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Recipes: Make Your Own Kimchi At Home So You're Ready For The Next K-Drama Night

PHOTO: istockphoto

It’s K-drama night, and you’re preparing your snacks. You walk over to your fridge, and *gasp* you have no more kimchi left. You can’t help but feel sad kasi alam mong gugutumin ka while watching!

To make sure na lagi kang may stock sa ref, here are kimchi recipes you can easily make at home:

A small batch of kimchi for your first try

Most kimchi recipes yield big batches but if wala masyadong space sa ref niyo, here's the perfect recipe for you. This particular recipe can fill up two mason jars.


  • 1 head of napa cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp of glutinous rice flour
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 small yellow onion, grated
  • 5 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp of ginger, grated
  • 1/2 of a ripe pear, grated
  • 2 green onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of Korean chili flakes


  1. Take your cabbage and cut it into two-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine your cabbage and carrots and then sprinkle half a cup of salt on 'em before adding water. Let it soak for an hour and a half to two hours. 
  2. While letting it soak, you can make the glutinous paste. Combine the glutinous rice flour and water. Whisk everything together and make sure there are no lumps. Let it sit on medium heat. Towards the end of cooking, add one tablespoon of sugar and continue mixing. Once it turns into a paste, set aside, and let it cool. 
  3. Mix the yellow onion, garlic, ginger, pear, and green onions. Add the cooled rice paste, fish sauce, and Korean chili flakes. Combine everything. 
  4. Once it’s done soaking for two hours, take your vegetables and drain. Combine your flavored paste, and massage it into your vegetables. Make sure everything is well-coated and packed. 
  5. Pack the mixture tightly into a glass container and avoid any air pockets. Cover your lid, and make sure you don’t put it on tightly. Take note: Put a plate or tray under your container to avoid any spills. 
  6. Keep your kimchi to ferment for a day or two. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment, and it'll begin to smell and taste sour. 
  7. Once it has fermented, store it in the ref. This slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more sour overtime.

An easy vegan option

Can’t enjoy kimchi because you’re vegan? Don’t worry, this option includes a substitute for the fish sauce usually included in most recipes. 


  • 1 head napa or savoy cabbage (well-rinsed and with the outermost leaves removed)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup of garlic cloves
  • 1 small white onion
  • 1/2 cup Korean red chili flakes
  • 2 finely-chopped carrots
  • 6 roughly chopped green onions

For the vegan fish sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (from a can)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  1. Rinse and then dry your cabbage. Remove the bottom core (aka the hard white section) with a sharp knife and discard.
  2. Place your cabbage in a large mixing bowl and pack sea salt in between the leaves.  Repeat until you cover all of it. Once you’re done, press down and let it rest for 30 minutes. This draws out moisture from the cabbage and it primes it for the sauce. 
  3. While your cabbage rests, you can start preparing your vegan fish sauce by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine then set aside. 
  4. Prepare your chili sauce: Add fresh ginger, garlic, onion, and red chili flakes to a food processor or blender. Gradually add chili flakes. We recommend starting with three tablespoons and work your way up. Taste and adjust the flavor according to your preference.
  5. Add your vegan fish sauce to the mixture slowly then set aside.
  6. Flip your cabbage. Wash your hands and turn each section of cabbage over so it's facing the opposite side. Compress by packing it down. Repeat this process three more times, with 30 minute intervals.
  7. In the meantime, add your carrots and green onion to a mixing bowl. Add the sauce, stir to combine, cover, then set aside.
  8. If your cabbage is tender and has shrunken down, rinse it with very cold water to remove the excess salt. Dry with paper towels and separate the leaves one by one.
  9. Get your sauce—the one mixed with carrots and green onion—and begin coating each leaf with it. We suggest using gloves for this step because the sauce can irritate sensitive hands.
  10. Once the cabbage is thoroughly coated with sauce, wash your hands and get your sterilized storage container.
  11. With clean hands, place the coated cabbage leaves in the container, and pack them down to ensure there is as little air as possible. Continue until you fill at least 3/4 of the container, then press down very firmly to remove air. Cover with a clean, sterilized lid, and set in a cool, dark cabinet to ferment.
  12. How long you let the kimchi ferment is up to you—some sources suggest keeping it in the cabinet for at least 36 hours. After fermenting, transfer to the refrigerator.
  13. Once your kimchi smells like the ones you’ve bought in the store, you can transfer the container to the refrigerator. The smell is the best indicator of fermentation!
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Source: Minimalist Baker

Spicy carrot kimchi

Looking for a new way to enjoy kimchi? Try this carrot variation! 


