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Joi's Homemade Napa Cabbage Kimchi

Updated: May 20, 2021

Kimchi was one of the first Korean foods that I tried and I instantly fell in love with it. Kimchi is fermented Napa cabbage that is equally spicy, sweet, crunchy, salty, and sour in flavor. Kimchi is eaten both cold and cooked and is used a a side dish by itself or be used in popular Korean dishes like kimchi fried rice, kimchi ramen, kimchi jjigae (a stew with tofu and pork), and kimchi gimbap. Kimchi is easy and fun to make especially if you like being hands on with your food and the longer it is stored, the stronger the flavor gets. I'm a little impatient so the most I can wait is two to three weeks before using it. Personally I think kimchi tastes better cooked than cold but I invite you to find out for yourself.


-1 small or medium sized head of Napa cabbage (chopped)

-1/4 tsp. red crushed pepper

-1 tbs. sugar

-1 tsp. ground ginger

-2 tbs. gochugaru (Korean red pepper)

-1 tbs. sesame oil

-1 tbs. lime juice

-2 tbs. minced garlic

-1 tbs. fish sauce

-1 cup chopped green onions

-2 tbs. rice vinegar

-2 tbs. white vinegar

-mason jar(s)

-food safe gloves

*Tip: You can buy gochugaru from Amazon if you can't find it in an international grocery store or an Asian grocery store. I usually use Spice Jungle's gochugaru from Amazon. For info on the seasonings used in this recipe see here.


  1. Chop the Napa cabbage into small pieces and wash in a colander. Mix salt into the cabbage and let it sit in the colander for 20 minutes. Rinse salt off of cabbage.

  2. In a bowl, mix all seasonings. Add the cabbage, put on the gloves, and mix well with your hands until the cabbage is completely covered in the seasonings.

  3. Pack the cabbage into the mason jar(s), filling them as much as you can. Refrigerate for about 3 weeks minimum for the most flavor. You can use it for dishes like kimchi fried rice, kimchi noodle stir fry, kimchi with fried eggs and quinoa, and kimchi ramen.

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