I Like My Kimchee Fast & Easy

Henna Artwork by Alexes Monique

Easy, Fast Kimchee Recipe {Mak Kimchi}

Prep Time 45 mins

Total Time 3 d

Are you ready to make your own Mak Kimchee, Melodia style? This recipe is fragrant, simple, and oh-so-healthy. The best part? You can make it in just a few easy steps and it’s ready to eat after just three days of fermenting.


  • 3-8 pounds of napa cabbage
  • 2 bunches of green onions, trimmed of root bits
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 4-6 inch long Daikon radish, grated
  • 1/2 cup of Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup of Korean chili powder
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 6 inches ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (optional)
  • 1/2 cup or more pear juice 
  • 4 tablespoons of white miso paste


  1. Cut the napa cabbage in half longways, then in half again longways. Cut the core out of the four quarters. Cut the cabbage into squares (about 2-3 inches square), and put it in a bowl with the carrots and daikon.  Cut the green tops off the green onion into  1/2 pieces and save the white root bits for the sauce.  Sprinkle with 1/2 cup kosher salt, and massage it so everything is coated in salt and starting to soften and wilt. Fill the bowl with cold, chlorine-free water to cover it well, and let it soak for at least four hours….I often let it soak overnight.
  2. Pour the cabbage, carrots, daikon, and green onion into a strainer and let the brine drain away.
  3. To make the chili sauce,  toss the green onion roots in a food processor with the garlic, ginger, miso paste, pear juice, and Korean pepper powder. Zap it on high ’til it’s smooth-ish. Optional: add in the fish sauce for more of a traditional umami taste.
  4. Put the brined veggies in a big, anti-reactive (glass, enamel, or stainless steel) bowl.  Pour the chili paste combo over the cabbage mixture and wear gloves to massage it all over so everything is completely covered.
  5. Pack super tight in canning jars. CRAM it in there. Place jars on a rimmed baking dish to catch any spillover. Let it sit at room temperature for up to 72 hours, until it is bubbly and “fragrant”. By fragrant, I mean it smells a bit like hot garbage. 
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to six months, being sure that the vegetables are submerged the whole time. I like to seal my jars in big ziplock bags to keep the gasses locked inside. The older it gets, the stronger it will become.


  • If you need extra brine to keep your vegetables submerged, combine 1 quart of cool water with 4 teaspoons of kosher salt in a quart jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until the salt is dissolved. Use it to top off the vegetables as needed.
  • Make sure to use chlorine-free water to soak the vegetables. Chlorine can inhibit the growth of the good bacteria needed for fermentation.
  • When packing the kimchi into jars, make sure to pack it tightly and leave some headspace at the top for expansion during fermentation.
Henna Hands by Alexes Monique

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