  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp kosher or another non-iodized salt
  • 1/2 tsp fish sauce (patis) or soy sauce
  • 3/4 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1/4 pound daikon radish, peeled
  • 1 scallion, white parts and some of the green, chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp grated, fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste


  1. Dissolve the salt in the filtered water, not tap water because most tap water contain chlorine and other chemicals that can interfere with the fermentation process. Stir in the fish or soy sauce.
  2. Finely chop the carrots and daikon radish into matchstick-size pieces. 
  3. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, daikon radish, grated ginger, chopped scallion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Place them into a clear glass container after. 
  4. Pour the brine over the other ingredients. To release any air bubbles, press gently on the mixture. The brine should completely cover the other ingredients. Once the vegetables are immersed in the brine, just cover the jar loosely with a lid.
  5. Since it may overflow while it ferments, place the jar of kimchi on a small plate to catch any excess fluid. Leave it at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours.
  6. Remove the lid and check the kimchi after the first 24 hours. You should start to see some bubbles and it will begin to develop a slightly sour smell.
  7. Once it starts fermenting, transfer the jar to the door of your refrigerator.  It's the perfect place for your kimchi as it is the warmest part of your refrigerator—the temperature is just enough for your kimchi to keep fermenting.

Source: The Spruce Eats

Radish kimchi

Aside from carrots and cabbages, you can also use radish to make kimchi. And tbh, sobrang sarap nito


  • 1.1kg (2.5 pounds) Korean radish (or other varieties of white daikon radish), rinsed and skin peeled
  • 3 stalks green onion, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp raw sugar
  • 2 tbsp rock salt

For the kimchi base:

  • 1/2 small brown onion (70g) skin peeled, cut into small pieces to blend
  • 1/2 small red apple (50g) seed and core removed, cut into small pieces to blend
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce 
  • 1 tbsp, garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 4 tbsp Korean chili flakes (gochugaru)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp glutinous malagkit rice flour


  1. Cut the radish into medium sized cubes—keep in mind that the radish will shrink as it ferments. In a large mixing bowl, add the cubed radish into a large mixing bowl together with sugar and salt. Mix well and leave it for one hour at room temperature.
  2. While waiting, roughly chop the green onion and make the kimchi base. In a blender, mix the onion, apple, and fish sauce. 
  3. Then, you can make the rice porridge by mixing the water and the rice flour in a bowl and heating it up for one min in the microwave. You should end up with a mildly runny poridge texture.
  4. Mix all the kimchi base ingredients—except for the Korean chili flakes—in a medium-sized bowl.
  5. After one hour, rinse the radish in cold running water a couple of times and drain the excess water.
  6. Place the radish into a clean mixing bowl and add the chili flakes.
  7. Add the chopped green onion and the kimchi base. Combine and incorporate all ingredients thoroughly.
  8. Move the kimchi into an airtight glass container and leave it at room temperature for six to 24 hours, depending on the temperature. Move it to the fridge after fermentation. 

Source: My Korean Kitchen

Bonus: Kimchi fried rice

Now that you have kimchi, you can enjoy it with your favorite dishes. You can even use it to make some kimchi fried rice!


  • 6 strips bacon, (use honeycured bacon), sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups kimchi, diced
  • 4 cups white rice, cooled
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 egg, cooked sunny-side up
  • Green onion


  1. Fry the bacon over medium heat. Stir occasionally until it's cooked thoroughly and it loses fat. 
  2. Add your homemade kimchi and sautee for three minutes. 
  3. Incorporate your rice, and mix until everything is coated in kimchi and it has become orange in color. 
  4. Sprinkle salt, depending on your preference. Before turning off the heat, add sesame oil and let the butter melt. Mix well. 
  5. You can now serve your kimchi rice! Top it with a fried egg, sesame seeds, and green onions. Enjoy!



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