Quick & Easy Homemade Kimchi

kimchi

Updated on April 29, 2021 by Julia

Kimchi is a necessity in our household. Kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage, is usually served as a side dish in Korean cuisine, but is also used in this quick and easy kimchi fried rice recipe and in a piping hot bowl of kimchi stew. Homemade kimchi allows you to adjust the spice and umami levels by playing around with the amount of hot pepper flakes and fish sauce.

There is definitely a traditional way to make kimchi that involves large tubs and creating a glutinous rice paste. The time and energy that goes into creating traditional kimchi is what makes the ones you find in Korean restaurants unbeatable. I’ve been told that one doesn’t merely judge a Korean restaurant by how good their food is, but by how well their kimchi is made. Having eaten Korean food from Atlanta to LA all way to Korea, itself, I can definitely say that’s true.

Fortunately, I can still make a quick and easy kimchi at home that’s just as delicious. The paste includes gochugaru (hot pepper flakes), fish sauce, and some sugar. I love adding in scallions and julienned Korean radish for the added crunch.

Ingredients for quick homemade kimchi

  • Napa cabbage
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Fish sauce
  • Sugar
  • Minced garlic
  • Scallions
  • Julienned daikon or carrots

Instructions for homemade kimchi

  1. Cut 1 large napa cabbage in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into quarters. Wash each piece throughly and place into a sieve with a large bowl underneath.
  2. Add 1/2 cup kosher salt and use your hands to ensure to each piece is covered in salt. Let sit for 2 hours. The salt helps to draw water out of the cabbage
  3. After 2 hours, rinse the cabbage several times under cold water. You want to do this so the kimchi isn’t too salty. Let cabbage drain while you prepare the spice paste.
  4. In a separate bowl, make the spice paste. Mix 1/2 cup hot pepper flakes, 1/3 cup fish sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 3 cloves minced garlic, 3 stalks of scallions, and a handful of julienned daikon. Mix well until it forms a thick paste. If you need more liquid, add more fish sauce.
  5. Put on a pair of gloves and use your hands to spread the paste on the cabbage. Ensure that each piece is evenly and well coated.
  6. Store in a jar (I like using mason jars or old pasta glass jars)

You can enjoy immediately for a more fresh kimchi or let it sit on the counter for 2-3 to ferment and move to the fridge.

kimchi
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5 from 16 votes

Quick and Easy Kimchi

A quick and easy kimchi recipe that still packs a punch and perfect for weekday banchan
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Diet Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Vegetarian
Prep Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8
Author Julia

Ingredients

  • 1 large napa cabbage
  • ½ cup hot pepper flakes
  • cup fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 stalks scallions
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ¼ cup Korean radish (julienned)

Instructions

  • Cut 1 large napa cabbage in half lengthwise. Then cut each half into quarters. Wash each piece throughly and place into a sieve with a large bowl underneath.
  • Add 1/2 cup kosher salt and use your hands to ensure to each piece is covered in salt. Let sit for 2 hours.
  • After 2 hours, rinse the cabbage several times under cold water. Let cabbage drain.
  • In a separate bowl, make the spice paste. Mix 1/2 cup hot pepper flakes, 1/3 cup fish sauce, 1 tbsp sugar, 3 cloves minced garlic, 3 stalks of scallions, and a handful of julienned daikon. Mix well until it forms a thick paste.
  • Put on a pair of gloves and use your hands to spread the paste on the cabbage. Ensure that each piece is evenly and well coated.
  • Store in sealed jar.
  1. Audrey says:

    5 stars
    One of my favorite things at Korean bbq restaurants is the kimchi. I never knew it was so easy to make!! I can now enjoy this at home.

  2. Amy says:

    5 stars
    I love kimchi but I have never tried making my own as I’ve never really found a recipe that I was happy with. But I love this one! Quick and easy are music to my ears!

  3. Natalie says:

    5 stars
    I always wanted to make my own kimchi at home. Your recipe sounds easy to follow. I will definitely make it now. Thanks!

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