How To Make Kimchi Like A North Korean

I love kimchi, my first experience with this fermented Korean condiment was in New York working with a food truck called ‘Korilla BBQ’. I still wear the crew's hat six years on. They had kimchi, cucumber, kimchi baby corn, kimchi shredded zucchini and the standard napa / wombok cabbage.

You can go vegan/crustacean friendly with this recipe using red bean curd/miso paste instead of shrimp paste. However, vegan fish sauce contains more chemicals than a bottle of shampoo, so it’s best to get organic quality ingredients without the msg (additive 621). This is an easy recipe and takes very little time to prepare, though allow a few days for it to ferment...

Why Would You Eat Fermented Cabbage?

It's not for the faint hearted. The delicate. Pungent and potent is an understatement. I mean, it has fish sauce. That said, it's as nutritious as it is flavourful. I love dishes with personality that help me out internally.

Kimchi, and all fermented foods, have been trending big time the last few years. The probiotic properties are famous for helping out your digestive system. Fermented foods contain bacteria, yeasts and fungi, which sounds like something that would make you sick, but it's the opposite. These live micro-orgasms represent the home team. They'll fight disease, boost your immune system and improve digestion.

Korean Kimchi Recipe


  • Nappa cabbage - 500g
  • Shrimp paste - 1 teaspoon
  • Daikon radish - 120g
  • Spring (green) onion - 2 bunches
  • Korean red pepper powder - 1/6 cup
  • Fish sauce - 1/8 cup
  • Minced ginger - 1/8 cup
  • Minced garlic - 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Smoked paprika - 1 teaspoon
  • Sea salt - 1/4 cup
  • Water - 2L


  1. Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 2-inch pieces, discarding 
  2. Cover with plastic wrap or a baking sheet and let sit at room temperature for 
  3. Place a colander in the sink, drain the cabbage, and rinse with cold water
  4. Place the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine
  5. Pack the mixture tightly into a clean 500ml glass jar with a tight fitting lid and 
  6. Let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble)
  7. Open the jar and place in a large bowl
  8. Sprinkle with the salt, and toss with your hands until the cabbage is coated
  9. Add enough cold water to just submerge the cabbage for 12-24 hours
  10. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid and transfer to a medium bowl; set aside
  11. Seal the jar to let the gases escape, then reseal and refrigerate at least 48 hours before eating (kimchi is best after fermenting about 1 week)
  12. Refrigerate for up to 1 month

My Serving Suggestions

  • Chopped and folded through omelettes or savoury crepes
  • Grab a few blank steam buns from the grocer, a bit of pulled pork or baked sweet potato, add a pickled radish or two, some sesame seeds, and call them kimchi sliders.
  • Steam some brown rice and mix through a few tablespoons of chopped kimchi, some tomato puree and coriander, serve in a lettuce cup with bean shoots on top; call it 生菜包 or simply san choy bao


image credit: Chow Hound

About Miles

Miles Co-Founded Green Press in 2013. He's worked all over the world, including multiple Michelin Star winning restaurants in New York. After Green Press sold...

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