Traditional Korean Kimchi: Gourmet Medicinal Cooking Collective Week 3: Probiotics & Gut Health!

in ecotrain •  6 months ago

As some of you may know, I lived one year in Korea with my parents. During that time I learned how to cook many dishes because I was a young lady and according to korean custom, a woman is praised if she knows how to make a good kimchi. Fortunately, I was at an age that the local women took me under their wing and taught me a few things. One of these was how to make traditional kimchi.


Short History Of Korean Kimchi

Korea is a mountainous with a few fertile plains. This makes food preservation during cold months a high priority. When early Koreans started an agricultural lifestyle, they ate salted vegetables to aid in the digestion of grains. The salting of vegetables turned into a preservation art. Source.

Although kimchi is a year-round food, the most common time to start the kimchi making process is during the fall, right before winter sets in. Napa cabbage is fresh and crispy and usually best during this time of year.


Ingredients For Traditional Korean Kimchi. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

For Salting Cabbage:

  • 6 pounds napa cabbage ---> Adjust to household size
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt

For Porridge:

  • 2 cups filtered water
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons raw brown sugar


  • 2 cups Korean radish matchsticks
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 7 to 8 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped Asian chives
  • 1 cup water Dropwort

Seasonings & Spices:

  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup fermented salted shrimp
  • 2 cups hot pepper flakes


Preparing To Salt Your Cabbage. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

If the cabbage cores stick out too much, trim them off.

To split a cabbage in half without shredding the densely packed leaves inside, first cut a short slit in the base of the cabbage, enough to get a grip on either half, and then gently pull the halves apart so the cabbage splits open.


Cutting Your Cabbage. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Cut a slit through the core of each half, 2 inches above the stem. You want the cabbage leaves to be loose but still attached to the core.


Lay Your Cabbage in Quarters. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Dunk the halves in a large basin of water to get them wet. Sprinkle the salt between the leaves by lifting up every leaf and getting salt in there. Use more salt closer to the stems, where the leaves are thicker.


Salt Your Cabbage Thoroughly. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Let the cabbages rest for 2 hours. Turn over every 30 minutes, so they get well salted. From time to time you can ladle some of the salty water from the bottom of the basin over top of the cabbages if you want to.


After Salting, Cabbage Sits For 2 Hours. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

After 2 hours, wash the cabbage halves a few times under cold running water. Giving them a good washing, to remove the salt and any dirt. As you wash, split the halves into quarters along the slits you cut into earlier. Cut off the cores, and put them in a strainer over a basin so they can drain well.


Water Will Accumulate. Drain. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Thoroughly Rinsed & Salted Cabbage. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

While the cabbage is salting for 2 hours, and in between the times you’re turning it over, you can make the porridge:

Combine the water and the sweet rice flour in a small pot. Mix well with a wooden spoon and let it cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes until it starts to bubble. Add the sugar and cook 1 more minute, stirring. Remove from the heat and let it cool off completely.


Start Porridge Base With Sweet Rice Flour. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Next, Add Raw Sugar To Your Porridge Base. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Pour cooled porridge into a large mixing bowl. Add garlic, ginger, onion, fish sauce, fermented salted shrimp, and hot pepper flakes. Mix well with the wooden spoon until the mixture turns into a thin paste.

Add Minced Garlic To Your Porridge. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Minced Ginger To Your Porridge. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Add 1 Onion To Your Porridge. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Add Fish Sauce To Your Porridge. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Salty Shrimp. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Korean Pepper To Your Porridge. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

After Step 1, Porridge. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

My suggestion would be if you like your kimchi to be less chunky then cut everything in smaller pieces, but do not blend or Cuisinart the vegetables. Shop everything by hand, although this takes much longer and it will taste better.

Add the radish, carrot, and green onion, plus the Asian chives (or more green onions) and the water Dropwort if you’re using them. Mix well.


Add Korean Radish. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Carrot. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Green Onions. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Asian Chives. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Add Dropwort. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Now Mix. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

A note of caution is that kimchi porridge stains everything, including your skin so wear gloves and an apron. If you have long hair pull it back away from the food.


