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Homemade Kimchi

anchovy cabbage chilli fishsauce kimchi korea Recipes side vegetables

Kimchi can be eaten with basically everything or to make kimchi soup, kimchi hotpot or kimchi pancake. It’s the “super food” with all the good benefits from fermentation.

Recipe & Photo: Alex Tran

30 mins  1hr  10

Main ingredients:

  • 1.5 kg Napa cabbage (Wombok/Chinese cabbage)
  • 1 bunch of spring onion (more or less up to you)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 big brown onion
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 sand pear or Asian pear
  •  5 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chilli powder (adjust up to your taste)
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons cooked glutinous rice (can be replaced with rice congee or porridge)
  • 2/3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoons small dried shrimps
  • About 10 dried Asian white anchovies


  1. Cut cabbage into two or four pieces, up to the size. Wash through. My cabbage is quite big (1.5 kg), so I cut it into quarters. Try to trim the hard white root but leave all the leaves attached.
  2. Dissolve 100g sea salt into 1 litter of cold water. Soak and thoroughly wash cabbage in this salty water. Drain out the water. Use sea salt to rub the cabbage thoroughly, pay attention to the white bits as they are the hard ones. Salt will help to drain liquid out of the cabbage and start pickling. Leave them for 4-5 hours, sometimes it needs 6-7 hours until the cabbage is soft enough to be fold without breaking into pieces. But do not leave it too long or the final product will lose its crunchiness. Wash the sea salt out then drain the liquid off.
  3. Toss dried shrimps and anchovies, and then used mortar and pestle crush them into powder. Also use mortar and pestle to crush garlic, apple, pear and cooked glutinous rice separately. Put all in a bowl; add chilli powder, fish sauce; then combine all together to make chilli paste (or sauce). If it too thick, add some water, but the consistency must be mayonnaise-like.
  4. Peel carrot and brown onion, thinly slice. Cut spring onion into 4-5 cm long. Mix all vegetables with chilli paste.
  5. Rub the chilli vegetables on every single cabbage leave, pay attention to the root. Fold each piece, then put into containers of jar. Push the cabbage down hard. If the Jar is too big, use a piece of baking paper to cover the cabbage (lie a cartouche), then push down hard, finally use some weight to put on top before closing the lid.
  6. Kimchi should be done in 1-2 days in warm place. If storing in fridge, it will take 10-30 days to be ready.



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