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How to Make Kimchi at Home

If you've only had kimchi from the grocery store, you're missing out. This delicious delicacy is surprisingly easy to make at home with this kimchi recipe.

How to Make Kimchi at Home

Kimchi is quickly winning over the hearts of foodies all over the U.S. You can easily find this traditional Korean food staple in supermarkets, but it's often a little pricey. Luckily, you can make kimchi at home for less money (and even more flavor).

Kimchi ingredients

The DIY kimchi recipe below makes 8 cups worth of this gut-friendly food. To make it, you'll need:

  • 1 large Napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup of coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce 
    • Use 1 tablespoon of miso instead for a plant-based version
  • 4 tablespoons of gochugaru (or gochujang)
  • 1 tablespoon of sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 cup of water (for the porridge)

How to make kimchi at home

There are hundreds of kimchi recipes. We're keeping it simple with this beginner-friendly one.

  1. Chop the cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Wash, drain, and salt the cabbage, then let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. On the stove, mix the water and sweet rice flour to make the porridge and bring to a boil.
  4. Blend the garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, and fish sauce (or miso).
  5. Combine the porridge, blended aromatic mixture, and gochugaru (or gochujang).
  6. Rinse the cabbage and coat it with the spicy paste you've just made.
  7. Pack the kimchi in an airtight container, making sure to fully submerge the cabbage.

Store your kimchi on the counter — at room temperature — or in the fridge. Once you know how to make kimchi, feel free to play around with the aromatics and spices.

When is my DIY kimchi ready to eat?

You can enjoy fresh kimchi right away. It's great as a side to all kinds of winter or summer meal preps. But its flavor will develop as you let it age (or ferment).

If you like the sour flavor of mature kimchi, leave it on the counter for a few days. The flavor intensifies with time, especially on hot summer days!

But if you'd prefer to enjoy milder kimchi, keep it in the fridge. The cold slows down the fermentation process and you'll enjoy delicious kimchi for months.

How long does kimchi stay good for?

Room-temperature kimchi has a short shelf life: just a week or two. Refrigerated kimchi can last up to six months. And if you're dedicated to zero-waste, you can freeze kimchi for up to a year. Of course, as with all fermented foods, kimchi gets sourer and more pleasantly funky as it ages.

It's easy to tell if kimchi is still good. Spoiled kimchi has a foul smell and may have a layer of mold growing on it. If you spot any of these signs, it's time to toss out the batch and make a new one.

Keep saving money on what you love

Yes, you can indulge in your favorite foods while on a budget! Especially if you take advantage of discounts on all kinds of ingredients and food staples. Make sure you're getting the best deal on your groceries by finding a Save Coupon Book Finder near you.