How to Make Kimchi

Meditation & Health No 3 - Table of Contents

How to Make Kimchi

This pickled and fermented Napa cabbage is the most popular type of kimchi. Baechu kimchi is excellent as a healthful side dish, and can also serve as the foundation of many soups, stews, stir fries and rice dishes.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Fermentation Time: 72 hours

Total Time: 72 hours, 30 minutes


  • 10 cups of water
  • 2 Napa cabbages, washed and cut into 2-inch squares
  • 1 cup coarse salt (or kosher or sea salt)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp chopped ginger
  • ½ cup red pepper flakes (kochukaru)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 scallions, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • fish sauce, optional*


  1. In large 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
  3. Soak cabbage for 5-6 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.
  8. Let kimchi ferment in a cool place for 2-3 days before serving or putting in refrigerator.

(Serves 12)

*There are innumerable ways to make kimchi, but traditional recipes typically include fish sauce, brined tiny shrimp or fresh oysters. Try 2-3 Tbsp of fish sauce or 2 Tbsp of chopped brined shrimp if you would like to experiment. Because each type of fish sauce and brined shrimp varies in its saltiness, use them sparingly if you’ve never made kimchi before. Kimchi will be good eaten straight for about 3 weeks. After about 4 weeks, when it has become too fermented to be eaten by itself, try using it to make soups, hot pots or fried rice.

Nutritional Value

Kimchi contains plenty of dietary fiber while being low in calories. One serving provides more than 50% of the daily required amount of Vitamin C and beta carotene. It also contains thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium and iron, as well as powerful lactic acid bacteria created by the fermentation process. The lactobacilli content strongly contributes to digestive and overall health. Health magazine named kimchi one of the top five beneficial foods on its “World’s Healthiest Foods” list because it is rich in vitamins, promotes excellent digestion and possibly slows cancer growth.

From an Eastern standpoint, cabbage provides cooling, downward energy, and red chili provides warming, upward energy, and therefore the combination of the two in kimchi creates a balanced food.



Meditation & Health No 3 - Table of Contents