Tuesday, 6 April 2021

My Delicious Easy Homemade Kimchi

This is something stinky but nowhere near the smelliness of stinky tofu. I left a small batch to ferment (for cooking kimchi jigae) for two days and my kitchen smelled as if I did not clear the rubbish bin for a few days hee..hee...

The last time I made kimchi was last year. I have exhausted all my supply but did not make anymore. Then suddenly I craved for kimchi

During my grocery run, I went to the kimchi section at Aeon.

Aiyo. So expensive, kah

I settled for the small portions which were more affordable. At that moment I resolved to make my own kimchi again. Don't be lazy!

Making kimchi is not difficult but it is time consuming. Most of that time is taken up by waiting for the salted cabbage to release excess water. So I must choose a day when I am free with no time constraints. 

I bought two heads of Napa cabbage, total weight approximately 2.3kg. I also bought one small daikon and a bunch of spring onions.

I cut the cabbage into bite sizes and sprinkled with salt, tossing every 30 minutes for 2 hours.

As time passed by, the cabbage released a lot of water and shrank. At the end of the 2 hours, I rinsed the cabbage and let it stand to drain.

Meanwhile, I made the base for the kimchi paste.

Tip : Mix the glutinous flour in a small vessel first.
It is difficult to dissolve if you try to do it directly in the saucepan.

It is simply a mixture of glutinous rice powder, sugar and water. This is boiled until the mixture thickens and becomes like glue. It is then taken off the flame and cooled completely. This mixture is referred to as porridge, so I shall use that terminology.

Then I blended one yellow onion, one whole bulb of garlic (16 cloves) and ginger.

As you can see, I let the cabbage drain by tilting the colander over a bowl as I feel it makes the drainage more efficient. Every 30 minutes or so, I check the bowl and throw the drained water away. The cabbage is ready when there is minimal water pooled in the bowl. 

The process is clockwise from bottom left

To make the kimchi paste, the blended onion/garlic/ginger is mixed with the porridge and gochugaru (Korean chili flakes). 

Carrot and daikon (which have been cut into matchsticks) and spring onions are added and mixed into the paste. After that the cabbage is added bit by bit and mixed thoroughly. I find this process very therapeutic. 

Once  everything is mixed in, you get a big tub of deliciousness.

I love to eat kimchi that is freshly made. I prefer it compared to fermented kimchi. So I keep the freshly made kimchi in the fridge and do not allow it to ferment (it will ferment slowly in the fridge). That way I can enjoy fresh (unfermented) kimchi for at least 10-14 days. 

Recently I gave in to my blood lust for Korean glasslock containers. Cannot tahan.

These containers come in a set of two - one 2000ml and one 1500ml jar. I bought two sets.

My kimchi filled up two 2000ml jars.

To assist in filling up the jars, I used one of my favorite kitchen tools - the canning funnel. It is very useful when filling up bottles with rolled oats, granola, sugar etc.

These two jars fit nicely into my fridge.

I can now enjoy my kimchi slowly and if the kimchi is fermented and pungent before I can finish my stock, I can use it to cook my favorite kimchi jigae.

I have been tweaking the recipe and now I can transfer the recipe which I have been scribbling on a used envelope (which is stained with kimchi paste hah..hah...) to this blog.

I am a lot more confident now making my own kimchi. There is really no hard and fast rules.

Perhaps I can come up with a smaller batch recipe so that I don't have to make a whole lot when the craving hits.

Easy Kimchi
Recipe source : Adapted from Maangchi

Ingredients :
- 2.5kg Napa cabbage, rinsed and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 small daikon, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 1 bunch of spring onions, cut into one inch pieces

For kimchi paste :
- 4 tbsp glutinous rice flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 cups water (500ml)

- 1/2 thumb sized ginger
- 16 cloves garlic
- 1 small yellow onion

- 2 cups gochugaru (or less if you prefer less spicy)
- 3/4 cup fish sauce (if vegetarian, use soy sauce and adjust to your own taste)

