Korean cabbage kimchi is not always smothered in tons of Korean chili flakes and spices. Here is cabbage kimchi that doesn't have any chili flakes except a very little amount of chili as a garnish. We call it Bak-kimchi (백김치). "Bak" means white and so we can call it "white cabbage kimchi."

Actually some Koreans prefers white cabbage kimchi over the common spicy kimchi due to its mild flavor. Since it doesn't have any chili flakes, young children or people who can't have spicy food, can enjoy the goodness of kimchi. 

This white cabbage kimchi ferments beautifully creating really flavorful taste that makes you want to eat more and more. This kimchi can go so well with any Asian themed meals or other types of cuisine as well. Add a few slices on your sandwich, or hamburger. Serve with very rich soups or stews as a side to tone down the richness of the meal. It can go with any meal.

The key to the flavorful white kimchi is to make flavorful stock. In a large pot, put leek, sweet apple, persimmon, dried goji berries, dried sea kelp (kombu), and salted anchovies(without the liquid). Simmer for 40 minutes until you get the rich stock. 

Slice Korean radish into thin (1/8-imch) disks and slice again to make very thin matchsticks.

Slice the garlic into thin sticks.

A few dried jujube adds a wonderful flavor to the kimchi. If you can't find it, or don't like it, you can omit it.

Slice around the pit to get a long piece.

Then, slice into thin strips.

This is chili thread. You can find it in major Korean grocery stores. This is an optional ingredient. It is very gentle heat that you can barely notice, but it brings a nice look on the kimchi. It is more for visual not for flavor.

You will also need to collect salted shrimp juice, not the shrimp. Since we are trying to make the kimchi as white as we can, salted shrimp sauce is mainly used instead of other type of fish sauce which can darken the color.

Now, make a rice glue with the reserved stock, about 2 cups. Let them cool down a little bit. You will divide this glue into two different steps.

Combine radish, sliced green onion, garlic, dried jujube, chili thread, and the shrimp sauce liquid. Add half of the reserved rice glue and toss well to coat and set aside to wilt, about 10 minutes. This will be the filling for kimchi.

Now it is time to make kimchi!

Here is well salted cabbage. I won't go into tutorials on how to brine the cabbage. You will fin the steps on my kimchi making post,

Starting from the most outer leaf of the cabbage, spread a little amount of filling on the leaf, then repeat on to the next leave one at a time.

Try to distribute the filling equally on every layer.

Take the outer leaf and try to wrap around to hold the shape. Stack them in the kimchi container lined with a plastic bag (I used a a couple layers of trash liner inside).

Mix 500ml of spring water with remaining half of the rice glue. Season with salt, about 1 tablespoon, and mix well.

Pour over the stacks of kimchi in the container.

Tie the bag tightly and let the kimchi sit on a room temperature for 2 days, then transfer to the refrigerator and continue to ferment for another 5 days or so. The ideal fermenting time depends on the climate and the temperature in your kitchen. It ferments faster in the warmer place, of course.

After a week from making, my white cabbage kimchi was just perfectly fermented. Look at the beauty!

Slice it up and adorn with pine nuts if you have. Don't forget the drizzle the kimchi juice. So good and refreshing!

As you can tell with many of authentic kimchi recipe, it takes time and requires patience. However, the flavor and the goodness from the homemade kimchi is so worth of its time and effort. That's why every Korean housewives makes kimchi all from scratch a few times per year. 

Hope you can try this special kimchi for you and for your loved ones at home. It makes so much difference!

Have a wonderful holidays, everyone!

~ Holly

White Cabbage Kimchi


  • 2 large nappa cabbage(about 5 lb each) that has been brined with salt
  • 3 green onion, chopped

For the stock:

  • 3 liter water
  • 1 sweet apple, seeded and sliced
  • 1 large leek, cut in half
  • 2 large piece  dried sea kelp
  • 2 tablespoons dried goji berries
  • 3 tablespoons salted shrimp (without the liquid)

For the rice glue:

  • 2 cups stock
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour

For kimchi filling:

  • 1 small Korean radish (2 lb), thinly sliced into 1/8-inch strips
  • 5 garlic cloves, slice into strips
  • 5 dried jujube, pitted and sliced into thin strips, optional
  • a small handful rice thread, optional
  • 5 tablespoons sated shrimp liquid
  • 2 tablespoons Korean coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup rice glue

For kimchi broth:

  • 1 cup rice glue
  • 500 ml spring water
  • salt to taste


  1. To make stock, in a large soup pot, bring all the stock ingredient to boil, then simmer over low heat for 40 minutes. Remove the sea kelp after 5 minutes of simmering. Reserve the stock and discard the rest
  2. To make rice glue, mix 2 cups of the stock with sweet rice flour in a  sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium heat until it thickens, whisking constantly to avoid any lumps. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  3. To make kimchi filling, in a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredient and mix well. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. Let the filling sit for 10 minute.
  4. To make kimchi broth, mix 1 cup of rice glue with 500 ml of spring water, season with salt according to your taste.
  5. To assemble, starting from the most outer leaf, spread a little amount of kimchi filling on to the leaf. Repeat the layers. Wrap the cabbage with the outer leaf to secure the filling inside. Stack the cabbage in a airtight kimchi container lined with a plastic bag. Pour the kimchi broth over and tie the bag to let the air out. Let your kimchi to sit in a room temperature for 2 days, then moved to the refrigerator for another 5 days to ferment. You kimchi should be well fermented.

For more Korean kimchi, click the images below to get the recipes.

Cubed Radish Kimchi Vegan Kimchi Nabak Kimchi


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