This recipe was shared with me by colleague and friend Katherine Ball – but is basically the same version that we used when working with the Chinese elders at Swan Gardens, Swansea when we made Kimchi for Swansea Market in 2013. Everyone has their own interpretation of the basic version, with the addition of shrimp, fish or anchovy sauce being the most variable ingredient – though other vegetables such as radish or carrots can also be used and incorporated.


(Kimchi Storage and traditional Korean Kimchi vessels called Onggi)

Kimchi is a fermented dish made with cabbage, ginger, chilli and garlic, and originally comes from Korea. Traditionally, large ceramic pots would be used as vessels for the fermentation process which need to be sealed or weighted shut, kept underground or in cellars / pantries –  even outside over the winter period.


Making Kimchi can be a very social process, especially if you’re making a large amount. We’ve held workshops where we’ve made it with up to 20 people and a real production line atmosphere in the kitchen has happened. Using your hands (in gloves if you want to) the paste is pushed and mulched into the layers and leaves of the cabbage covering the whole head. The process of folding over the leaves into small bundles is really satisfactory task of preparing parcels ready to be packed into jars or pots ready to ferment. You can also just mulch the ingredients together and massage the paste into everything and then jar it up.

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Tools: Large bowl for brining process. Large strainer for draining water. Small-medium pot to make flour mix. Large bowl for seasoning. Large bowl or tray used in applying seasoning on the napa cabbage. 1 pair of rubber gloves for Kimchi making. Kimchi containers (earthenware, glass bottle, stainless or plastic container with a lid). Kettle or pot and hob for heating rice paste. Wooden spatula for pounding. Water for soaking. Dishtowel, cheesecloth or muslin, or plastic lid (not airtight). Knives for chopping. Cutting board(s).

Ingredients: 9 lb 15 oz Napa Cabbage 배추 (1 whole napa cabbage weighs between 2.2 lb – 5 lb or 1 kg – 2.3 kg)

1 lb 5 oz Radish (Korean Radish) 무 (1 radish is about 2-3 lb or 0.9-1.36 kg)

2 cups Coarse Sea Salt 굵은 소금 (about 1 cup for 1 whole napa cabbage)

2 tbs Sweet rice flour 찹쌀가루 (or regular flour)

2 cups  Water 물

1½ cups  Gochugaru, Red Chili Flakes 고추가루

⅓ cup Anchovy Fish Sauce 멸치액젓 without preservatives

⅓ cup Shrimp Fish Sauce (Sae Woo Jeot) 새우젓 (optional, if omitted use more anchovy sauce) without preservatives

5 Green Onion 파

2 tbs Sugar 설탕

2 tbs Garlic (minced) 다진 마늘

1 tbs Ginger (minced) 다진 생강