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Kimchi - This is a small batch but can be easily doubled or tripled if you eat a lot or have a large family.

1 (2-pound) napa cabbage, cut into quarters, then 2 inch wide pieces, discarding root
1/2 cup kosher salt
cold tap water as needed
8 ounces daikon radish, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 of an Asian pear, peeled and coarsely grated
4 medium scallions, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (use all parts)
1/3 cup Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup peeled and minced fresh ginger (from about a 2-ounce piece)
1 Tbsp minced garlic cloves (from 6 to 8 medium cloves)
2 tsp Korean salted shrimp, minced
1-1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp rice (NOT minute rice), ground in a spice grinder - optional

NOTES: You can substitute salad radishes for the daikon if you can't find it. A medium ripe Bosc pear can be substituted for the Asian pear. You can also substitute the salted shrimp with dried shrimp found in the Latin spices area. Badia is a popular and common brand.

For a vegan/vegetarian version, omit the shrimp entirely or use a 2 inch square piece of kombu during fermentation (remove before storing). You can make a substitute for fish sauce by simmering 1-1/2 cups of water, 1/8 ounce of dried sliced shiitake mushrooms, 1-1/2 Tbsp of salt, and 1 Tbsp of soy sauce over medium heat until reduced by half, strain, cool, and store in fridge for up to 3 weeks.

Freeze any remaining red pepper powder. It will mold if you don't.

Some people use rice, some don't. I've used grits in it as noted below.

EVERYTHING must be CLEAN. I sterilize the jar(s) and lid(s) with boiling water just to be safe. As always, if in doubt, throw it out. I'll admit, even though I've made this and other fermented/cured products, I'll always eat a tiny bit the day before we are actually going to have it just to make sure. I don't want to get anybody else sick EVER.

Place the cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated. Add enough cold tap water to just cover making sure the cabbage is mostly submerged. Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside.

Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the cabbage and mix with your hands until thoroughly and evenly combined. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 2-quart or 2-liter glass jar with a lid you can tighten and seal the jar. Do NOT tighten the lid all the way down. You need to leave it slightly loose so that gas can escape and the jar won't explode. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24-48 hours (you should see some bubbles). Open the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 72 hours before eating. Refrigerate for up to 1 month. It will get stronger tasting as it ferments.
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I've made the above quite a few times and have even played with it to make fusion kimchi and dumplings for a dumpling challenge.

Korean/Cajun/Creole/Low Country andouille, shrimp and grits. Kimchee had the trinity and some grits (some kimchis use rice), as well as homemade Creole spice from Paul Prudhomme's mix. Dumpling filling was ground pork, andouille, shrimp, red bell pepper, kimchi, a bit of tamari (instead of soy sauce), a bit of sesame oil, S and P. Sauce was a play on Paul Prudhomme's brown sauce for fish.

Korean/Cuban Sandwich. Used the basic kimchi recipe but substituted the pear with cucumber for the pickles used in the sammie. If I ever do again, will use a lot more cukes and less cabbage, a little less gochugaru and more cumin. Filling was ground pork, ham, swiss cheese, some tamari, sesame oil, more cumin, S and P. Sauce was rice wine vinegar, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes brought to a boil, cooled, lime juice and cilantro.

They were both actually quite good, but we liked the Korean/Cajun ones the best.

Point I was making with this post though is you can play with the basic recipe until you get it to your liking.
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I'm going to use a bit less salt next time as this batch was really salty to us, although I think it may be because we have cut down on salt some, as other things commercially prepared have been too salty as well.


Grill Master
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Med, please post a pic when you can.

What's a "dumpling challenge"?



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It was on another forum. Make fusion dumplings, pot stickers or steamed dumplings.