Kimchi (made with fresh chile pepper)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Yield: 2 quarts
  • 1 large head (~4 lbs./2 kg) Napa cabbage
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 large daikon radish
  • 50 grams (4 or 5) green onions
  • 20 grams (6 cloves) garlic
  • 15 grams (about 1-inch/1 5cm piece of fresh ginger root)
  • 6 serrano peppers
  • 2 habañero peppers
  • 60 grams (1/4 cup) sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 quart/liter filtered water
  • Optional: 1 Tbsp./15 ml fish sauce
  1. Brine the Veg: Add salt into water in a one-gallon (or larger) glass or ceramic container. Stir until salt dissolves.
  2. Remove the leafiest 2 or 3 outer leaves from cabbage (Reserve for another use.) Chop the cabbage into chunks (from ½" to 1" or larger!)
  3. Peel and cut stems off radish and carrots. Cut into thin slices using a mandoline, V-slicer, or knife.
  4. Add cabbage, carrots, and radish to the brine. Cover with a plastic lid or plate and weigh down so that the contents stay under the brine. Leave for 4-6 hours (overnight in refrigerator is okay).
  5. Drain the veggies through a colander, reserving about a cup of the brine.
  6. Prepare spice mixture: Chop the scallions into thin slices. Add to a small glass or metal mixing bowl or the mixing bowl of a food processor.
  7. Remove stem, seeds, and the white membrane (which contains the most capsaicin, the ingredient that makes peppers hot!) from the peppers. Dice the flesh as fine as you can. Add to bowl. Handling peppers: plastic or latex gloves are highly recommended! Habañeros and serranos are very hot and can burn your skin!
  8. Peel and grate ginger, and mince the garlic. Add to bowl or the bowl of a food processor.
  9. (Optional) Add fish sauce to bowl.
  10. Stir and mash contents (or pulse with food processor) together, getting as close to a paste as you can.
  11. One third at a time, add veggies and paste to the container. Mix thoroughly with your (gloved) hand until the veggies are coated nicely with the paste. Repeat until it is uniformly coated.
  1. Cover with a plastic lid or plate, and weigh down so that the contents stay under the brine. Some brine will continue to form once the veggies are pressed down.
  2. Cover with a cloth and rubber band to keep flies out.
  3. If after one day, the contents are not completely submerged, top it off with some of the reserved brine.
  4. Store in a dark cool spot for at least 7 days. When you like the texture and taste, it's ready!
  5. Transfer contents to mason jars and store in fridge (or swap with your local club members!)
Recipe by Fermenters Club at