Kimchi (pronounced kim-chee) is a spicy dish that is one of the favorite foods of Koreans.  Kimchi is usually served as a side dish and can be eaten as a part of any meal.  There are many types of kimchi, but the most common is baechu (cabbage) kimchi.  Every Korean house has at least one type of kimchi, and some Koreans eat kimchi at almost every meal!


Traditional Korean meals consist of rice and several side dishes, and at least one of these side dishes was always kimchi.  Koreans would prepare a lot of kimchi at harvest time and store it in jars.  They would bury these jars in the ground and leave them there all winter, getting kimchi out as it was needed.  Modern Koreans still love kimchi, although it is usually stored in the refrigerator.  Kimchi is so popular among Koreans that many people have a special kimchi refrigerator in their house!


The picture to the left is of a traditional kimchi jar, called hangari.



  • baechu (napa cabbage) - 1 cabbage, about 5 pounds
  • garlic - 1 bulb
  • green onion - 4 bunches
  • red pepper - about 1 cup
  • salt
  • sugar
  • tiny salted shrimp - 1 teaspoon (optional)

You can adjust the amount of red pepper to taste, but remember that kimchi is a spicy dish.

Be aware that kimchi juice can stain some things, such as plastic.  Be careful to quickly clean up any kimchi spill so it will not soak in or stain.  We recommend you store kimchi in glass containers.

Step 1

Cut the cabbage into chunks about an inch or two in length and put in a large bowl.

Step 2


As you are putting the baechu pieces in the bowl, sprinkle some salt over each layer.  After all of the baechu is cut, mix 1/2 cup of salt with 1 1/2 cup of water.  Pour the salt water over the baechu.

Step 3


Let the baechu soak for about 4 hours.  Then mix it trying to get the pieces that were on top on the bottom, and the bottom pieces to the top.  Let it soak for another 4 hours.

Step 4

Rinse the baechu well 3 times.  Drain well.  After the water is drained, put the baechu back in the rinsed bowl.

Step 5

Chop the green onions into about inch long pieces.  Put into bowl with the baechu.

Step 6

Peel, wash, and mince the garlic.  Add all of the garlic and red pepper to the bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Add 1 teaspoon of salted shrimp if you prefer.  Mix well.


After mixing, taste the kimchi.  If you would like to add any more salt or pepper, you may.

Step 7

Put the kimchi into one or more glass jars.  Let the kimchi age about three days in the refrigerator.


Serve and enjoy!