Water kimchi

Fresh and crispy kimchi in a mild broth.

In Korean cuisine there are many different kinds of kimchi. One of the types or styles of kimchi is called water kimchi, mul kimchi in Korean(동치미. This type of kimchi is milder and not made with any seafood flavouring. Water kimchi can also be made with many different vegetables, but this one is what I know best. This kimchi was served at my favorite lunch place when I lived in Pusan South Korea. They served a quartered napa cabbage in its brine and then they cut it up in to smaller pieces with a pair of scissors at the table.

In this recipe I used regular radish instead of daikon and a firm crunchy pear instead of asian pear. The neighbourhood store does not have these two Items in stock, Besides the pink skin of the radish gives the brine a nice color.



5 cups water
1 Tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp white sugar
1 Tbsp gochugaru, red pepper flakes, you can skip this ingredients.


2 napa cabbage quartered
2 Tbsp coarse salt


10 red radishes
1 asian pear (2 cups), cut into cubes
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
3 scallions, cut into 5 cm sticks
2 chili pepper, thinly sliced


Quarter  napa cabbage  and place in bowl cut side up.
Sprinkle 2 Tbsp salt and let sit for 30 minutes

In the mean time, make the brine by mixing salt and sugar in water and mix to dissolve. Then add gochugaru and let sit for at least 15 minutes.

Cut remaining seasoning vegetables and fruit and combine together in large bowl.

Squeeze excess water from cabbage but DO NOT rinse. Then combine with seasoning vegetables.

Place into air tight container

You can strain gochugaru/chili flakes from the brine or leave it in,  pour the liquid over the vegetables

Seal air tight and let sit in room temperature for 1-2 days for fermentation

Transfer into refrigerator and enjoy for up to one month

We enjoyed this for lunch with korean style meat patty and a few extra side dishes.


Kimchi jjiggae, Kimchi stew, 김치찌개


Kimchi jjiggae  is one of the most popular all the stews in Korean cuisine and is made from mature kimchi, tofu, and meat or seafood. It is a warm, hearty, spicy and savory dish. When ever we were out eating korean bbq we often got a bowl of this stew and a bowl of rice at the end of the meal.

There are many variations of this dish as each household uses their own favorite ingredients.

This is my version and I used what I had available.
It is not always easy to make Korean food in Norway although many immigrant stores are pretty well stocked with exotic food, but Korean products are sadly scares.
I was out of gochujang, so I have replaced it with something called kimchi base that I have found in one of the local immigrant shops.

400 g thinly cut rib eye or the type of meat you want to use
1 tablespoon sesame oil
5 dl kimchi
0.5 dl kimchi brine
1/2 chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tbsp gochujang/kimchi base
1-2 tsp gochugaru or cayenne pepper
7.5 dl water
1/2 package tofu
2 sliced scallions

In a heavy bottomed saute the beef, garlic and the onions, when the onions are glossy add kimchi and keep sauteing until the mixture is very fragrant.
Add the kimchi juice, water, chili paste, chili flakes and drizzle sesame oil, stir everything together to combine.
Bring to a boil and taste for spiciness, adjust with gochugaru to increase the heat to where you want it. Add the tofu, turn down the heat to a simmer and let it cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the beef and kimchi are tender.
When you’re ready to serve the kimchi jjiggae, add the green onions. Put the pot on the tablet and serve it with rice.

Kimchi fried rice, kimchi bokkeumbap

This is a simple dish with few ingredients that is much loved by many Koreans, it is more like a risotto than fried rice because it is mushier. After my stay in Korea I have come to appreciate this dish.

1 liter cooked rice
2,5 dl chopped kimchi
1 tbsp vegetable oil
0,5 dl kimchi juice
0,5 dl water
2-3 tablespoons gochujang/chili paste
3 teaspoons sesame oil
100-150 g chopped ham
1 green scallions, chopped
1 tablespoon roasted sesame seeds
1 sheet of kim, roasted and shredded


Stir fry kimchi in a pan with a little oil for aboout 1 minute.

Add rice, kimchi juice, water, and gochujang. Stir all the ingredients together for a few minutes.

Add sesame oil and remove from the heat.

Sprinkle with chopped green onion, roasted kim and sesame seeds. Serve right away.

Easy and quick kimchi recipe

Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings and staple dish number one. A few years ago when we had Koreans over for dinner, I had made some kimchi, they had not had any kimchi for over a week and finished everything.

There are many of varieties of kimchi made from chinese cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. One of my favorite kimchi when I lived in South Korea was the one made with cucumber.

This variation is a very traditional kind made with chinese cabbage

1 kg Chinese cabbage
1.5 dl sea salt
Clean water
5-6 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon sugar
2-4 teaspoons shrimp paste
1-5 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
250 g daikon
4 scallions

Cut the cabbage lengthwise. Salt the cabbage, using your hands (gloves optional), massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit, then put the cabbage in a big container and add water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top and weigh it down with something heavy.  Let stand for 1 to 2 hours

Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3-4 times and drain in a colander for 20-30 minutes with the cut surface turned downwards

Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl except the daikon and scallions.

How much chili you want to use is up to you.

Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage. Rub the seasoning paste on each of the cabbage leaves and try not to brake the cabbage, and put some shredded daikon and strips of scallion in between the cabbage leaves
The gloves are optional, but I highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smell.

Pack the cabbage back together and cut the cabbage into 4-5 cm wide strips. Try to keep the cabbage together when you put them in clean jars.
The reason why I made the kimchi this way is that it will look nicer when served. But you can cut the cabbage into smaller bits before you salt and soak. Put everything in a clean bowl and just follow the same procedure.

Pack the kimchi into jars, pressing down on it until the brine rises to cover the vegetables. Leave at least 1 inch of head space and seal the jars.

Let the jar stand at room temperature for 1 to 5 days, remember to put the jars on a tray with edges. When the vegetables start to ferment bubbles might develop and brine may seep out of the lid.

Check the kimchi once a day, pressing down on the vegetables with a clean spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. This also releases gases produced during fermentation. Taste the kimchi and  when the it tastes ripe enough for your liking, put the jars in the fridge. The kimchi is ready to eat, but i is best after a week or two.