Huffpost Taste

Classic Napa Baechu Kimchee

Posted: Updated:

Classic Napa Baechu Kimchee

Classic Napa Baechu Kimchee
Quentin Bacon
Provided by:
total prep
Recipe courtesy of Seoultown Kitchen by Debbie Lee/Kyle Books, 2011.
The most common type of kimchee used in stews, fried rice, and stir-frys, the flavors of the chile and garlic really seep into the cabbage over time. My favorite part are the wilted leaves, especially topped on a burger.


  • 2 heads Napa cabbage, quartered lengthwise
  • 1 cup finely ground sea salt
  • 1 Korean daikon, peeled and grated
  • 4 bunches scallions, julienned as thinly as possible
  • 1/4 cup minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup coarse chile pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 2 tablespoons baby salted shrimp (saewoojut)
  • 1 gallon glass jar with an airtight lid


  • In a large mixing bowl, liberally sprinkle each layer of the cabbage leaves with half of the salt. Place each quarter with the outside facing down so that it resembles a boat. Set aside for about 45 minutes.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine the daikon, scallions, garlic, ginger, chile pepper flakes, and salted shrimp, tossing so that all items are well incorporated. Set aside.
  • Rinse each cabbage quarter with water, making sure to rinse between each layer of leaves to get rid of excess salt. Repeat step 1 using the remaining salt. The salting process softens the leaves.
  • Rinse the cabbage one more time then taste a small piece of cabbage leaf. You should be able to taste a very prominent saltiness, but if it is too salty, rinse with water one more time.
  • Take one cabbage quarter at a time and spread a little bit of the daikon mixture on each layer of cabbage leaves, making sure to work toward the core of the cabbage. Then, starting with the core side first, roll each quarter as if you are making a cabbage roll. Place in the jar, making sure to pack the cabbage rolls tightly. Seal tightly with the lid and then cover the top of the jar with plastic wrap to prevent air from entering.
  • Place in a dark cool place for 1 day. Remove the lid and turn the cabbage rolls in the jar so that the top cabbage goes to the bottom and vice-versa. This will allow the kimchee to ferment evenly. Seal the lid and re-wrap with plastic wrap. Place the jar in a cool dark place for another day.
  • Open the jar and taste a small piece of cabbage leaf to check for ripeness. The flavor should demonstrate a bit of acid. If the acid is not prevalent, then let the kimchee chill for one more day to ripen. Slice a cabbage roll one at a time for serving. They will keep for 10 days in the fridge.