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Kimchi, Photo by Dennis Evans

Kimchi, Photo by Dennis Evans

Most kimchi recipes follow the same routine—brine or salt the veggies, add ginger, garlic and chilies, allow to ferment (or not) and eat. There’s a reason why it’s Korea’s national dish—it’s tasty.

Recipe courtesy of Simon Thibault (adapted from David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook)


  • 1 head Napa cabbage, cut into pieces about 2.5 cm in size.
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) sugar
  • 20 garlic cloves, minced (yes, 20)
  • 2.5-cm knob of ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) Korean chile flakes, such as kochukaru*
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) soy sauce (preferably Korean or Japanese brands)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) grated root vegetable, such as carrots or Asian radishes
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) fish sauce** (optional)
  • green onions (optional)
*Kochukaru, or Korean chili flakes, give kimchi its distinctive colour and flavour. **Fish sauce is made from fermented anchovies. Clear and pungent smelling, it packs a salty, flavourful punch. Find both items at Asian grocers.


  1. Toss the cabbage with salt and two tablespoons of sugar in a bowl. Let cabbage sit overnight in the fridge, allowing the water to seep out.
  2. Drain the cabbage, squeezing any water out. Reserve this water and set aside the cabbage.
  3. Combine kochukaru*, garlic, ginger, fish sauce (if using), soy sauce and remaining sugar in a blender or food processor. Blend to a smooth paste, adding small amounts of the cabbage water. Spoon mixture into a plastic or non-reactive bowl. Stir the root vegetables or carrots into the paste.
  4. Blend in the cabbage and place the mixture into jars. The kimchi will be ready to eat in 24 hours. It can last for a few weeks in the fridge and will intensify in flavour over time. If you don’t want to wait, serve the kimchi now, drizzled with a little sesame oil and sesame seeds.
This recipe was featured in the article Time in a bottle.
East Coast Living