Napa Cabbage Kimchi


1 Cup plus 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 heads Napa cabbage, cut into quarters or 2-inch wedges, depending on size of cabbage, largest outside leaves reserved un-chopped
1 whole bulb garlic, separated into individual, peeled cloves
1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger root
1/4 Cup fish sauce
1 Asian radish, peeled and grated
1 bunch of green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 bunches mustard greens, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 6 Cups)
1/2 Cup Gochugaru Chile
1 tsp sugar (optional but recommended)
Roasted Sesame oil (optional)
Sesame seeds (optional)


Dissolve 1 Cup kosher salt into 1/2 gallon of water in a large, non-reactive pan or mixing bowl, then soak cabbage pieces in the salt water for 4 hours.

Using a blender (or food processor fitted with the sharp metal blade), combine peeled garlic cloves, fresh ginger, and fish sauce until ginger and garlic are finely minced.

In a large bowl, combine grated radish, green onion pieces, mustard greens, garlic-ginger mixture, Gochugaru chile, and 1 Tbsp salt with the optional sugar. Use tongs or salad utensils to lightly toss until ingredients are fully mixed, and spice mixture incorporated throughout. (Using your hands to mix? Wear gloves, or the chile will burn your hands!)

Remove soaked cabbage pieces from salted water and rinse thoroughly, draining in a colander and squeezing as much water from the leaves as possible. Take drained cabbage and, working from the outside in, largest leaf to smallest, stuff the spicy radish mixture between the leaves. Make sure radish mixture adequately fills leaves without “over-stuffing.”

After cabbage pieces are stuffed, use the reserved larger outside leaves to wrap tightly around the rest of the cabbage. Divide cabbage among 4 quart-sized jars (or one gallon-sized jar). Press cabbage down firmly into the jar to remove any air bubbles.

Allow spiced cabbage to rest, undisturbed in a cool place, for at least 2 to 3 days before serving.

To serve: remove kimchi from jar, and slice into manageable, bite-sized pieces of 1″ or so. If serving before kimchi is fermented, serve with a drizzle sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Refrigerate after opening.

Note: Kimchi will be good enough to eat all by itself for up to about 3 weeks. After about 4 weeks, the kimchi gets a bit too fermented to eat on its own, but use it instead in your hot pots, flatcakes, and dumplings, and even in plain fried rice.