Homemade Kimchi In One Week

Homemade Kimchi In One Week

This is not a water bath ("canning") recipe, this is a super simple, counter-top fermentation process. You'll need a one quart Mason jar (or Ball brand) and a Ball brand "Fermentation Lid and Spring". If you like fermented foods, you're going to get hooked on homemade Kimchi.


2 large heads of Napa cabbage
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
1 large carrot, grated
1 bunch of scallions, whites and part of the greens, sliced
1 Tbsp. Korean chili pepper flakes (add more or less, to your taste)
1 tsp. sugar


Slice the cabbage into quarters, rinse well under cold water. Remove the core and slice into 2 inch ribbons. Place in a large bowl with 2 Tbsp. of Kosher salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage, squeezing to release the liquid. Pound with a tamp-tool or the back of a wooden spoon to break up the fibers. Cover and let sit for two hours.

Then add all of the remaining ingredients to the cabbage and use your hands to mix well. Do not discard the water, this is your brine.

Use your hands to tightly pack the cabbage mixture into the Mason jar, tamp it down firmly. I use a Masontops brand wooden tamp-tool pictured here, but you can use whatever works to pack the cabbage tightly. Pour the liquid collected in the bowl over the Kimchi. Leave two inches of head space.

Place the Ball brand spring on top of the cabbage and then twist on the Ball brand fermentation lid. Make certain the Kimchi is completely submerged in the brine. If you need additional brine, dissolve 1 tsp. of salt in one cup of filtered water.

Cover the jar with a cloth and leave it on the counter. Check the jar daily to make sure the Kimchi remains submerged in the brine. Brine may ooze from the valve in the lid, so you might want to place the jar in a bowl.

Let the Kimchi ferment for five days, then taste it. If you like the mild, tangy flavor, the Kimchi is done. If you like a stronger flavor, ferment for up to one additional week, tasting every three days. When the flavor is to your liking, remove the spring and fermentaion lid and cover with a standard lid.

Store your Kimchi in the fridge for up to six months.


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