Kimchi Recipe | Fermented Spicy Cabbage Recipe

Homemade Kimchi Recipe – Fermented Kimchi

Kimchi in a white bowl
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Fermented Kimchi is easy to make, and a favorite ferment at the homestead! Kimchi is a spicy fermented side dish made with vegetables and seasonings.

Fermenting Tools

  • Mason Jars or a Crock – I like using a wide range of sizes. I typically always use wide mouth though. I love my 1/2 gallon mason jars for fermenting.
  • Airlocks – If you don’t allow gas to escape automatically through a contraption like an airlock, pickle pipes, cheesecloth, etc… You’ll have to burb them manually. Plus, you’ll run the risk of a ferment blowing up under the pressure of gas buildup.
  • Salt – I always use extra-fine Himalayan sea salt in my ferments. It dissolves easily and is perfect for making a brine.
  • Wooden Tamper – Ferments like sauerkraut, kimchi may require to tamp the food into the jar and under the brine.
  • Glass Weights – Some ferments need to be weighed down and kept under the brine.
  • Fermenting Kits – There are several fermenting kits where you can get just about everything you need. However, they don’t usually include the vessels, such as a mason jar or crock.

Salt Brine Calculator

Grab the little salt brine calculator perfect for the fridge, or get the one that has percentage suggestions for different vegetables. OR~! You can buy both! Best of all…now you can choose the color you like!

Print Brine Calculator With Veggies Print Both Salt Brine Calculators Print “Just Percentages” Brine Calculator

The pictures below are clickable. Shop some of my favorite fermenting products!

Fermented Kimchi Recipe

Kimchi in a white bowl

Kimchi Recipe | Fermented Foods

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Active Time: 2 minutes 30 seconds
Fermenting Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days 17 minutes 30 seconds

A fermented spicy cabbage recipe


  • 1 head Napa Cabbage, quartered and remove cores
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • filtered water
  • 5 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce or salted shrimp paste
  • 2 tbsp Korean red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz daikon radish, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin


  1. Cut up your cabbage in bite-size pieces.
  2. Place it in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over the cabbage.
  3. Massage the salt into the cabbage until it begins to soften.
  4. Add water to the bowl, until the cabbage is just covered. You can place a small plate on top of the cabbage to keep it below the waterline.
  5. Cover the bowl and allow to sit for 2 hours.
  6. Drain the cabbage using a colander, and rinse under cold water.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients (except for scallions, and radish) to a large-sized bowl and mix well.
  8. Squeeze any remaining liquid from the cabbage.
  9. Add the cabbage, scallions, and radish to the mixture and mix well.
  10. Now, add them to your mason jar or crock and mash them with a wooden tamper. Pack it in there really well, leave a 2-inch headspace.
  11. Now assemble the rest of your container, and place in a dark area, like your pantry is perfect as long as it does not get hotter than 75ºF.
  12. Every day push down the kimchi and make sure it stays under the brine.
  13. Let it ferment anywhere from 3-7 days.
  14. Place it in the refrigerator and enjoy when chilled!

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Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 15Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 3mgSodium 2725mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 1g

For the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate the nutritional value of each ingredient yourself. These calculations are provided by a third party and are not expected to be exact. You are solely responsible for ensuring the nutritional information you use is accurate.

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Tips For Fermenting Vegetables

Only use fresh vegetables – If vegetables are going bad they are not suitable for fermenting.

Use only a non-reactive utensil – Wood is best to use when tasting and tampering!

Uniform cutting is best, since size does matter when it comes to fermenting. Thicker cuts of food will take longer to ferment. You want the food to ferment evenly.

Using an airlock can help keep out mold spores that are floating around in the air. Conversely, using an airlock still allows gases caused by the fermenting process to escape. Without a way for these gases to escape, you’ll have to burp your ferment daily.

Mix it up! Add some new ingredients. Most people think of kimchi as one way or another, however you can make a different kind of kimchi by putting your own creative spin on it, like adding carrots, or something else that tastes good spicy!

When it tastes perfect to you it is most likely ready. 3-5 days does the trick for me, many other people ferment theirs for much longer. Experiment and have fun.

If you run into mold, I’m sorry to tell you…THROW IT OUT! Yes, the whole batch is bad. Learn more about what mold looks like and what’s the difference between mold and Kahm yeast.

How to Eat Kimchi… Spice it up!

You can enjoy your homemade kimchi all by itself with other ferments, on crackers, use it as a dip for other vegetables such as celery or carrots, add it to rice, soup or stews.

More Fermenting Recipes

I’d love To Know what you think!… Leave me a comment!

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6 thoughts on “Homemade Kimchi Recipe – Fermented Kimchi”

  1. What do I cover mason jars with while fermenting? There is no brine to cover do I add water so it is in the brine?

    1. There are several different options for covering a ferment. If you take a look at the post there are some pictures of some different fermenting setups. Those images are from amazon and are clickable. You can click and see them on Amazon.

      Traditionally, I believe a crock is used. Usually, left in the ground or in the basement. However, it will also be fine in a cabinet with an airlock. I like airlocks the best because it helps keep out harmful bacteria but it lets out the gasses that are produced during the fermenting process. Some people just use a cheesecloth with a rubber band. But I live in a humid area of the US and I see more mold with just using a cheesecloth…It’s important to remember that mold spores are airborne and I think for this reason it’s best to keep a ferment protected from those spores.

      Kimchi is a weird ferment in that it is not typically covered in brine. The salt content helps to keep away bacteria that would normally form on the food.

      Hope this helps!

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