After Mixing, Proper Texture. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Now it's time to bathe your cabbage in this porridge and be very careful since it can splat everywhere. Get close to the ends where the cabbage meets but do not break apart. Be gentle, yet firm.

Spread some kimchi paste on each cabbage leaf. When every leaf in a quarter is covered with paste, wrap it around itself into a small packet, and put into your jar, plastic container, or onggi.

Eat right away, or let it sit for a few days to ferment.


Fold Firmly, Place Into Container. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

Kimchi Facts:

  • Promotes Digestion

  • Regulates Cholesterol

  • Antioxidant Properties

  • Treats Atopic Dermatitis

  • Weight Loss

  • Anti-aging Properties

  • Prevents Cancer

  • Treats Diabetes

  • Reduces Gastric Ulcers


Traditional Korean Kimchi, Packed In Firmly. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit


Seal Properly, No Air. Leave Out Of Fridge 1-2 Days, Checking Daily For No Air Bubbles. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

On fermentation:

The kimchi will start fermenting a day or two at room temperature, depending on the temperature and humidity of your room. The warmer and more humid it is, the faster the kimchi will ferment. Once it starts to ferment it will smell and taste sour, and pressing on the top of the kimchi with a spoon will release bubbles from beneath.

Once it starts to fermented, store in the refrigerator to use as needed. This slows down the fermentation process, which will make the kimchi more and more sour as time goes on.


Then Place Into Fridge. Stores Up To 2 years. Photo taken by Eagle Spirit

This is my entry for the Medicinal Gourmet Cooking Collective challenge week 3, fermented foods for good gut health! I'm not sure who is holding this initiative but I found this great "gut health" share from @eco-alex here. Since, I've had issues with my gut during periods of my life, many different foods that include kimchi have overcome this battle. I'm sure you will find this recipe helpful and let me know if you try it.

As always, I love community engagement so please leave a comment below and I will be sure to respond.



Thank you for stopping by to read my blog. I’m a Certified Indian Blood member of the Hopi & Apache Native American tribes, Reiki Master-Teacher, Medicine woman in-training, paralegal, researcher, and writer based in the mountains of Colorado, USA. I work closely with fellow planktons and minnows in a few groups by helping them adjust to Steemit and curate quality content. I’m especially interested in finding others who love natural medicine originating from ancient practices, gold and silver, and energy work. Additionally, I'm the creator of #MedicineCardMonday and #FreedomFriday, so if you are interested in receiving Native American Medicine stop by my blog every Monday to say hello!

A'OO, Eagle Spirit


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That looks amazing! I've never even tried kimchi. But I'm a fan of fermented foods and I make red cabbage sauerkraut. This looks a bit more complex, but if I have the time I'll give it a try.


really? you? natu seems like you would have tried everything natural ... maybe thats nature. LOL
fermented is great stuff. yay red cabbage, my fve.
very complex and it took me 3 hours to make. but i'm not a cook. takes me awhile to chop.


Kimchi has somehow passed me by! I definitely need to try it :)


oh noozzz i'm so surprised ... you? natubat? giggle

Wow! I love kimchi, but I just buy it. Now I know how to make it, I’m going to give this a go. It’s quite a process!

You’re full of surprises!


yeah buying it of course had nothing on making it yourself. its just the time. i forgot to mention it took me about 3 hrs but i'm not a professional cook. it would prob take a cook only an hour LOL
let me know how it goes!! yay
yeah major process and thanks for the "surprises" --- i think? :)

wow.. GREAT recipe! Now i have NO excuse to mess this up!
I never knew you used sweet rice powder.. If we dont have that can you reccomend another kind>

thanks for this!


hey thank you so much! glad you liked it since this my first ecotrain post. yes the sweet rice powder makes a difference and i would suggest that you do not switch up any of these ingredients. this is traditional and very fickle, it will not taste like S. Korea without everything. :)
let me know if you try it. hugs, eagle spirit


i trust you.. it is an ART form i know.. i will try.. im sure i can find it out here! thank u


yay, thank you brother and if anything amazon will have it giggle
much love,
eagle spirit

Wow! Impreonante recipe, very explained in a very detailed and accurate, I have never approved or prepared Korean food, but if I encourage, or I pass the recipe to my grandmother lol. Thanks for sharing dear friend.


yay thank you so much mah cris angel! xoxo so happy to have your approval and what your grandmother LOL
youre gonna make her make you kimchi?
thanks for stopping by to check it out woot

Ahhhh. I've eaten Kimchi that was pretty darn tasty and some that just wasn't.

