Fresh Cabbage and Cucumber Kimchi

Ever since the Great Kimchi Disaster of 2005, where I naively thought that using pre-packaged kimchi flavoring powder on cabbage would result in the vinegared vegetables of my dreams, I’ve stayed away from trying to make kimchi.

Until now. This kimchi recipe is fresh rather than fermented, resulting in a crispy texture. Less funk, more crunch. The preparation couldn’t be simpler and the results are oh so worth it.

Cabbage, cucumber, and radish kimchi


1 small head napa cabbage (1 1/2 pounds), halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
5 Persian cucumbers, sliced 1/3 inch thick
3/4 pounds daikon, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
10 radishes, quartered
1/4 cup salt
1/3 cup ginger, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup gochugaru
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sugar

1. Place the cabbage, cucumbers, daikon and radishes in 4 separate bowls. Add 1 tablespoon of the salt to each bowl and toss well to coat the vegetables. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine all of the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

3. Drain the vegetables and squeeze out excess water. In a bowl, mix all of the vegetables with the gochugaru-vinegar sauce. Cover the kimchi and refrigerate overnight before serving.

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