February 22, 2019
Fresh Kim Chi

Fresh Kim Chi

by Berkeley Wellness  

Kim chi, Korean pickled vegetables, can be mildly hot to extremely hot. This recipe makes a moderately hot kim chi (also spelled kimchi or kimchee), so if you like very spicy dishes, increase the cayenne accordingly. Serve the kim chi alongside meat or poultry.

Timing alert: A true Korean kim chi would be set aside for months to ferment (like sauerkraut), but this fresh kim chi still takes 2 days to “pickle.”

Makes 4 cups.


  • 1 head napa cabbage (about 3 pounds), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 2-inch-wide pieces
  • 3 tablespoons coarse (kosher) salt
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
  • ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon matchstick strips of fresh ginger
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1¼ cups matchstick strips of daikon radish


  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and salt, and toss well. Let stand for 3 hours. Rinse the cabbage under cold water and squeeze well to get rid of any excess liquid.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the hot water, soy sauce, vinegar, anchovy paste, and cayenne. Add the cabbage, garlic, ginger, scallions, and daikon, and toss well. Cover and let stand at room temperature, turning the cabbage occasionally in the sauce, for 2 days.
  3. Store the kim chi in the refrigerator.
Nutrition per ½ cup: 40 calories, 0g total fat (0g saturated), 5g dietary fiber, 7g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 360mg sodium.

A good source of: beta carotene, calcium, fiber, folate, indoles, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C.

Also see Best and Worst Korean Foods.