This looks really good and I really do applaud the presentation of it. Photos and text are just marvelous.

Thank you.


haha no kidding! yup some takes like pee or poo if you dont watch out. it has to taste just right and these are the ingredients. thanks so much for the applause! bows for bigtom LOL
thanks so much for the appreciation, i really am thankful its not easy being a beginner photographer and blogger. much love, eagle spirit

Wow, that looks good! Some fabulous photos there, and clear instructions. :)

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hey thank you so much mah fuzzy! :) glad you liked it and appreciate you saying that about my photography, i'm learning and getting there. much love, eagle spirit

I have never tried this (some ingredients are not available where I am) but those veggies sure do look amazing. Thank you for sharing the recipe, it looks great! 💚


yes they are not easy to find, even in my area near a city primarily bc asians do not live in all cities in the usa LOL
but i found them and yes the veggies are great, thank you for the read and support mah lovely!
much love. eagle spirit

Amazing post ! The topic of making Kimchi was just shown on Dutch TV yesterday. It was hot but still with a good crispy bite. Fermenting a technique almost lost!


thank you kindly my gold rooster! :)
youre dutch that is so awesome? i wonder how that show was .. wish i could see it. its always interesting to me how different recipes are ...
you made it? yes this one is hot and not really crispy after the salting or fermenting. hmmm
yes fermenting is very tricky.

I bet that was an amazing time living in Korea and learning from women. Little did you know you would be sharing this with us years later! :) I have made Kimchi only daughter loves it. I'll have save your recipe to make this for her when she visits. I'm not sure I can find dropwort. Is it similar to any other leafy herb?


it really was an amazing time. hawaii and japan were good too. :)
ikr ... sharing is caring mah birdie in paradise ... hehe
yeah dropwort and all the rest make it worth the flavors. i encourage to make it exactly as i did otherwise something is missing.

This look incredibly delicious! And healthy. I wish I had the patience to prepare food like this. Unfortunately, I have the attention span of a gnat. But I would love to try this. Excellent post!


dino!! how are you? you survived the Forking ... I barely did, I was getting the 6 day shakes after not posting or commenting LOL
yeah it was 3 hrs of work for me. eeekkk and i'm almost done with that batch. i love it so much. wahhhh
yay try itttt you will like it if you like kimchi. great for the gut :)


Yeah...that whole thing was forking ridiculous! I wasn't sure if I should post and comment or not, so I didn't. Probably should have. I'm glad you survived, too!

I don't think I could make this, but I'd love to try it. Maybe you could email some to me! :)


no glad you didn't it was not the recommendation it wouldve sent you spiraling back down to 25 lOL
you did good! :)
yeah i was kinda down and saw all the fighting and just wanted to post but couldn't. its all over tho, until the next fork, which is soon. let us pray. LOL
email what?


Oh wow...then I'm really glad I stood still! Email me some of your delicious kimchi! :)


hehe ... no emailss mannn ican't im anonymous bahahah

FOR TSE: Is this actually something a reasonable person would eat ... or is it an "acquired taste?" (I'm sorry, but this just sounds disgusting. I'm glad you like it though.)

Leave it for 2 days outside the refrigerator to ferment ... then mash out the bubbles. (OMG!!) I salute your fortitude.


where are the quotes coming from? yes many people i know eat this, its become quite a fad not only amongst koreans (and myself).
your comments looks like one i left last night on someone elses post. hah.
of a person does not want a bad batch of fermented cabbage it’s what is needed. many people do this type of work like @jackdub and @kennyskitchen. they’re food is amazing. there are many types of fermenting going on as you may know since after growing fresh food and harvest is canning season. i’m learning quite a bit from jack, kenny and @rawutah. they’re my faves.


