My Wife Is Not A Korean, But She Likes To Prepare This –Korean Kimchee



I can’t remember exactly when was the first time I ate Kimchi. But it must be very recent! What I can remember is the time when Singapore and Malaysia was flooded with Korean Drama series, possibly 10 years ago? Until now, I still refused to say that Kimchi is my favorite for its strong garlic smell. However, my wife is a Kimchi fanatic and she had learned to make Kimchi from a website which she can’t remember the source now. In addition, she had modified the recipe over her many years of preparing this. She started making Kimchi for herself, her friends, families relatives and neighbours and 2 years ago, she shared this recipe with my neighbour. As my neighbour has lot of connections in wet markets and she started preparing it and gave it to friends, other stall owners and her employees. Apparently, the recipe is good and more and more of her connections asked for her kimchee. Now, she usually make few times a year and when she made, it will be about 4-5 big Napa vegetables.. As you need to ferment the vegetables for at least 3 days and her sons can’t stand the strong garlic “aroma” all over her house, it usually ended up that the fermentation process was done in my house…


For purposes of this illustration,  it was requested by me, coincided with my neighbour’s intention of preparing a batch this week and concurred by my wife to be hands on this time. The fermentation period is due today. Therefore, I will have to quickly take the pictures, issue this post before the kimchee are given away. For this batch, we have prepared 5 big plants of Napa vegetables.


For my international readers, what is Kimchi? Kimchi is Korea’s national dish. It is slightly sour and spicy full of garlic aroma. Kimchi  is believed to aid in digestions, possible inhibitions of cancerous growth and rich in lactic acid bacteria, Vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, iron and beta carotene. and therefore, it was dominated as one of the World’s Healthiest Foods by the Health Magazine.  As usual, I will refer reader to Wikipedia’s definition:

Kimchi (Korean: 김치 Korean pronunciation: [kimtɕʰi]; English pronunciation: /ˈkɪmtʃi/), also spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is often described as “spicy” or “sour”.  In traditional preparation Kimchi was often allowed to ferment underground in jars for months at a time. It 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.[5] Kimchi is also a main ingredient for many Korean dishes such as kimchee stew (김치찌개; kimchee jjigae), kimchee pancake (김치부침게; kimchijeon), kimchee soup (김칫국; kimchiguk), and kimchee fried rice (김치볶음밥; kimchee bokkeumbap).”



Servings (1 large size Napa about 2 kg)


  • 1 large Napa cabbage about 2 kg – Cut into halves (not in picture)
  • 1 radish about 1 kg – cut into matchstick size of 0.5cm x 0.5 cm x 4 cm (not in picture)
  • 4 stalks of spring onions chopped diagonally
  • 1 cups of chives chopped into smaller pieces
  • 2 cups of leek cut into small pieces
  • 0.5 cup of salt
  • 2 cups of chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup of fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of minced ginger
  • 1/2 cups of minced onions


  • 1/2 cup of rice four
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • Water (adequate water to make a sticky starch)

Depending on your preference, if you like more Kimchi sauce, you can have more water to make it less sticky. This recipe is rather wet as both my wife and my neighbour loves the Kimchi paste for preparing cuisines such as fried rice, noodles and etc..




  • Cut the radish into matchstick size and the Napa cabbage into half. Marinate the cabbage and radish with salt for 2 hours. Make sure that every leaf is rubbed with the salt and ensure that the stems get more salt than the leaves. Also ensure that the Napa cabbage centre face upwards during the fermentation. After 2 hours, turn to the Napa cabbage and radishes and let it soaked in the salty vegetable juices secreted from the first 2 hours. Let it marinate for another 2 hours. After 4 hours, rinse the Napa cabbage and radishes in cold water and manually squeeze out as much water as possible. Set aside.


  • In a sauce pan, make a solution of rice flours by mixing 1/2 cups of flour with 3 cups of water. Note that this is an estimation and you can always add more water if it is too sticky. Cook under medium heat and when it starts to boil (bubbles start to emit), add in sugar and boil for another minute to let it dissolve. Set aside and let it cool. Once cool, add in fish sauce, chilli powder, minced ginger, minced garlic, minced onion and mix well.


  • Add in chopped leek, spring onions, chives, marinated radishes and mix well.


  • Spread the kimchee paste evenly on each Napa cabbage leaf and ensure the Napa cabbage centre is facing up. Let it ferments for at least 2 days or when the taste of the Kimchi paste become sour. After 12 hours of the first fermentation, turn the Napa cabbage and spread again the Kimchi paste into the leaves again. Do the same for every 12 hours. When the Kimchi have lots of bubble and smell sour, it is considered as done. Store in an air tight container and can keep for months (since this is a preserve vegetables). Can serve as a side dish or use for making of Korean cuisines.



Among my circle of girl friends and my wife’s friends, most of them like this, possibly because of it is spicy and sour. While I know that this may be a niche cuisine, I am sure some of the readers may be looking for this recipe. Since my wife has always been complimented for her Kimchi, I thought I might as well share this recipe with my readers. As per my wife and neighbour, they are totally satisfied this batch that they have made. Lastly, preparing Kimchi have lots of variations and error tolerances, start with this batch and for the second batch, you will know how you want to adjust the ingredients to suit your taste buds.


Hope you like the post today, cheers.

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kimchi collage

15 thoughts on “My Wife Is Not A Korean, But She Likes To Prepare This –Korean Kimchee

  1. Kenneth, I’ve never tried anything like this before but it sounds incredible and your directions are wonderful. It looks beautiful and sounds so flavorful. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

  2. My husband just came back from working in South Korea for months. Kimchee was served at every meal. It is an acquired taste, but I will be able to make it for him now. Thank you for posting this with such detailed directions!

  3. Hi Kenneth! I’ve heard of Kimchee, but never tried it! Pinning this and I have Buffered this to share on Facebook! Thanks so much for linking up to All My Bloggy Friends this week – I hope you have a great weekend!

  4. Pingback: Updated Recipe Index (19.11.2013) | GUAI SHU SHU

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