Yangbaechu Kimchi (Green Cabbage Kimchi)

(Photo updated August 2013)


This is an easy summer kimchi. In the summer, when traditional napa cabbages are not in their prime season, green cabbages come in handy for making kimchi. Considering the origin of the green cabbage, Koreans call it yangbaechu, which means “Western cabbage”. They are naturally sweet and crunchy, which makes it a good source for kimchi. Unlike napa cabbage, which requires hours and hours of salting, green cabbage does not need to be salted for very long. All you need is about 2 hours to soften the cabbage and bring out the flavors. This is one of my mother’s favorite summer kimchi varieties, so we grew up eating it a lot.I mentioned to my mother the other day that I was going to make yangbaechu kimchi. She told me not to use a lot of seasoning because this kimchi should be light and refreshing. No matter how many years I’ve been cooking, she never misses a teachable moment. But, I know I am very blessed that she’s still around to do that.

1 head green cabbage (about 2.5 pounds)
4 tablespoons coarse sea salt (less if using table salt)3 scallions, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
2 tablespoons saeujeot (salted shrimp), finely chopped
(or use the same amount of fish sauce)

1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger


Cut the cabbage head into quarters and remove the core from each quarter. Cut each quarter into 2-inch squares. Rinse the cabbage and drain.



Place the cabbage in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt, and toss well to coat evenly. Leave it for about 2 hours, flipping over once half way through. Rinse the salted cabbage once and drain to remove excess water.


Mix the chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) with the next 3 ingredients along with 1/2 cup of water.



Add the chopped scallions and the gochugaru mix to the salted cabbage.



Using a kitchen glove, mix everything well by hand until the cabbage pieces are well coated with the gochugaru mix. Store in an air tight container or a jar. Leave it out in room temperature for half a day or so. Then, refrigerate.

(Original photo)

Leave a Comment



  1. I remember eating this when I was little.
    “Mum! It’s not the same, this is not Korean!”
    Now I understand why. So no salt huh? More healthy then I suppose. I haven’t eaten this for ages, just barely recall the taste.

  2. This is really full of flavor, and yes just like you said sound light and just for this time of year! My husband will enjoy this, he loves any cabbage dishes! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Pierre – Cabbage is presalted, and salted shrimp (or fish sauce) is quite salty. So you do not need salt to season it. Thanks.

    Sandra – Hope you give it a try. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. I have a big head of green cabbage in my fridge and I do not want cole slaw … this I believe, is what I will be making with it!

  5. This looks really good! I love kimchi and would love to try making them at home!!

  6. I LOVE Kimchi. I love Koren food and I love it all! Great recipe! now I can make it instead of going to china town!! Although I am sure that would not stop me :)

    We just saw you on food gawker and we are your newest followers.


    Amy & Tiff


  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Do you think I could use dried anchovies instead of shrimp? Also, how long can I keep this kimchi in the fridge?

  8. Miss C – If you don’t have salted shrimp, use fish sauce instead if you have any. Dried anchovies don’t have the pungent flavor that these fermented shrimp or fish sauce has. One time I made this kimchi while I was traveling in Berlin without any salted shrimp or fish sauce, but it tasted still good when fully fermented. The kimchi will last a few weeks in the fridge.

  9. Thank you for your answer! Can’t wait to use it in a kimchi stew with pork & tofu, & with kimchi fried rice! Thanks again for sharing your recipe :)

  10. I’ll try this recipe sometime soon. Adding kimchi juice into the mix will kickstart the fermentation process.

  11. Thanks, Jay! Let me know how it turns out.

  12. Hi – Hope you can help me with this question. I just finished making my first kimchi from your lovely recipe. I left my kimchi out for three days; I had read so many articles in making kimchi before I found your recipe that I missed your recommendation of 24 hours of fermentation time. My kimchi was starting to show signs of fermentation in 24 hours but I thought I was supposed to leave out for 3 days or even more. Also, I had very little liquid in my container. I found that recipes vary wildly from the brining process, sweetening and the time left to ferment. Can kimchi spoil? Thanks for your help and the easy recipe.

    • hi Jill – Thanks for using my recipe! 3 days are way too long for kimchi to be left out in the summer time. I’m sure your kimchi is very sour after being out 3 days, but it should be safe to eat. If it’s too sour to eat, make kimchi jjigae (stew) or kimchi fried rice. Cooking will reduce the acidity a bit. Adding a little bit of sugar while cooking kimchi will also help reduce the acidity. Also, if you’d like a little more liquid in this kimchi, add more water (season with a bit of salt) next time you make. Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any additional questions.

  13. I’ve been getting cabbages in my CSA produce box and we’re running out of ideas. LOL My husband loves kimchi but all the recipes I found was for napa cabbage. Thank GOD I found this.

    And now to the chili question. I can hop a town over to Korean market for it, I’m sure. But for the sake’s of others who don’t have access to Asian grocers (and of my sloth…hee), do you think we can substitute with a mixture of mostly crushed chili flakes, a little cayenne, and a pinch of sweet (or smoked?) paprika?

    • Good quality gochugaru (Korean chili pepper flakes) is a must for authentic kimchi. But, the others might still work, although kimchi would taste quite different. Let me know how it turns out if you try. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Hi there how long will it last in the fridge?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hi I always been curious about what Kimchi would taste like because i’ve never tried any before. So I was looking for a recipe and came across yours! It looks very simple compared to the others i found. I do have a couple of questions. I don’t eat any meat or fish, can I soak seaweed in water to replace the fish sauce and what vegetarian Korean dishes can be made with kimchi? Thank you!

