Traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi

"Fermented cabbage is the most common kind, but kimchi is actually a pickling technique, so you can make it with any vegetable," explains Marja Vongerichten. "Every Korean household has a different recipe: Some use pears, others, raw shrimp or oysters." This classic recipe includes napa cabbage, ginger and garlic.


Slideshow: More Jean-Georges Vongerichten Recipes


  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: Makes 3 quarts
  • Time(Other): Plus 3 days fermenting

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  • 2 large heads napa cabbage (3 1/4 pounds each)—halved, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup kosher salt
  • 10 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 pound daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 bunch scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 3/4 cup gochugaru (Korean coarse red pepper powder); see Note

How to make this recipe

  1. <p>In each of 2 very large bowls, layer the cabbage with the salt. Let stand for 45 minutes. Toss the cabbage well and let stand for 45 minutes longer.</p>

  2. <p>Fill a sink with cold water. Swirl the cabbage in it to remove the salt; drain and repeat. Drain the cabbage well, lightly pat dry with paper towels and transfer to a very large bowl.</p>

  3. <p>In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, onion, ginger and sugar and puree. Add the fish sauce and process until blended.</p>

  4. <p>Add the daikon and scallions to the cabbage and toss. Add the garlic mixture and the red pepper powder and toss thoroughly. Pack the cabbage into three 1-quart jars. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the kimchi and put the caps on loosely. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, until the cabbage is tangy and bubbling. Store in the refrigerator.</p>

Make Ahead

The kimchi can be refrigerated for up to 6 months.


Korean red pepper paste and powder are available online at

Contributed By Photo © Michael Turek Published December 2011

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