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Kim Chi Recipe

Recipe for Kim Chi, a spicy, fermented cabbage Korean side dish that is sometimes spelled kim chee or gimchi. See also more Recipes from Hawaii, about Hawaii Dining and our Hawaii Travel Guide.

Kim Chi is a spicy, fermented cabbage Korean side dish that is sometimes spelled kim chee or gimchi. It is probably the most internationally well-known of all Korean dishes.

The most well known version of kim chi is made with cabbage, but it can also be made using a base of cucumbers, radishes, or scallions, or a combination of those. It is typically seasoned with coarsely ground hot red peppers, green onions, garlic, and ginger, and salt. Sugar is often added to enhance fermentation. In Korea kim chi is often stored in large ceramic crocks that are buried underground until they are needed.


- 2 heads of cabbage
- 1/2 gallon of water
- 1 cup of kosher salt
- 2 (two-inch) pieces of ginger root
- Cloves from 1 bulb of garlic, separated and peeled
- 1 bunch of green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
- A bit of Asian radish and/or mustard greens (optional)
- 1 cup of fish sauce or Korean salted shrimip (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons crushed red chili pepper
- 2 jalapeo chili peppers, minced fine


Coarsely chip the cabbage and mix it in a glass or ceramic bowl with the water and the salt. Let the mixture sit for 3 or 4 hours or overnight.

Finely mince and mix together the garlic, ginger, and fish sauce.

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, mix the green onions radish, mustard greens, garlic mixture, red chili pepper, 1 teaspoon of salt and sugar. Mix thoroughly together.

Remove the cabbage from the water and rinse it thoroughly to remove the excess salt. Drain it in a colendar and squeeze the cabbage to remove as much of the water as possible.

Mix the chopped cabbage with the garlic mixture. Alternatively the cabbage can be cut into quarters or eighths and the spicy mixture can be stuffed between the leaves.

Pack the cabbage mixture tightly into sterile glass jars, pressing down to remove any air bubbles, and cover the kim chi with the reserved juice. Add water if necessary to fill within 3/4 inch of the top of the jar. Cover the tops of the jars with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band.

Ferment the kim chi in a cool place for three days before serving. If you made the kim chi using quarterd cabbage instead of chopped cabbage, serve it sliced. If desired, serve the kim chi topped with a bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds.


(to be added)

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