Kimchi is an essential side dish in every Korean table. Kimchi made with Nappa cabbage is the most common and every household in Korea has a bucketful of cabbage kimchi in their kitchen. But when the nappa cabbage is not in season, we often make kimchi with green cabbage. Green cabbage kimchi was my on-the-go kimchi when I was a university student in U.S. It is much easier and cheaper to find green cabbage than Chinese nappa cabbage. It is also easier and simpler to make.

Kimchi made with green cabbage will also retain its crisp texture for a long time, even after the fermentation. If you love kimchi of any kind, you will love this green cabbage kimchi.

First, you will need to dice the cabbage. If some parts of the cabbage have extremely thick stems, cut them off and discard them.

Rinse the cabbage with water and place them in a very large mixing bowl or in a kitchen sink. Sprinkle the salt and toss well. Sprinkle more salt on top and let them soak for 2-3 hours until they are wilted. You will need to turn around half way through the soaking time.

When the cabbages are wilted and lifeless, rinse them with water 2 times. Drain them well in a colander. Set aside.

Meanwhile combine water with apple, pear, onion, and a piece of dried sea kelp in a pot and let them simmer for 30 minutes. You will need to collect the stock and discard the rest.

In a pot combine 1 cup of the stock and sweet rice flour. Bring them to a boil and thicken, whisking constantly. It should thicken fairly soon. You are making the rice glue. This will help to feed the good bacteria to help the fermentation. It also helps the kimchi seasoning to bind to the cabbage.

In a blender, process the onion, ginger, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the reserved stock until very smooth.

In a large shallow mixing bowl, combine Korean chili flakes, fish sauce, shrimp sauce, rice glue, and the onion/garlic puree. Mix well. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Add the drained cabbage and chopped green onion to the mixing bowl and toss them well with your hand to coat with the kimchi seasoniong.

It is a good idea to wear a disposable glove to protect your skin.

Taste the kimchi and adjust the seasoning by adding more fish sauce. Store kimchi in an airtight container and let it sit in a room temperature for 1 day, then transfer to the fridge and continue to ferment for 3-4 days before you serve.

Refreshingly cool and crisp, you will be surprised how good they taste. Serve with any Korean meal or other Asian meals. Enjoy!

~ Holly

Green Cabbage Kimchi


  • 1 head (about 3 lb) green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup coarse sea salt plus extra
  • 3 green onion, sliced
For the fruit stock:
  • 1 pear seeded and sliced
  • 1 apple seeded and sliced
  • 1 onion peeled and sliced
  • 1 large piece of dried sea kelp
  • 3-4 cups water
For the rice glue:
  • 1 cup fruit stock
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
For the kimchi seasoning:
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2" piece ginger, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fruit stock
  • 1/3 cup Korean chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons anchovy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2/3 cup rice glue


  1. Cut and dice the cabbage into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Try to separate the cabbage layers. Discard any thick stem parts. Rinse them well and place them in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle sea salt over and toss well. Let them sit for 2-3 hours turning once or twice during the soaking time.
  2. Rinse the cabbage with water and drain them in a colander. Set aside.
  3. To make the fruit stock: combine pear, apple, onion, and sea kelp in a pot and pour enough water to come up to the surface of fruits. Bring it to boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Reserve the stock and discard the rest.
  4. To make the rice glue: Combine 1 cups of stock and sweet rice flour in a small pot. Stirring with whisk, bring it to boil and let it thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Let it sit to cool down.
  5. To make kimchi seasoning: In a blender, puree the onion, garlic, ginger, and fruit stock until they are smooth. Pour the puree into a large shallow mixing bowl, add the chili flakes, anchovy sauce, shrimp sauce, sugar, 2/3 cup of the reserved rice glue; mix well.
  6. To assemble: Add the drained cabbage and sliced onion into the kimchi seasoning mixture in a mixing bowl. Toss well with a hand to coat everything.
  7. Put the cabbage kimchi into an air-tight container and let it sit in a room temperature for 1 day. Transfer the kimchi to a fridge and continue to ferment for another 3-5 days until it reaches the desired fermentation. Serve cold with any Korean or Asian meal.

For more delicious Kimchi ideas, click the images below to get the recipes.

Nabak KimchiVegan KimchiCuber Radish Kimchi