Introduction: How to Make Kimchi

Picture of How to Make Kimchi

For this instuctable I am going to show you how to make, the benefits of & science behind Kimchi . It's cooking science :) Hope You enjoy.

Step 1: The Benefits of Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean delicacy which is made from vegetables including cabbage and a range of spices and seasonings. It is the national dish of Korea and has been a staple of their food since ages.

Health benefits of kimchi include improved cardiovascular health and digestive system. It is loaded with antioxidants which help prevent and facilitate healing in medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, obesity, atopic dermatitis and gastric ulcers. The flavonoids and probiotics-rich kimchi helps to combat aging, maintain healthy levels of cholesterol and strengthen the immune system.

Kimchi is a low-calorie, high fiber and nutrient –packed side dish, which includes a range of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin C. Kimchi is also rich in essential amino acids and minerals such as iron, calcium, selenium. Kimchi provides an additional benefit of probiotics as well in the form of lactobacillus bacteria. Lactobacillus bacteria present in Kimchi is valuable against yeast infections. It contains numerous healthful components including capsaicin, chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids and isothiocyanates with low amount of fat and sugar.

Kimchi possesses anti-mutagenic, anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic properties. The American healthmagazine has ranked kimchi among the world’s five healthiest foods. The wealth of strong antioxidants and healthy bacteria in kimchi encourages the production of collagen which aids in improving skin elasticity, retarding skin aging and promotes healthy and youthful skin. Kimchi helps to combat nutrient depletion and helps build stamina .

Step 2: The Science Behind

Kimchi uses lactic acid fermentation:

Lactic acid fermentation is a biological process by which glucose and other six-carbon sugars converted into cellular energy and the metabolite lactate. It is an anaerobic fermentation reaction that occurs in some bacteria Lactic acid fermentation is used in many areas of the world to produce foods that cannot be produced through other methods (like yogurt and sauerkraut)

Step 3: What You Need

Picture of What You Need


• 1 medium head napa or green cabbage
• 1 bunch of green onions
• 1 cup carrots
• 1-2 TBS ginger root
• 3-6 cloves of garlic
• 1/2 tsp. (or more depending on taste) red pepper flakes
• 1 TBS sea salt
• 1/4 cup water


• Large mixing bowl
• Small mixing bowl
• 1/2 gallon Mason jar
• 1/4 cup measuring
• knife
• grater
• cutting board
• garlic mincer
• cloth (or plastic wrap to cover large bowl)

Step 4:

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First chop the green onions, and shred the cabbage. Then grate your carrots and ginger. And mince your garlic.

Step 5: Combine the Ingredients

Picture of Combine the Ingredients

Now combine all of your ingredients in your big bowl and mix. Now cover for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes wash your hands and squeeze and mash the ingredients so it gets all juicy.

Step 6:

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Now transfer all of the ingredients into your Mason jar and press it down so all the juice comes to the top covering the Kimchi (make sure to leave 1 inch of space at the top). Put lid on tightly and let sit on your kitchen counter for 3-7 days (every day open the lid to release some of the gasses). Test after Day 3 for desired doneness. It should have a pickled taste. The level of “done-ness” you like and the level of sourness you like are individual preferences. When done, store it in your refrigerator. Kimchi can last for up to 2 to 3 years in your refrigerator. You’ll know if it’s finally gone bad if there is mold or if it tastes somewhat tart and fizzy. But if you're like me and you love it, it probably won't last more than a few days. I would suggest starting another batch on your counter as soon as you put one in the refrigerator because you'll never want to be without it.

I hope you enjoyed this instructable, and don't forget to vote :)


800nebula008 (author)2015-02-28

i never saw carrots in kimchi my whole life...

There are many different Kimchi recipes.

fasteddy999 (author)2015-02-10

Put lid on tightly and let sit on your kitchen counter for 3-7 days. You my dear are asking for a dangerous mess. The process gives off CO2 and could cause the jar to explode.

one step does include opening the jar briefly each day to release built up gases

wonstoneyoo (author)2015-02-12

As a Korean, I appreciate
your Kimchi recipe.

By the way, where is the
salting process of cabbage?

