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This recipe requires four hours to soak the cabbage in salt water and at least a couple of days to ferment.

Traditional Kimchi

kimchi jars

A healthy kimchi recipe made with apple and pear as a sweetener instead of sugar.


2 heads of Napa cabbage

1 daikon radish

Sea salt


Korean chili flakes

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons minced ginger

6-8 green onions, sliced

4 tablespoons fish sauce

1 yellow onion

1 ripe apple

1 ripe pear


1. Separate cabbage leaves and chop into bite-sized pieces.

2. Dissolve a half cup of sea salt in a bowl of warm water, then pour salt water over cabbage leaves. Give cabbage a gentle toss to distribute salt water. Allow salted cabbage to sit for at least four hours.

3. Give cabbage a good rinse to remove excess salt, and then transfer cabbage to a large bowl.

4. Combine a half cup of fine red chili flakes with warm water, stir gently with a spoon to create a red chili paste, then transfer chili paste to cabbage.

5. Add minced garlic, minced ginger, green onions, and fish sauce.

6. Blend yellow onion, apple, and pear with 2 cups of water, then add this natural sweetener to the cabbage.

7. Put on a pair of plastic gloves and give everything a thorough toss and rubdown. You want to distribute all ingredients, especially the red chili paste.

8. Transfer seasoned cabbage leaves into a large glass bottle. Be sure to use firm pressure with your hands to push down on cabbage leaves as they stack up inside the bottle.

Transfer any liquid that accumulated during the mixing process into the bottle as well - this liquid becomes kim chi brine. Some liquid will also come out of the cabbage leaves as you press down on them, as they are stacked in the bottle.

Be sure to leave about 2 inches of room at the top of the bottle before capping it.

Recipe by Dr. Ben Kim