Method :
1. In a large mixing bowl, put a layer of the cut Napa cabbage and sprinkle with salt. Add another layer and repeat until all your cabbage fills up the bowl (if you don't have a large mixing bowl, do it in a few bowls).
2. Every 30 minutes, toss the cabbage using your hands. This ensures even salting. Repeat 4 times.
3. Rinse the salted cabbage about 3 times to remove the salt and drain in a colander.
4. While the cabbage is draining, make the porridge.
5. Put 2 cups of water into a small saucepan.
6. Dissolve the 4 tbsp of glutinous flour in a small bowl first using some of the water that your poured into the saucepan.
7. Then add the dissolved glutinous flour into the saucepan, add sugar and stir.
8. Heat up the saucepan and stir constantly until the liquid comes to a boil and forms a gluey mixture.
9. Take off the heat and allow to cool completely.
10. Meanwhile, blend the ginger, garlic and onion.
11. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the cooled porridge and blended ingredients. Then add gochugaru and fish sauce and stir to mix evenly.
12. Add the cut daikon, carrot and spring onion and mix until well blended.
13. Then add the well drained cabbage bit by bit and mix until all the cabbage is well coated with the paste.
14. Transfer the kimchi into air tight containers and leave the containers at room temperature for 24 hours or 48 hours depending on how sour you want it to be.
15. If you prefer to keep the kimchi fresh for longer, store in the fridge and only ferment the amount that you want to consume.


  1. No cincaluk? They add those fermented shrimps in Korea! Never mind! I am staying far far away from it, anyway. LOL!!!

    1. Did you read my mind or what? I actually bought a bottle of cincaluk and when I tried up remove the cap, there was a whole lot of gas coming out and bubbling and the SMELL!! I threw out the whole bottle (carefully wrapped of course) LOL!!

  2. Yum yummy! 😋😋😋Love the kimchi! You can make kimchi pancakes too. So pandai, u know how to make your own kimchi.

    1. Oh yah, I forgot about kimchi pancakes LOL!

  3. wah...new batch of kimchi!!! haha....kimchi definitely smell better than stinky tofu....Does both of ur cats shy away from the kitchen while u were eating this?

    1. Agreed! My cats don't come begging for food when kimchi is on the table. LOL!

  4. Your home made kimchi looks beautiful and yummy but I still do not know how to enjoy kimchi yet.

    1. It's an acquired taste and it took me some time before I could appreciate the taste of kimchi.

  5. RM58 for a small tub of kimchi? Then I read how much work goes into the making of kimchi. Luckily, I'm not a fan...both in terms of cost and effort...hah..hah. Those huge glasslock containers must have cost you a bomb! Somehow, my glasslock containers are my least favourite as I find their covers are difficult to close (or maybe I was unlucky to get misaligned ones). P/S: I recently googled mason jars as I was looking for jars to store stock and realised that original mason jars from US can easily cost RM50 (500ml)! :O I thought mason was just the name for the wide-mouthed jars and didn't know that it's a brand (and that there are many knock-offs in the market)! O_o

    1. hah..hah... The glasslock containers were RM98 per set of two. Since they were the last two sets available, I sapu all. Now, about the covers of glasslock containers - I have no problem with the Korean glasslock brand but other brands, yes, I also experience difficulty in closing the covers as they don't fit perfectly. I have to turn the cover 90 or 180 dgrees before it can close and clip.

      Like you, I used to think that Mason jar is just a name for those type of jars. Mine are recycled from the Classico pasta sauce jars.

  6. Hi PH, if you happen to love unfermented kimchi, maybe you can try out geotjeori instead. From my understanding, that's a type of fresh kimchi that's meant to be eaten within a day or two and hence, the salting time for the veggies are cut down too

    1. Ah yes, I have tried geotjeori, thanks but this can't keep long. So I prefer to make kimchi instead.

  7. hi, may i know what brand of fish sauce please, thank you

    1. I use the Vietnamese fish sauce that is easily available. I don't seem to see any Koreans ones at my regular supermarket.

  8. My son also make his own kimchi and he thought of making business selling them... hahaha... but I think he is just kidding... I only eat kimchi when he is around cos he will do the cooking...

    1. I remember you mentioned that in one of your blog post. Good lah, you have your son to make kimchi for you. No need to bersusah payah like me. I also see many sellers on Lazada selling homemade kimchi.

  9. I'm not a heavy eater of kimchi, so I think store bought is just fine for me.
    Both my sisters are "addicted" to that Glasslock containers and they own so many of them in various sizes and shapes. LOL

  10. bookmarking this page forever!! thanks for sharing.