I know. People eat this stuff. People also eat scorpions on a stick.


oh, you havent tried that yet? theyre yummy bwahahahah :p


:p ---> backatcha.

Seriously, though. I'm glad you enjoy this stuff. And I'm glad you posted a recipe and process others can use. To my astonishment, some actually seem interested in this crap healthy and invigorating delicacy. But the two people I know personally in the real world who have tried it both say they'll never do that again. I've lived this long by learning from other people's mistakes experience.


told ya its a hot item and yes literally hot so if someone cant handle spicy food and/or they make it improperly it doesnt taste good. great for the gut! :)

Thanks for sharing a very detailed recipe for kimchi. I visited Seoul a few years back and thoroughly enjoyed the kimchi that was served with most meals. I had no idea it could be made from scratch with ingredients that are available to me. I really appreciate you taking very clear pictures of the package ingredients because most of the workers in my local Korean market do not speak English. Now I can just show them a picture. This recipe makes enough to eat, save and share. Great post!


thanks for reading, seoul is definitely a cool place and very changed since i've been there. the help from the usa has helped them greatly. glad the ingredients are available, cool. yes so true if one doesn't read korean kinda hard and that is why i did take clear pics so ppl can use them to buy the products. have fun making kimchi! :)

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thank you C2 :)

This looks delicious! Mmmmmmmmm.... kimchi. If only I could teleport, you might have a visitor for dinner. ;)


yay kimchi and yess you are welcome anytimeee :)
is it snowing yet?


Woke up to snow this morning. It’s mostly melted but some on the trees just up mountain from here. Gorgeous, with the gold of the poplars still settling into fall.


yay! (kinda) pic please next time. your home must be so purdy. do you still go out hiking and singing in the forest during the winter? i can't even imagine how much snow you get?

I will have to try this out! I bookmarked this so that way when I have the technology I can do it! Although, I do have airlocks and etc.


yes you do, you will love it and its just as good if not better than garlic. probably a tie. it will help the gut big time. i want to try a kefir or fermented water. not sure why you need tech? you can just use jars if you have to, imo thats the last resort tho ppl do it.

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thank you, i think i went down post Forking! :(

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This is extraordinary. The fact you learnt it IN KOREA makes it even more authentically awesome. Bookmarking this to make soon!!! Thanks for sharing xx

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yay and yes i did learn in Korea. looking forward to see what you think, make sure to use all the ingredients. don't skip a step otherwise it will not taste right. xx

Great recipe and very easy for someone to learn how to cook this medicinal food.


thank you so much for saying so! hope you try it out and let me know if you do. :)

Congratulations! This post has been chosen as one of the daily Whistle Stops for The STEEM Engine!

You can see your post's place along the track here: The Daily Whistle Stops, Issue 269 (10/02/18)


Thank you my TSE, love you! xo

Somehow home-fermenting sounds a bit scary, but I'm willing to give it a try. I love fermented foods especially TEMPEH.

What would you suggest as a substitution for the fish sauce and the shrimps?

Thanks for sharing, I will follow you!


it can be and i was a bit intimidated but have faith, it will be fine! LOL
i would not suggest a substitution and i'm sorry if you are a vegan. :(
i guess you could try w/e the health food store has but it will not taste traditional. hugs

Thanks to the ecotrain feature I have found your amazing recipe. I love kimchi. But, despite making all sorts of other yummy fermented foods, I've never made kimchi. Excited about your recipe. Thanks for sharing @eaglespirit. I don't think we'll get some of the ingredients here in South Africa so I guess it won't taste authentic. But I'll do the best with what I can find


you are so welcome and thanks so much for reading. glad you might try it! woot
yes if you do not have all the ingredients it will not taste traditional, however, many people make their own rendition. good luck