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Molly's Cooking Blog

Of Cabbage and Kimchi

kim chi

I first became a fan of kimchi 30 years ago when I first moved to San Francisco. Paul and I would go to a restaurant called the Kirin and they would put a bowl of kimchi on table to nibble on while you waited for your food. I loved the spicy cabbage flavor. After the restaurant went out of business that was it for me and kimchi for a long time. There really aren’t very many good Korean restaurants in San Francisco so we didn't eat very much Korean cuisine.

This summer I started getting a serious craving for cabbage and I like to listen to my body’s cravings. The health benefits of cabbage are numerous and well known and being Polish I grew up loving cabbage. I started buying jars of kimchi for $5 a jar and I could eat a jar in one sitting by myself everyday. This was getting too expensive. I was also getting interested in fermented foods and the health benefits of them. So making my own kimchi seemed like a way to satisfy my craving for cabbage and interest in fermented foods. I also started making my own sauerkraut and fermented dill pickles but that is another story.

I searched the web and researched various kimchi recipes until I found one that seemed to be what I was looking for that was posted by Dr. Ben Kim. Check out his site at He has many interesting and healthy recipes. I made my list and went to a little Korean grocery store called Woo Ri Food Market in San Francisco on Fillmore Street where I found the Korean chili flakes that are an absolute necessity and the other ingredients.

I was ready to go...Recipe for Traditional Kimchi

kimchi ingredients

My first batch turned out exactly like I wanted and I haven’t been without a jar of kimchi in the refrigerator ever since.

kimchi ready to mix

The cabbage has been fermenting in the salt brine for about 4 hours. It's rinsed and the rest of the ingredients are added.

kimchi mixed

The ingredients have all been thoroughly blended and it's ready to put into the jars.

So now you have a big jar of Kimchi in the refrigerator for making kimchi fried rice or using it as a condiment for bulgogi or just munching on it for a snack. At some point it gets older and a little over fermented and sour, so the question becomes what do you do with it? The perfect solution is to use it up in this delicious Kimchi Noodle Soup.

This is absolutely delicious, hearty, and tastes so healthy. I love spicy food and this fits that description perfectly.

Recipe for Kimchi Noodle Soup.

kimchi soup