Basic Cabbage Kimchi

  • 3 T plus 1 t pickling salt (or white sea salt that you are sure is not mixed with table salt)
  • 6 c water
  • 2 lb Napa cabbage (1 large head), cored and cut into 2-inch squares
  • 6 bunching onions, cut into 2-inch lengths and slivered lengthwise
  • 1 1/2 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 T minced garlic
  • 2 T Korean ground dried hot pepper or other mildly hot ground red pepper or blend of cayenne and paprika to suit your taste
  • 1 t sugar


Dissolve 3 T of salt in the water. Put the cabbage into a large bowl, crock or non-reactive pot and pour the brine over it. Weight the cabbage with a plate and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours.

Drain the cabbage, reserving the brine. Mix cabbage with remaining ingredients, including remaining 1 t salt. Pack mixture into a 2-qt jar. Cover with some of the reserved brine, push a food-grade plastic bag into the mouth of the jar, and pour the remaining brine into the bag. Seal the bag. Let the kimchi ferment in a cool place, preferably at no higher than 68 degrees, for 3-6 days, until it is as sour as you like.  Remove the brine bag and cap the jar tightly. Store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for months.

Makes about 1 1/2 quarts