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If The Washington Post says kimchi is going global, you can bet the HOMEGROWN crowd has been making it for years. And yet this staple of Korean cooking, a pickled cabbage concoction that can be eaten as a condiment or by itself in eye-popping bites, never grows old. (Well, OK: It has a refrigerated shelf life of about a month, but we never get sick of it. Do you?) Plus, it's a fantastic way to make use of those heads of cabbage from the garden or from your farm share. Below, some tips from HOMEGROWN cooks and an easy-to-make kimchi—also spelled "kimchee" and "kim chee"—recipe to try at home.


This recipe from The Washington Post makes about two quarts and requires some planning ahead: The vegetables need to soak in saltwater for at least six hours, preferably overnight.

• 1/2 c sea or kosher salt
• 1 c warm water
• 1 medium head Napa cabbage
• 1 Asian radish (nu or daikon)
• 6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp)
• 2-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced (2 Tbsp)
• 2 Tbsp Asian fish sauce
• 1 Tbsp jarred (wet) Korean salted shrimp
• 6 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces (1/2 c)
• Leaves of 1 bunch mustard greens, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 3 c)
• 3 Tbsp coarsely ground Korean chili powder
• 1 tsp sugar

Dissolve the salt in the water in a liquid measuring cup. Rinse the leaves of the cabbage and cut into 2-inch lengths (12 to 14 cups). Peel the Asian radish and cut into quarters, then cut into 1/2-inch slices. Combine the cabbage and radish in a large bowl and pour the saltwater over them. Soak for at least six hours, preferably overnight.

Drain the soaked vegetables in a colander, squeezing out as much water as possible. Place the vegetables in a large bowl. Combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce and salted shrimp in a food processor or blender; process until finely minced. Add the scallions, mustard greens, garlic-ginger mixture, chili powder and sugar; toss to coat evenly. (If you use your hands, wear food-safe gloves; the chili might sting or stain.) The mixture will have the consistency of a well-dressed salad.

Pack into glass jars or a large food-safe plastic container. Once prepared, the kimchi can store at room temperature for about 48 hours and will be ready to eat in two to three days (stick it in the fridge if you want to let it ferment longer). It will grow increasingly pungent as it sits: at its peak in about two weeks, best eaten within a month.

• Pat suggests looking for dried shrimp (one of kimchi's key ingredients) at Mexican and Latin American markets. She also recommends using garden-variety cabbage in place of Napa for a crunchier bite.

• In the same discussion, Yewberry suggests substituting fish paste or fish sauce for the dried shrimp and advocates throwing in whatever veggies you've got on hand (radish greens, red onion, bok choy, etc.).

• And Cornelia shares a link for a kimchi recipe involving apple, pear, and onion.


Got a question or a kimchi tip to share? Post it below and keep the conversation rolling. Then join groups including I Could Ferment That! and Recipe Sharing for more top-shelf kitchen advice. You can always find more things to plant, grow, cook, preserve, make, craft, and pickle in the HOMEGROWN 101 archive.




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COOL!! Thanks for this! I love kimchi, and have been looking for a good recipe.

I have an overabundance of Kohlrabi which I often use in place of cabbage for slaw.  I wonder how it would work in kim chee?

Hey, Janet. Good question! Here are two responses from HOMEGROWN's Facebook page:

I like kimchi very much especially with sticky rice.  Isn't there a summer or spring kimchi that can be made?    Ellen

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