Almost-Instant Hot Kimchi

"The first time I had kimchi was when I arrived in New York City in 1986," says Jean-Georges Vongerichten. "I was like, Oh my God, what is this? It's fermented like the sauerkraut from Alsace, where I'm from, but the flavor is different. I didn't have a recipe, so instead of fermenting, I used vinegar for the sourness." Like sauerkraut, he serves this kimchi hot.

Almost-Instant Hot Kimchi
Photo: © Michael Turek
Total Time:
20 mins


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder); see Note

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean red chile paste); see Note

  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce

  • One 3 1/4-pound head Napa cabbage—cored and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 small Asian pear—peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

  • 1 kirby cucumber, sliced crosswise


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, coriander and pepper powder and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion begins to brown, 4 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the pepper paste, vinegar and fish sauce; add to the pot and cook over high heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, pear and cucumber and cook, stirring, until the cabbage is just wilted, 3 minutes. Serve.


Korean red pepper paste and powder are available at

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