Quick kimchi

Quick kimchi

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins plus 1 hr salting and overnight fermenting, no cook


Makes enough to fill a 1-litre jar, serves 8 as a side

This Korean classic is made by fermenting cabbage and carrots in a tangy, spicy sauce - try this speedy version for a tasty side dish

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (8)

  • kcal42
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs7g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre2g
  • protein1g
  • salt2g
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  • 1 Chinese cabbage
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2½ cm/1in piece ginger, grated



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 2 tbsp sriracha chilli sauce or chilli paste (see below)
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 8 radishes, coarsely grated



    The root of a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy…

  • 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or coarsely grated



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 4 spring onions, finely shredded
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…


  1. Slice the cabbage into 2.5cm strips. Tip into a bowl, mix with 1 tbsp sea salt, then set aside for 1 hr. Meanwhile, make the kimchi paste by blending the garlic, ginger, fish sauce (if using), chilli sauce, sugar and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.

  2. Rinse the cabbage under cold running water, drain and dry thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl and toss through the paste, along with the radishes, carrot and spring onions. Serve straight away or pack into a large jar, seal and leave to ferment at room temperature overnight, then chill. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks - the flavour will improve the longer it's left.

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Comments, questions and tips

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9th May, 2019
Ok, OH is a kimchi lover, I read the comments and did quite a bit of googling but thought for a first stab at Kimchi this looked easy enough and I wanted it for the next day. It may not be authentic but if it tastes good I don't give a hoot. I did however omit the chilli sauce and used 2 tablespoons of Gochugaru chilli flakes, easily available now and more authentic. Well hubby is over the moon, it tastes damned good and is ready for my Korean pork with rice and Kimchi tonight, ta very much.
Nick Elwood
8th Mar, 2019
I lived in Korea for 10 years and have been making kimchi for 20 years. Carrot in kimchi is very, very rare and I have never heard of kimchi being made with chilli sauce or rice vinegar. And traditionally, it always uses fish sauce. Kimchi with chilli sauce sounds as bad as Tesco kimchi paste which was made predominantly with tomato. Koreans always use Korean red pepper powder and absolutely nothing else. Neither have I ever had radish (the British type) in a kimchi. Indeed, this was one vegetable I don't think I ever saw in Korea. On the otherhand, mooli is almost always used and in the UK is best replaced with white turnip. Also, rice flour or flour are used to give the sauce some body though this is probably not universal. Further, putting it in a refrigerator really depends on the ambient temperature and how quickly you want fermentation to take place. It can be eaten immediately and if made with the proper ingredients will actually keep for years. Old kimchi, known as 'shin kimchi', is prized and the perfect kimchi for making stews and soups. I actually made a stew last night using kimchi that has been sitting in a cool part of my house, for 5 months. The flavour doesn't actually improve as it ages rather different people prefer different types of kimchi - the extremes being totally fresh (saeng) and old, transclucent and sour (shin). It is also worth pointing out that kimchi is actually the term for anything up to 200 different types of kimchi and this doesn't include the many regional and family variations. Many vegetables can be kimchi-fied and fermentation is not always a result, as for example in cucumber kimchi. However, in popular useage 'kimchi' refers to napa cabbage kimchi but strictly the above recipe is 'paechu kimchi.' In a jar? Never heard of this. Usually it is stored in a kimchi pot which come in sizes from small to over a meter tall or in a plastic container with a good seal. The kimchi needs pushing down to eliminate air pockets which can produce bad mould (green). Kept for a long period, white mold can grow on the top layer of kimchi but this is simply removed. Paechu kimchi ferments and the plastic container seal will pop-off at regular intervals allowing the kimchi to breath - it is alive. I'm not sure how putting it in a jar with a seal lid will interfere with the fermentation process.
Annie Freeman's picture
Annie Freeman
16th Oct, 2018
Quick and easy, so tasty! I think it's better after a couple of days as the flavours become more intense. Amazing with a donburi!
31st Mar, 2017
This was delicious and not too difficult. I used a mini chopper for the ginger and garlic. I thought it lasted well for the whole two weeks as well.
koolk_2009's picture
15th Apr, 2015
Lovely hot, salty and crunchy textures and flavours. I preferred it fresh as it lost some of its crunchiness after a few days.
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