Nabak Kimchi (White Napa Kimchi, Water Kimchi)

Nabak kimchi is a type of water kimchi made from thin sliced Korean radish and Napa or Chinese cabbage. This is a refreshingly clean and tangy flavored kimchi that makes a great side dish with Korean grilled meats.


1 pound Daikon radish

1 pound small “White” Napa cabbage (young Napa or Napa without the outer green leaves)

4 tablespoons kosher or sea salt

1 bunch spring/green onion

10 to 12 cloves fresh garlic, peeled

1-ounce fresh ginger, peeled

3 each fresh red chili peppers


1/4 cup kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons fine ground red chili pepper

3 quarts water

Prepare the vegetables

  • Peel, wash, and cut the radish into roughly 1 inch by 1 inch by 3/4 inch pieces (the pieces should be slightly less deep than wide)
  • Remove outer green leaves (if present) from the Napa cabbage and cut the “heart” in half from top to bottom. Remove and discard any solid material at the bottom of the cabbage then cut the “white” leaves into roughly 1 inch by 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • Place the cut Daikon and Napa into a large mixing bowl, add the salt and mix well.
  • Let stand for about thirty minutes then rinse in cold water.
  • Trim the green onions, rinse, and remove the green portion.
  • Cut the onion green into half inch pieces.
  • Slice the remaining “white” portions in half (quarters if large), from top to bottom.
  • Thin slice the garlic cloves from top to bottom.
  • Finely shred the ginger.
  • Cut the peppers in half, remove the seeds, then sliver.
  • Add onion, garlic, ginger, and pepper to the radish/cabbage and mix well.
  • Place into a large sealable container.


  • Put water and salt into a large pot, bowl, or jar and shake/stir well.
  • Place ground red chili pepper into the center of a clean, lint-free cloth, then place a chop stick, spoon, or another utensil on the cloth. Form a sack or pocket over the pepper and wrap the end of the cloth around the utensil, forming a rough spoon. Gently stir the cloth wrapped pepper through the brine until the brine is tinted a light pink color. Remove the cloth and discard the pepper.

Final Mix

  • Pour the brine over the vegetables and let stand at room temperature, protected from direct sunlight, for at least six hours (up to 24 hours), then refrigerate.

Serve cold in a small bowl as part of a ban chan array.