on top. Leave it for 1-2 hours.
  3. While the cabbage is soaking, prepare the spice paste. Mix together the grated garlic, grated ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and Korean red pepper flakes in a bowl.
  4. Add the radish and scallions to the spice paste and mix well.
  5. Once the cabbage has finished soaking, rinse it under cold water 3 times to remove excess salt. Drain it well.
  6. Apply the spice paste to each leaf of the cabbage, ensuring all leaves are well coated.
  7. Once all leaves are coated, tightly pack the cabbage into a clean glass jar.
  8. Leave the jar at room temperature for 1-5 days. Check it daily, letting out gases and pressing down on the cabbage.
  9. Once it's fermented to your liking, store the kimchi in the fridge. It's now ready to serve.


The fermentation time depends on the temperature and your taste preference. The warmer it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Always use clean utensils when handling the kimchi to avoid contamination.

Dive into the vibrant world of Korean cuisine with our beginner-friendly guide to making traditional Kimchi. This fermented dish is a staple in Korean households and is gaining popularity worldwide for its unique flavor profile and health benefits.

Kimchi is not just a side dish; it's a culinary adventure that takes you through the process of fermentation, a technique used in various cuisines around the world. If you're new to pickling and fermentation, check out our pickling techniques and tips for a smooth start.

Our recipe uses ingredients that are easy to find, yet stay true to the authentic taste of Kimchi. The star of the dish, Napa cabbage, is transformed with a flavorful spice paste made with garlic, ginger, sugar, fish sauce, and the all-important Korean red pepper flakes, Gochugaru. If you're wondering how to make this essential Korean sauce, our guide on making Korean Gochujang sauce can help you out.

While making Kimchi might seem daunting at first, the process is quite simple. It's all about layering flavors and letting nature do its work. The fermentation process adds a depth of flavor that's hard to replicate with any other cooking method. If you're interested in more pickling recipes, our collection of easy and delicious pickling recipes is worth exploring.

Once your Kimchi is ready, it's time to savor it. Enjoy it as a side dish, add it to your stir-fries, or use it as a topping for your favorite meals. If you're looking for inspiration, our easy and delicious wok recipes for beginners include several dishes that can be enhanced with a bit of Kimchi.

So, are you ready to embark on your Kimchi making journey? Remember, the beauty of this dish lies in its simplicity and the magic of fermentation. Happy cooking!