Made by soaking cabbage in salt water then coating with a radish filling, baechu kimchi, or simply kimchi, is the most common of all kimchi. Before winter arrives, families get together to make large amounts of kimchi to last through the cold winter. This annual traditional called "gimjang" was designated a UNESCO World Heritage in December 2013.


  • 1 (approx. 2.5kg) napa cabbage

  • 2 cups kosher salt (sub.: sea salt)

  • 2 liters water, 200g radish, 50g green onions


  • 1 cup Korean chili powder

  • 100ml salted anchovy sauce (sub. fish sauce)

  • 3 tbsp salted shrimp sauce (sub.: fish sauce)

  • 4 tbsp sugar, 100ml kelp stock

  • 2 tbsp crushed garlic

  • 1 tbsp ginger juice (Although fish sauce is the best substitute for salted anchovy or shrimp sauce, it is strongly recommended that you try to find the Korean sauces.)


1. Make brine (1 cup kosher salt + 2 liters water) in a large bowl (big enough to fit half a cabbage) then set aside. Peel off outer leaves of cabbage, cut in half then immerse in brine.

2. Remove from brine and sprinkle 1 cup of kosher salt between leaves. Place cut-side of cabbage facing up and let sit for 7 hours (12 hours in winter), then turn cut-side down and let stand for another 5 hours.

3. Rinse cabbage thoroughly in cold water and leave in colander for about 1 hour to drain excess water. (The cabbage needs to be pressed with a heavy plate or board for it to marinate properly. You can also use a plastic bag filled with water.)

4. Make filling. Cut radish into 0.3cm matchsticks, and chives 3cm long.

5. Mix all ingredients in 4 then set aside for about 30 minutes.

6. Coat each leaf of cabbage with filling, then wrap cabbage with outermost leaves to keep filling inside. Pack kimchi into air-tight jar and refrigerate for 5 to 7 days before serving.


The best stories from the Pacific, in your inbox

Sign up for our weekly newsletter of articles from Japan, Korea, Guam, and Okinawa with travel tips, restaurant reviews, recipes, community and event news, and more.

Sign Up Now