Barb’s Kimchi

CSA crew member Barb writes: “For a while there was an overabundance of bok choy and radishes in my fridge, and I adapted a Kimchi recipe to use it all up. At this time of year European cabbage, grated carrots or kohlrabi, and even finely chopped beet greens can be used. I was amazed at how a giant bowl of veggies disappeared into one little jar after brining and fermenting!

“Kimchi is used in everything from soups to pancakes, and as a topping on pizza and burgers. Most Koreans don’t go through a day without eating at least one dish containing this fermented vegetable condiment, which is considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Koreans eat so much of this super-spicy condiment (40 pounds of it per person each year) that natives say “kimchi” instead of “cheese” when getting their pictures taken.”


Barb's Kimchi


  • 1 large Chinese or Napa Cabbage
  • 4 L water
  • 1/2 cup coarse salt
  • 1 small head garlic peeled and finely minced
  • 2 inch fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (Vegetarians can use miso, salt, and/or dried seaweed instead of fish sauce.)
  • 1/3 cup chili paste or 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
  • 1 bunch green onions cut into 1-inch (3cm) lengths (use the dark green part, too, except for the tough ends)
  • 1 medium daikon or watermelon radish or carrot peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey


  1. Slice the cabbage lengthwise in half, then slice each half lengthwise into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem chunks.
  2. Dissolve the salt in the water in a very large container, then submerge the cabbage under the water. Put a plate on top to make sure they stay under water, then let stand for 2 hours.
  3. Mix the other ingredients in a very large metal or glass bowl.
  4. Drain the cabbage, rinse it, and squeeze it dry.
  5. Here’s the scary part: mix it all up.
  6. Some recipes advise wearing rubber gloves since the chili paste can stain your hands.
  7. Pack the kimchi in a clean glass jar large enough to hold it all and cover it tightly. Let stand for one to two days in a cool place, around room temperature.
  8. Check the kimchi after 1-2 days. If it’s bubbling a bit, it’s ready and should be refrigerated. If not, let it stand another day, when it should be ready.
  9. Once it’s fermenting, serve or store in the refrigerator. If you want, add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds over the kimchi for serving.
  10. Storage: Many advise to eat the kimchi within 3 weeks. After that, it can get too fermented.