Kim Chi – a Korean masterpiece

Kim chi (Korean: 김치;  /ˈkɪmtʃi/), also spelled gimchi, kimchee, or kim chee, is a traditional fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.

This is Korea’s national dish, and there are hundreds of varieties made with a main vegetable ingredient such as napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber. Kimchi is also a main ingredient for many Korean dishes such as kimchi stew (김치찌개; kimchi jjigae), kimchi soup (김칫국; kimchiguk), and kimchi fried rice (김치볶음밥; kimchi bokkeumbap).

Here is my version of this classic dish:

Cut the cabbage in half, cutting vertically and then cut into quarters. Cut out the hard stem and the cut each quarter in half. Separate the leaves and soak in water with three quarters of a cup of salt for 5-6 hours, preferably in a fridge.

While the cabbage is soaking in brine, place the red chillies, fish sauce, onion, cored apple, cored Chinese pear, garlic and ginger in a blender and process until the ingredients have formed a paste.

Place the rice flour, sugar and half a cup of water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil so that the rice flour thickens into a paste. Combine the rice paste with the other ingredients in the blender.

Add the chopped green spring onions and radish cut into match sticks.

When the cabbage is ready, drain the brine and rinse three times in fresh water.

Mix the cabbage and kim chi paste and leave to stand in a kim chi pot (or a large plastic rectangular container) for 2-3 days. Make sure that the container is deep enough to allow for the expansion that will take place as the kim chi begins to ferment.

When the fermentation has stopped, place the kim chi in a large Kilner jar and store in a fridge. The kim chi should last several weeks.

see also for a great 7000 guide to the health benefits of kimchi.



1 large size Chinese cabbage
1 Mooli radish
½ cup of salt
1/4 cup  sweet rice flour, 1/4 cup sugar, water
4 red chillis
1 cup fish sauce
1 apple (cored)
1 Chinese pear
1 medium sized onion
1 cup of  fresh garlic
4 inches of peeled ginger root
7 stalks of green onions, chopped diagonally
2 cups worth Buchu (Asian chives), chopped
2 cups of matchstick-cut radish


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