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Baechu Kimchi Recipe

Try this baechu kimchi recipe for an introduction to the many different tastes of kimchi, a Korean staple which is sure to be yours!

| March 2019


(One) recipe for kimchi (baechu kimchi)

 There are many different recipes for kimchi, so keep your mind open and feel free to add or take away as your taste buds dictate – this is a ‘ferm’ favourite.

Preparation time: 2 hours–overnight

Fermentation time: 5+ normal days or 3 hot days

Equipment: 2 L (68 fl oz) jar, pounder (optional), your chosen lidding system


  • 2 wombok (Chinese cabbages)
  • 5–6 tablespoons salt
  • 65 g (2-1/4 oz/1 cup) sliced spring onions (scallions)
  • 155 g (5-1/2 oz/1 cup) grated daikon (white radish)
  • 155 g (5-1/2; oz/1 cup) grated carrot
  • 1–2 nashi pears, sliced (optional; see notes)

 Kimchi paste (gochujang)

  • 4 garlic bulbs or 20–40 peeled garlic cloves (see notes)
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) fresh ginger, unpeeled
  • 1 cup gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) fish sauce (see notes)
  • 110 g (4 oz/ 1/2 cup) organic raw (demerara) sugar (see notes) 
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/ 1/2 cup) tamari or light soy sauce


  1. Remove and discard the outer leaves of the wombok if they are damaged or discoloured. Wash the wombok, slice lengthways into quarters, then chop these lengths into bite-sized pieces. Place the chopped wombok into a large bowl, sprinkle with the salt and mix well. Let it sit for a few hours, or even overnight if you’ve room in your fridge.
  2. Blend the kimchi paste ingredients (minus the sugar if you’re adding the pears) into a paste.
  3. Drain the cabbage, add the other vegetables (and the pears if you omitted the sugar from the paste) and mix your paste through the vegetables well. You may want to put some gloves on for this, because you really need to get in there and mix it all in and around.
  4. You could keep this in the bowl, covered, to ferment, but I prefer to jar it. Push the vegetables down quite firmly with your fist or a pounder. You should easily have enough juice to cover all of the vegetables, so you won’t need to weigh them down (see notes about headroom). Seal with your chosen lidding system.
  5. Leave the jar on your bench for a few days. It should start to come alive, and if you happen to be using an air-lock system then you’ll be lucky enough to hear it bubble. Pop it in the fridge after 5 normal days or 3 hot days; go longer if it’s cool in your house or you like it mature. You could even put the crock or jar in the fridge to ferment from day 1 and leave it there to ferment for about 3 weeks. If you fridge-ferment you can add less salt. Add a touch more salt in hot weather.

This will keep for a long time in your fridge and will keep getting sourer with age.



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