Easy Traditional Kimchi

Easy Traditional Kimchi
This recipe was passed down from Choi’s Korean grandmother. It uses the most traditional of kimchi vegetables – Napa cabbage – but feel free to use cucumber, Korean radish or even green onions.


½ cup sea salt
1 head Napa cabbage, cored and quartered
Cold water
1 cup crushed red pepper
¼ cup fish sauce
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. freshly minced garlic
1 Tbsp. ginger powder


• Distribute the sea salt among the cabbage quarters, sprinkling salt between each leaf. Transfer the cabbage to a large bowl and fill with enough cold water to cover. Let soak for 2 hours. Turn the cabbage so it soaks evenly in the salt water, then let it sit for another 2 hours.

• While you allow the cabbage to break down in the salt water mixture, make the spicy base: Combine the crushed red pepper, fish sauce, sugar, minced garlic and ginger powder in a bowl and mix until it forms a paste. Set aside.

• Remove the cabbage from the salt water and triple-wash it. Strain the cabbage and squeeze the water out of the leaves. Leave the cabbage in the strainer for 1 to 2 hours.

• Take the spicy paste and apply it between each leaf. Place in an airtight jar.

• The kimchi can be enjoyed right away or, if you prefer more fermentation (recommended), leave the jar at room temperature overnight, then refrigerate for about 2 days before serving.