How to Make Kimchi

Kimchi is definitely our all time favorite fermented vegetable and we always keep a jar or 2 on board Mirrool. Coming back to land and hitting up the markets for fresh wombok (napa) cabbage, spring onions and diakon radish has become a bit of a ritual on Mirrool.

Kimchi will last months out of the fridge like this and it’s sour funky flavours will develop more over time. It’s quite spicy but you can modify the amount of Korean pepper flakes you add depending on how hot you like your pickles.

When we were in Cairns we were lucky enough to meet Korean Chef, Sally who showed us her family recipe for the traditional Korean dish Kim-chi. Follow along as we visit the Korean Grocer to collect specialty ingredients and then we take you through each step to prepare this tasty fermented cabbage dish.


1 Wombok (Napa) Cabbage
1 small bulb of garlic finely diced or minced
1 inch piece of ginger diced
Spring Onions
2 peeled Diakon radishes
1 & 1/2 cups cooked white rice
4 tablespoons Salted Krill
7 tablespoons Gochugaru (Korean pepper flakes)
Korean Fish Sauce (ours was CJ Fish Sauce made from Sand Lance)

Cut cabbage into quarters length ways and then dice in to inch wide pieces. Place in a bowl of warm salty water (about 1 tablespoon of salt per 1.5L). Leave cabbage to soak for at least 1 hour.

Meanwhile chop 1 Diakon radish and place in a food processor bowl. Then add all the garlic, ginger, salted krill, white rice and 200mL of fresh water. Blitz until smooth. Taste to see if it is to your liking, the flavour will be quite intense but will mellow once mixed with the cabbage.

Next, julienne the remaining radish and slice the green part of the spring onion open lengthways and then cut into 2 inch wide pieces. Place the onion and diakon in a bowl, stir through the paste and also add 7 tablespoons of Gochugaru, 1/2 cup of Korean fish sauce and a splash of water. Mix through and seal until the cabbage has finished being marinated.

Once cabbage is done rinse in fresh water and squeeze out any excess water. Unwrap the pepper mixture and divide evenly amongst all the cabbage stirring the mixture through with your hands.

Once evenly coated, place the cabbage in clean jars. Keep at room temperature for at least 3 days to ferment. Kimchi will last in a cool cupboard for months (even years!).

For an extra dimension in your galley or kitchen we recommend listening (and maybe even dancing!) to this song by our friend Charlie Mcgee from Formidible Vegetable while you’re making your Kim-Chi!

3 thoughts on “How to Make Kimchi

  1. Kathie Reply

    Hi Pascale love, love, love watching you create such beautiful food on Mirrool – I am practising at home hoping to be able to do more cruising myself sometime in the not too distant future. Have also found your tips on provisioning super helpful as well for our short cruising expeditions whilst building experience and confidence for cruising further afield.

    Just a quick question about the Kimchi – does it have to be Wombok cabbage or would it work just as well with other cabbages?

    PS: We were sailing South East Coast NSW and in Jervis Bay in late Dec early January during the bush fires too and must have just missed you – didn’t realise you were there around that time until we later saw that episode, would have been just amazing to have met you!!

    • Pascale Post authorReply

      Hi Kathie. You can totally substitute the wombok cabbage for another type of cabbage. You can also substitute diakon radish for other raddish or carrots if you can’t find it where you are! Wombok is just the traditional cabbage they use in Korea for kimchi. We were in Jervis at the start of December. By Boxing Day we were sailing across the Bass Strait to Tasmania! P

  2. Kathie Reply

    Thanks Pascale I have my first batch fermenting and its delicious.

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