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Recipe courtesy of Ki-Sook Yoo

Ki-Sook Yoo's Kimchi

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 7 hr 30 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 8 cups
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2 heads napa cabbage (about 2 pounds)

1/3 cup fine sea salt 

1/4 cup fish sauce 

1/3 cup Korean red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger 

1 tablespoon salted fermented shrimp

1 teaspoon sugar 

10 cloves garlic, minced 

1 cup grated daikon radish 

8 ounces frozen oysters, thawed 


Special equipment:
2-quart mason jar with lid
  1. Cut the cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores, leaving enough to hold the leaves together. Place the cabbage in a large bowl. Using your hands, gently massage the salt into the cabbage, making sure to get in between layers. Add enough water to cover the cabbage and soak at room temperature for 7 hours, then rinse the cabbage well and drain.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together fish sauce, pepper flakes, ginger, shrimp, sugar and garlic until you achieve a smooth paste. In a bowl, toss the cabbage with the grated radish. Then, using your hands, massage the spice paste into the cabbage, getting in between each layer of leaves. Pack the kimchi and oysters into the jar, spacing the oysters evenly throughout. Seal the jar with the lid. Rest the kimchi at room temperature for 4 to 7 days, then transfer to the refrigerator.

Cook’s Note

The longer the kimchi stands at room temperature the more sour it becomes. It is up to the individual to decide how to balance the sourness with the heat of the spice in the kimchi. Salted fermented shrimp and Korean red pepper flakes can be found at specialty Asian markets.