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Kimchi is one of those foods that some love and others not so much. My departed wife, Youngmi, made excellent kimchi and, that’s how I was introduced to it and grew to love it.

There are two basic kinds of kimchi; fresh or fermented. 

Image by Jason Goh from Pixabay

Fresh kimchi is the kind that you make and begin to enjoy right away. The fermented version you let sit for a few weeks before eating it. My preference is fresh kimchi. 

I found this recipe on Seonkyoung Longest’s website. It’s not exactly like Youngmi’s kimchi but, it’s darned close. Bt the way, Seonkyoung website is my go-to place when I’m looking for a Korean recipe that’s close to what Youngmi would have made.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and make some kimchi!


For the salted cabbage

  • 2½ lb. Napa cabbage
  • 2 cups Cold water
  • ⅓ cup Sempio coarse sea sal

For kimchi paste

  • 5 Cloves garlic
  • 3 or 4 Green onions
  • 4 Tbs. Gochugaru, Korean red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. Fish sauce
  • 2 Tbs. Apricot preserve
  • 1 Tbs. Toasted sesame seed


  • Cut napa cabbage in quarters, and remove the stem. In a large bowl, add the yellow small part of cabbage leaves as whole, and the rest of the bigger leaves cut into about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide then add into the bowl as well. Doesn’t need to be exact sizes uneven-cut cabbage pieces are better for texture.
  • Mix cold water and sea salt until salt has been absorbed; pour over cabbage. Toss cabbage pieces to mix well with salted water and press it down as much as possible. Let it soak for a total of 40 minutes. After 20 minutes, toss upside down so cabbage will soak evenly.

Meanwhile, let’s make kimchi paste

  • Finely chop garlic and cut green onion into half lengthwise then cut into 1 inch long pieces.
  • Add all ingredients for kimchi paste except sesame seeds in a mixing bowl and combine, set aside.
  • Drain salted cabbage and rinse under running cold water for about 1 minute to get rid of excess salt and some dust. Drain completely for about 5 minutes.
  • Combine cabbage and paste in a large mixing bowl and mix with your hand (I recommend you to wear a plastic glove) with gentle pressure and squeeze action, so cabbage will absorb the color and flavor of paste very well.
  • Add toasted sesame seeds and give a light final toss, transfer to a serving plate and serve immediately with some garnish of extra sprinkle sesame seeds.


  1. On the red pepper flakes, keep in mind that not all pepper flakes have the same heat level. We suggest startng with 2 tablespoons of pepper flake and adjust to your liking.
  2. You can store this in your refrigerator for a week or so while still maintaining the fresh taste. Longer that a week, the kimchi will start to ferment. There’s nothing wrong with it but the flavor with change and become more sour.
  3. To store it in the refrigerator, you can use any storage bowl or a mason jar. If you use a plastic storage bowl, keep in mind that the kimchi will most likely stain it and the plastic will absorb the kimchi flavor. We use this container for storing our kimchi.