    • You can simply omit the fish sauce. It will not be as pungent as Koreans like, but it will still taste good. Seaweed soaked water is a good idea to add flavor. I use it for my kimchi sometimes. Korean dishes are very versatile. You can simply omit meat or seafood from most of them and make vegetarian dishes. Happy cooking!

  16. Is soy sauce or miso paste a great substitute for fish sauce and salted shrimp paste respectively?

    • Not really. It’d be better to omit fish sauce or salted shrimp if not available. You can use a little bit of ground fresh shrimp if you want as it will ferment with the kimchi and add flavor. Hope this helps.

  17. I have been looking for a long time a recipe for green cabbage kimchi, I’m so glad I found yours! This is the easiest recipe that I have found and the shortest time that needs to be fermented. The kimchi turn out great, I love it. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Hi Danielle – You’re welcome! And thank you! I’m so happy to hear your kimchi turned out great. I look forward to hearing more about your Korean cooking. Cheers!

  18. Easy but great recipe. Such complex mix of flavors. Now that is cabbage season is time to take advantage of such marvelous vegetable, that is kimchi or slaws… Thanx.

  19. We traveled in S. Korea for 5 weeks, and loved everything about the country, especially the food. I’m so glad to find this recipe, as I live in Mexico where we do not have napa cabbage in the stores. Can I substitute any dried red chile for Korean red chile flakes? Like the kind of dry red chile sprinkled over pizzas?

    Thank you.

  20. We are so happy with this recipe. It was easy to make and tastes delicious. As we live in Mexico where there is no Asian grocery store nearby, we did not have Korean red pepper chili flakes. We substituted New Mexico red chili powder, brought back from a recent visit to Santa Fe. Since we are chili wimps, we only used half the amount of chili powder called for in the recipe. We also substituted fish sauce for salted shrimp. It is still very good, and looks just like your photo. Thank you for a great recipe. This will become a staple and a reminder of our 5-week visit to S. Korea.


    • Hi Kathleen – first let me apologize. I somehow had missed your first comment, so I didn’t answer your question. But I’m so glad you tried the recipe with New Mexico chili powder and liked it. And it’s great to know kimchi still taste very good with other chili powder. I’m sure my readers would love to know that. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your love for Korea and its food and to let me know how the recipe turned out for you! Cheers!

  21. May I know is this the normal cabbage that you are using or the sweet cabbage? I’ve often make the traditional kimchi and for a change would like to make this. There is another type of kimchi called white kimchi. Do you by any chance have the recipe?

  22. Having been stationed in South Korea, I have enjoyed many Korean dishes and I am eager to try making the round green cabbage kimchi.


  23. This looks so good. I’m going to have to remember your recipe the next time I run out of kimchi and all I have is green cabbage around me. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I really love this recipe. Wanted to let you know that I featured it in my monthly round-up of 25 Deliciously Healthy Low-Carb Recipes. I hope a lot of my readers will come over here and try it!

    • Thank you, Kalyn! You’re totally awesome!! I’ll come over to read your monthly round-up. I know they are always full of delicious, healthy recipes.

  25. Hi Hyosun nim,

    I just found your site. Nice to meet you here as a fellow foodie^^. I have a YouTube Korean cooking channel called, Hungry Gopher. One of my viewers asked how to make kimchi with regular cabbage, so I recommended your recipe in the reply on my kimchi video page on Youtube, here in the link,

    I love your website! Keep up the good work^^

    Hungry Gopher

  26. Looking forward to trying my first kimchi this weekend! How do Korean red pepper flakes differ from regular? Guessing that I won’t be able to find the Korean variety, would I use an equal amount of regular pepper flakes? Thanks in advance.

    • Not sure what you are referring to by regular pepper flakes. Are you talking about those that people use to sprinkle over pizza or pasta? If that’s the case, it won’t work with kimchi. Kimchi takes finely ground red hot pepper flakes or powder without visible seeds. There’s almost no substitute for Korean red pepper flakes for kimchi making. Did you try on-line for Korean pepper flakes?

  27. I love this recipe, and have made it a few times. Great flavor, good texture. I recently bought some Kim chee from the store, and it had that sour, tangy, “fermented” taste. My kim chee doesn’t have much of that flavor, is there something I can do to bring it out? When/where does the fermenting happen, after it’s jarred, in the fridge?

    • Leave it out at room temperature longer before putting it in the fridge, maybe 2 to 3 days, if you like it to ferment fast. Otherwise it will take about a week to 2 weeks for this type of kimchi to develop sour flavor. Hope this helps.

  28. Hi Hyosun,
    I made the yangbaechu kimchee recipe last week and it is still too salty. More salty than the normal kimchee flavor. I followed your recipe exact, as I have made it once before and had the same problem before. I used salted shrimp and left it out for about 24 hours in a cool/room temperature room, then put it in the dark back of my refrigerator. Since this recipe is to be consumed within 2-3 weeks, I am worried it will still be too salty to consume. Can I add radish to the mixture to absorb the salt or is there something else you recommend? Thank you! I love your website!

    • You can add more cabbage or radish. Don’t worry about 2 – 3 weeks. And also keep it out to help ferment faster. Saltiness goes down a little as the kimchi ferments. What kind of salt do you use?