basic kimchi (막김치)

Kimchi(김치) is a pillar of Korean cuisine and even a part of Korean cultural identity. Kimchi essentially means ‘pickled vegetables’ and comes in many varieties, most commonly made with cabbage or radish.

Makgimchi(막김치) is a quick, simple kimchi great for learning and making with friends. Napa cabbage is ideal for this basic kimchi.

Gimjang(김장) is the process of making kimchi. Every year at the end of fall or beginning of winter, Korean families prepare large amounts of kimchi for the year.

Break or cut cabbage into pieces.

Massage cabbage with kosher salt and soak, then drain.

Mix in seasonings. If you prefer mild kimchi, use less Korean chili powder, or gochugaru(고추가루). If you like spice, add more!

Ferment for a few days and it will be ready! If you prefer not to ferment it, you can also try it fresh. Three days is optimal fermenting time for me.

Makgimchi makes a great side dish as is; it can also be used to make delicious stir-fry, kimchi stew, kimchi fried rice, and more.


(serves 4)

1 head napa cabbage, broken into pieces or chopped
1/4 cup course kosher salt
2 clove garlic, minced
½ tbsp ginger, minced
½ tbsp sugar
4 tbsp gochugaru(Korean pepper powder)
½ cup Korean radish or daikon, cut into matchsticks(optional)
4 green onion, finely chopped

• massage salt into cabbage until softened slightly
• add water until submerged
• cover and let stand one to two hours
• combine garlic, ginger, sugar, water, gochugaru
• drain cabbage
• combine cabbage, radish, green onion, spices
• mix well
• pack into jar or kimchi container and seal
• let stand one to five days.
• serve or store in refrigerator