It would be salted about
12 hours.

in step 5 it is all salted for 30 minutes

Cant Hardly (author)2015-02-11

No salted shrimp or fish sauce?

michael.oxman.1 (author)2015-02-08

The reason I could never eat much of the Kimchi I had available at the Korean places near me was because the spice was way over my tolerance. Can I make it without pepper or is that an essential component? It never occurred to ask. thanks in advance!!

It is essential for the taste, but you can make it without. It will still taste good, just different. You can also use a mild dried pepper instead.

MeltemiX (author)michael.oxman.12015-02-11

White kimchi is made without the addition of red pepper.

I think you can make it without the pepper. I will look it up to make sure, and get back to you soon.

AlejandraG1 (author)2015-02-10

I'll make it :). What is the kind of food you use to accompany this recipe?

I just like to eat mine plain :)

hoppenheim (author)AlejandraG12015-02-11

I love it straight or on a burger. I prefer mine fizzy though. It is also great to use in rice and i use some juice in the rice also when making it.

Jash (author)2015-02-10

I've been very supportive of this post (yay kimchi!) but you really really really really really really really really really really should not tell people to lid this tightly! It's like asking them to make a bomb. I've seen many ferments explode! You can lid it loosely and/or "burp" it FREQUENTLY. Another option is to cover it with a tight-weave cloth that is rubber-banded around the top.

Mysterious_Gal (author)Jash2015-02-11

Sorry for that I forgot to add that in. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I will add it to my instuctable, & yes I do open the lid once a day. Thanks again :)

papakent (author)2015-02-11

I am a new visitor to this post, But yes I misspelled Viet cong, vietnam, vietnom, C H I nese, N orth K orean, But none the less, we all need to take a self-ee.

papakent (author)2015-02-10

This is a very fine recipe, for the nay sayers, the real process of kimchi is to go out back, dig a hole, submerge a clay pot, (with a lid).. mix all the ingredients, replace the lid and wait for weeks before consuming. oh wait! viet nom didn't have refridgerators or electricy in the sixties. Get a kimchi made modern.

MeltemiX (author)papakent2015-02-11

I assume you are trying to wrute Vietnam on a post about the national dish of Korea.

You were saying?

Apnea (author)2015-02-10

this isn't kimchi. its too white. add more 唐辛子

SeanChan (author)Apnea2015-02-10

1/2 tsp. (or more depending on taste) red pepper flakes

adadco (author)2015-02-10

Easy to make now I have the hard part, waiting 3 days.


Mysterious_Gal (author)adadco2015-02-10

That is always hard :) when you make it show me a picture.

cw87 (author)2015-02-10

I know that we have a "be nice" policy, so please don't be offended by this.

I spent a year in Korea, and to a Georgia boy, the body odor and breath of some of my frinds was overwhelming. you may not notice it yourself, but if you eat kimchi on a regular basis, you might ask your friends if they notice a odor.

i have eaten kimchi on occasion, and do like it , but could not make it a regular part of my diet. Peace be with you.

Mysterious_Gal (author)cw872015-02-10

I am not offended. I know that it can make you smell funny, but I don't get to eat a lot because I have to share it with my family :) Thanks for the advice.

icelandinthesun (author)2015-02-10

could i use red cabbage as well?

Yes you can. There are many different ways to make kimchi. This is just one.

nliwilson (author)2015-02-10

Great, thanks. :)

I love Kimchi and I don't mean the watered down nonsense you usually get here in the UK. I will have a go with your recipe and thanks again. :)

Mysterious_Gal (author)nliwilson2015-02-10

Awesome :)

nathanaloysiusbash (author)2015-02-10

Good job. Did this get featured? I voted for you in the on a budget contest.

Yes I got featured. Thanks so much :)

papakent (author)2015-02-10

The ancient way of kinchi created a more intense fermented version of its modern predeceser. the fermentation in fact has the healing qualities of drinking a glass of wine in todays customs.chinese cabbage was grown in a swampy soil, richer in nutrients, as compared to th produce grown today full of fertilizers and insecticides.

