Kimchi Recipe 1

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Kimchi is a fermented vegetable product unique to Korea. Its origins come from the fact that Koreans are an agricultural people with a diet heavy in vegetables. Unfortunately, the climate of the Korean Peninsula involves four seasons in which winter is one of them. Developing a way to preserve their harvest for the winter was necessary but doing so in a way that preserved the crunchiness of the vegetables is what makes kimchi unique. Kimchi involves soaking vegetables and spices in a brine. This is not just for preservation purposes. The halophilic (salt-loving) bacteria which survive this brining process produce amino acids and lactic acids which give the kimchi its pungent flavor. The addition of red chili pepper not only adds flavor and heat, but is also thought to possess preservation qualities. In order to make kimchi year-round, Koreans would store it in glazed pots and place the pot in the ground during the winter so it wouldn’t freeze and in a well or stream in the summer to keep it cool. In the following recipe, the weather will dictate how long the kimchi will take to ferment. It is best to check on it periodically when left at room temperature to gauge how much fermentation has taken place before storing in the refrigerator. In warmer temperatures, you may only need to ferment a day or two at room temperature before cold storage.


  • 1 1/2 -2 lbsNapa Cabbage
  • 8 cupsWater
  • 4 TbspFlaked Salt
  • 3-4Garlic Clovesminced
  • 1 sq. inchGinger Rootminced
  • 1/2 cupGreen Onionthinly sliced
  • 1 TbspSugar
  • 1/2-1 tspCayenne Pepperor
  • 1 TbspKorean Ground Red Pepper


Place prepared cabbage into crock. Combine the water and salt and pour enough of the brine into crock to just cover the cabbage. Cover crock with plastic wrap and soak cabbage at room temperature overnight.

Drain just enough of the brine from the cabbage so that brine level is slightly higher than the cabbage. Add remaining ingredients and mix together evenly.

Using a plastic food storage bag, fill the bag half way with tap water, place on top of the cabbage, eliminate extra air from the bag and close with a twist tie. You may have to adjust the amount of water in the bag in order to create an airtight seal over the cabbage. Leave at cool room temperature (less than 70 degrees F) for 4 to 7 days or until as pungent as you would like, store kimchi in its brine indefinitely in the refrigerator.

If made during warmer temperatures, ferment the cabbage in the refrigerator. It may take up to 4 weeks to reach your desired level of pungency.