Cabbage kimchi

60 minutes


Cabbage kimchi

  • 2l warm water
  • 225g of coarse sea salt
  • 2.5kg Napa cabbage, bottom trimmed, wilted and tough outer leaves discarded and rinsed well
  • 2 small onions, roughly chopped
  • 12 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 dried anchovies, (myulchi) head and guts removed
  • 6 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • 64 garlic cloves, 8 crushed and the rest left whole
  • 1 sheet of dried seaweed, (25cm long)
  • 250g of gochugaru, (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 14 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 10 tbsp of salted shrimp, (saewujeot), rinsed
  • 4 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 knob of fresh ginger, (18cm), peeled and chopped
  • 3 carrots, julienned
  • 12 spring onions, cut into 5cm pieces
  • 200g of white radish, or mooli, peeled and julienned


In a large bowl, stir together the warm water and 115g of the salt until the salt has dissolved. Set aside and leave to cool
Meanwhile, partially cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, starting from the root end and cutting about halfway to the top. Using your hands, pull the cabbage apart to split in half completely. Repeat so that each half is halved in the same way, which keeps the leaves intact and whole
Loosen the leaves of each wedge so that they are easy to spread. Sprinkle the remaining 115g of salt over and between all the leaves, salting the core area more heavily
Place the cabbage into a large bowl (use two if they don’t fit) cut-side up. Pour the cooled salted water over the cabbage, then pour enough cold water into the bowl to cover the cabbage; don’t overfill the bowl, as some liquid will be drawn out of the cabbage
Weigh down the cabbage with a plate so the wedges are completely immersed. Leave at room temperature for 6–8 hours, flipping the wedges halfway through
Rinse the wedges well under cold running water and gently squeeze out any excess moisture. Place the wedges, cut-side down in a colander and leave to drain for at least 30 minutes
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the onions, mushrooms, anchovies, spring onions, the 8 crushed garlic cloves and the seaweed and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid, discarding the solids and leave the anchovy stock to cool completely
When the stock has cooled, combine the remaining garlic cloves, chilli flakes, fish sauce, salted shrimp, sugar and ginger in a food processor and blitz until smooth
Add enough of the stock to make a smooth paste, about 475 ml total. Discard any remaining stock. Transfer the spice paste to a large bowl and stir in the carrots, spring onions and radish
Rub the spice paste all over the cabbage wedges and between each leaf. Pull the outermost leaf of each wedge tightly over the rest of the wedge, forming a tidy parcel. Pack the wedges into one or more glass or other nonreactive containers with a tight fitting lid
Cling film directly on the surface of the kimchi, then cover. The kimchi can be eaten at this young stage or after it sits at room temperature and starts to get sour and ‘bubble’, about 2–3 days
Stir the kimchi in the fridge, where it will continue to ferment at a slower pace. I like to age mine at least 2 weeks, but it really is up to your personal preference. Cut the kimchi before serving