Kimchi – Napa Cabbage Kimchi (Baechu Kimchi)

배추김치, 통배추김치
Baechu Kimchi (Korean Cabbage, Napa Cabbage, or Chinese Cabbage Kimchi) is probably the most common type of kimchi. This kimchi is made with whole or halved heads of Korean cabbage instead of the cut cabbage seen in many restaurants. The elongated heads have a semi sweet flavor that goes well with ginger, garlic, and dried red chilli peppers.

Kimchi History Note:
Baechu Kimchi was originally made with cabbage and beef stock, or with cabbage preserved in soy bean paste. It wasn’t until after chilli peppers were introduced to Korea that the bright red, spicy version of kimchi as it is known today became common place. (Baechu kimchi made with gochu [peppers] appeared sometime around 1800 CE)

Making kimchi is not about precise measurements. It’s about taste. Many things can influence the final result, like the taste of the unseasoned cabbage. Some heads of Napa are very sweet so you would add less sweetener (sugar/nashi pear), some are slightly bitter so you would add a little more salt, ginger, daikon, and sweetener to overcome the “bitter”. If you get a strong fish/shrimp paste, you would use less in the recipe. etc. For a stronger flavor, maybe you would add more garlic and use chives instead of green/spring onion. Remember, it’s about taste so use this recipe as a beginning.

Other Spellings/Names:
Baechu Gimchi, Baechoo kimchee, tongbaechu kimchi, cabbage kimchi, kim-chee, leaf kimchi, whole kimchi, head kimchi.

Korean baechu kimchi

Degree of Difficulty

Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult

Servings: 50

Cooking Times

Preparation Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 48 hours



2 head napa cabbage (approximately 2 lbs)

1/2 cup salt (for brine)

1/4 small Daikon radish

8 each spring or green onions

Seasoning paste

1 tablespoon finely ground red chili powder

3 tablespoons coarse ground red chili pepper

8 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 small nashi pear

2 ounces fresh ginger, peeled

1 tablespoon shrimp or anchovy paste*

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon salt

* If you do not like the somewhat fishy element of kimchi, you can omit this ingredient and increase salt by 1/2 tablespoon.



1. Prepare the Cabbage

Cut the cabbage in half from bottom to top.

Place the cabbage in a large pot or other container big enough to handle the cabbage cut side up. Carefully lift the leaves and salt between them using about 1/2 the salt.

Slowly add water until there is enough to submerge the cabbage.

Add the rest of the salt spread over the cabbage and let sit for at least 4 hours. (overnight is best)

After soaking discard brine then cut the cabbage sections in half from bottom to top and rinse in cold water.

Remove the solid mass at the root end. (A diagonal cut from the inner or heart top of the mass to bottom outer leaf works best)

Slice the cabbage into roughly 1/2 inch pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.

2. Prepare the Daikon and Green Onion

Cut larger daikon in half from top to bottom.

Shred the daikon into a strainer or colander

Rinse 1 time in cold water and drain.

Place in a small bowl and lightly sprinkle with salt.

Set aside until time to mix.

Cut the green/spring onion into roughly 1 inch sections and add to paste, mixing until onion is completely covered.

3. Prepare seasoning paste

Slice the ginger and pear into small pieces and toss in blender.

Add garlic cloves and just enough water to blend into a thick paste.

Pour blended mix into a small mixing bowl, then add all other paste ingredients and mix well

Let stand about fifteen minutes.

4. Mix the Kimchi

Add the shredded Daikon to the Napa cabbage and lightly toss.

Add the seasoning paste and mix until well spread throughout the cabbage.

Place into glass mason jar(s), leaving room at the top of the jar to accommodate swelling, and refrigerate.

Depending on your “sour” level, the kimchi will be ready to serve in anywhere from one hour to several days.


Whole leaf baechu kimchi

Salted and marinatiing

Seasoning mix

Kimchi Dog

Kimchi Omu Rice

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Burger


Storing Kimchi

Kimchi will swell and create pressure during the fermentation process. It is important to release pressure every so often to prevent breakage of storage container.

What Else Can You do With Kimchi?

Kimchi Dog: Chop fresh kimchi and use as a topping for assorted “Dogs”

Kimchi Omurice: Fried rice with kimchi, wrapped in an egg sheet.

Kimchi Fried Rice: Fried rice with kimchi. Top with egg.

Kimchi Burger: Chop kimchi and add to ground meat before cooking, or add kimchi as a condiment. Sliced cucumber makes an excellent addition.

Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Soup): Spicy soup with kimchi, pork, and tofu.

Dubu Jjigae (Tofu Soup): Spicy soup with tofu as the main ingredient, with pork and some kimchi.


Nutrition Facts

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Serving size: 1/50 of a recipe (0.9 ounces).

Percent daily values based on the Reference Daily Intake (RDI) for a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition information calculated from recipe ingredients.

Amount Per Serving



Calories From Fat (6%)


Calories From Protein (15%)


Calories From Carbohydrates (79%)


Calories From Alcohol (0%)


% Daily Value

Total Fat 0.06g


Saturated Fat 0.01g


Monounsaturated Fat 0.01g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.02g

Trans Fatty Acids 0g

Cholesterol 0mg


Sodium 727.7mg


Potassium 60.72mg


Total Carbohydrates 1.6g


Fiber 0.37g


Sugar 0.73g

Net Carbohydrates 1.23g

Protein 0.36g


Vitamin A 87.35IU


Vitamin C 6.33mg


Calcium 17.89mg


Iron 0.12mg


Vitamin E 0.04mg


Thiamin 0.01mg


Riboflavin 0.01mg


Niacin 0.12mg


Vitamin B6 0.06mg


Folate 16.84mcg


Vitamin B12 0mcg


Pantothenic Acid 0.03mg


Vitamin K 13.12mcg


Phosphorus 7.77mg


Magnesium 4.36mg


Zinc 0.07mg


Copper 0.01mg


Manganese 0.05mg


Selenium 0.24mcg


Alcohol 0g

Caffeine 0mg

Water 22.69g


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