How to Make Kimchi at Home

Photo by Portuguese Gravity on Unsplash

So, you want to make kimchi at home? Fantastic decision! There’s something truly special about transforming simple ingredients into a complex, gut-friendly masterpiece. Don’t worry if you’ve never fermented anything in your life. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you out. 


  • 1 large Napa cabbage (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup sea salt or kosher salt
  • Water (enough to cover the cabbage)

For the Paste:

  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic (about 5-6 cloves)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (optional for vegetarians, can be replaced with soy sauce)
  • 1-5 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) depending on your spice preference
  • 1 daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 4 green onions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Halve a Napa cabbage lengthwise, then quarter it, removing hard stems. Salt the leaves liberally, submerge in water, and weigh down with a plate for 1-2 hours. Rinse thrice and drain. 
  2. Mix garlic, ginger, sugar, water, fish or soy sauce, and gochugaru, creating a paste Incorporate daikon radish and green onions. 
  3. Squeeze the cabbage dry, and mix with the paste, ensuring coverage for even fermentation. 
  4. Transfer to an airtight jar, making sure that all the vegetables are submerged but leaving an inch of space at the top. 
  5. Ferment at room temperature for 1-5 days, then refrigerate. 
  6. Enjoy fresh or aged, alone or in dishes.