Jash (author)2015-02-10

I am not sure who's credentials you are questioning, someone commenting or the OP but the health benefits of kimchi are not really up for debate. They have been known for a very long time and any type of search through medical databases will show you the numerous studies. Some databases require a sign-up or that you be affiliated with a university or hospital but even using free searches such as Google Scholar you can find thousands of search results from scholarly/medical sources discussing the benefits. The proof has been out there for a very long time! If you're pondering a specific benefit you can search for kimchi + anti-mutagenic, kimchi + anti-bacterial, kimchi + anti-carcinogenic and so on. Thousands of results. If you want even more results you can leave out the specific word "kimchi" and simply search for the benefits of lacto fermented foods. To get even more specific you can research the different bacterial strains commonly found in fermented foods and then search out their benefits individually - hundreds of thousands of results!

Jash (author)2015-02-10

This is a great post but these comments are alllll over the place!

Any color of cabbage can be used. You don't even have to use cabbage at all!

Any combination of vegetables can be used, radish, carrot, anything!

As for those saying this is not kimchi - you are incorrect, kimchi is lacto-fermented pickled vegetables. The word comes from "soaked vegetables" but the soaking can be done during the fermentation process it does not need to be pre-brined as the vegetables release natural fluids as their cell walls break down. Adding water would only dilute this. Brine is not what makes it kimchi. Using a brine allows you to use less salt so it is more frugal and to those watching sodium intake "more healthy". There are, honestly, THOUSANDS of ways to make kimchi - no one right way. One can say "this is not how I learned to make it" or "this is not how my ancestors did it" but not that it's "wrong".

Armagedoom (author)2015-02-10

Thank you for this. My gf is Korean and she told me that Kimchi is only done with asian cabbage. Also, it needs to be soaked in salty water for 8 hours before doing it, and it uses a flour cream mashup that you didn't use and takes long to cook.

But all that requires a ton of time, and I love to make things quick in the kitchen.

Do you think this recipe contains all the benefits that traditional kimchi recipe contains? Because this one is well different.

Im not asking to criticize, but to try and replace our recipe with this one, because it takes to cook like one tenth of the time!!!

Jash (author)Armagedoom2015-02-10

Once cooked it is no longer kimchi, technically speaking. It also loses most of the health benefits. There are thousands of ways to make it and no real right or wrong method.

Armagedoom (author)Jash2015-02-10

thanks Jash

locowoman5777 (author)2015-02-10

Do u have to put theginger in it ti get the best health benifits or would it b ok not useing it? I am not a fan of ginger.

Jash (author)locowoman57772015-02-10

Ginger is optional.

kooter (author)2015-02-10

Good instructable. Lots of benefits from a healthy diet, "we are what we eat" and strong food makes for a strong body.

Been eating our kimchi homemade recipe for a couple of years now. Enjoy it, our method is a bit different. The nappa cabbage is brined before mixing in the other ingredients. We don't make it too spicy, just enough garlic, ginger to give it a bit of a bite.

Love the kimchi style of food and the associated health benefits. Keep cooking!

harveyo (author)2015-02-10

I do think the benefits are overhyped a bit. How can you have probiotic properties and antibiotic properties?

mrmagica (author)harveyo2015-02-10

it's uber tasty though : )

icelandinthesun (author)2015-02-10

could i use red cabbage as well?

JENNIEO34 (author)2015-02-08

Definitely going to try this. A healthy gut is my goal for 2015. I'm 6.5yrs diagnosed with MS and think getting my gut healthy is going to be a game changer. Thanks!

Mysterious_Gal (author)JENNIEO342015-02-08

Great. Good luck :)

parrish (author)2015-02-01

Where do you get those jars I couldn't find them locally

james.allen.1426 (author)parrish2015-02-08

Walmart carries canning jars with replacement tops to reuse the jars...

Mysterious_Gal (author)parrish2015-02-01

I got mine at Ace Hardware. they will order the for you if they are out of stock for no extra charge. And they will come on the next truck :)

jdesilva made it! (author)2015-02-03

Sooo good! Thanks for this great instructable!

Mysterious_Gal (author)jdesilva2015-02-04

No problem. glad you made it :)

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