Yangbaechu Kimchi (Green Cabbage Kimchi)

Green cabbage kimchi

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.

Yangbaechu Kimchi (Green Cabbage Kimchi)
An easy kimchi made with green cabbage!
  1. 1 head green cabbage (about 2.5 pounds)
  2. 4 tablespoons coarse sea salt (less if using table salt)
  3. 3 scallions, roughly chopped
  4. 1/4 cup Korean red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  5. 2 tablespoons saeujeot (salted shrimp), finely chopped, (or fish sauce)
  6. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  7. 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  1. 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.
    Yangbaechu kimchi
  2. 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 halfway through. Rinse the salted cabbage once and drain to remove excess water.
    Yangbaechu Kimchi
  3. Mix the chili pepper flakes (gochugaru) with the next 3 ingredients along with 1 cup of water.
    Yangbaechu kimchi
  4. Add the chopped scallions and the gochugaru mix to the salted cabbage along with 1 cup of water.
    Yangbaechu kimchi
  5. Using a kitchen glove, mix everything well by hand until the cabbage pieces are well coated with the gochugaru mix. Place in an airtight container or a jar, pressing down hard to remove air pockets. Leave it out in room temperature for half a day or so. Then, refrigerate.
    Yangbaechu Kimchi
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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!
    • John Smith says:
      "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?" Chili flakes generally = cayenne, which is way too spicy. I'd cut the spice in half if you're using cayenne. To get the dried pepper flavor, paprika is a good substitute to fill out the rest of the tbsps of gochugaru required. My wife's tolerance for spicy food is limited, so I use paprika in place of some of the dried hot peppers required to get the pepper flavor without the heat, both for kimchi and anything else that calls for dried hot pepper spices.
  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, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8E0XaX0tR0&google_comment_id=z13pxvzwbmqbxl4hm04cjj0pfrjezndqs3w&google_view_type#gpluscomments 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?
  29. LindaSD says:
    I want to add regular thin chopped or shredded carrot. When should this be added-- with the cabbage and salt at first or later with the scallions? I buy a brand that has carrots and it is very nice (similar crunch as Daikon radish). And I saw one recipe that adds fresh pear or apple slices which is interesting idea - not sure if best to just add fruit when eating or if these can be also added with the scallions and ginger. Your ideas on adding fruit would be appreciated. I've tried making green cabbage kimchi before but didn't let it sit with salt long enough and it was too crunchy. I also didn't have the Korean chili flakes so used some other flakes and it is definitely not the same taste as the Korean flakes. If left at room temp longer I assume it just ferments and needs to be checked before it ferments too far? Refrigeration stops the ferment. Thanks for this easy recipe! Will be making it this way tonight.
    • You can add later with the scallions because shredded carrot doesn't need to be salted. You can add fruits later with the seasoning. Yes it should be checked and placed in the fridge. It will continue to ferment in the fridge although refrigeration slows down the process. Hope this helps.
  30. Hyosun ssi, hello and thank you for posting so many delicious recipes! I've tried some Korean dishes and fell in love with their flavour, but didn't get the chance to try kimchi. Unfortunately there are no Korean restaurants where I live and it's almost impossible to find napa cabbage either. So I was excited to find your recipe for green cabbage kimchi and I tried making a batch. For the same reasons I mentioned before I didn't use Korean pepper flakes but a local kind of pepper flakes, which are similar in consistency though. I know this will make it taste different but I hope the result is still good. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions about the fermentation process. Considering it's winter time, I have kept the container at room temperature for around 3 days, then put it in the fridge. I have checked and tasted the cabbage everyday but since I've never tried kimchi before, it's difficult for me to tell when it's "ready", that is, when it's actually at a good degree of fermentation. I noticed that the smell has become more pungent and the taste has turned a little sour, and the cabbage has released water which has gotten a little bubbly. Also, every time I check it I usually press down the cabbage so that there's as little air as possible inside the container, but only the bottom half of the cabbage layers is submerged in water, while almost half of the top layer is somewhat dry. Is this normal, or should the whole cabbage be wet? I see no mould on the top but I was curious about how it should look after 4-5 days. Thank you for reading my message and for your wonderful blog and sorry for the long post! 정말 감사합니다!
    • Hello Rob - It's great to hear you're trying to make kimchi with whatever the ingredients you can find in your area. From what you're describing, it sounds like everything is going well and your kimchi is ready to be eaten. This type of kimchi does not have enough liquid for the whole thing to submerge in water. It's normal. It should have generated enough liquid to keep the cabbage slightly wet though. If you like a little more liquid, add some water next time. For now, take some out from the bottom to eat and press the remaining kimchi down every time you take some out. Hope this helps.
      • Thank you so much for your reply! I will keep your suggestions in mind. I have eaten some kimchi yesterday evening and it was very good; the taste is very refreshing and somehow addictive. As you said, the whole batch is indeed wet: just the amount of liquid is not enough to submerge the whole cabbage. Thank you again for your help; your blog is absolutely my favourite source of authentic Korean recipes and I visit it very often to try new dishes. Have a nice day!
  31. I am so glad I found this recipe! (but not sure if there is a simple print button on your site to just print out the recipe without all the rest of the "stuff on the page...at least I can't find it.) I simply can not stand Napa cabbage...absolutely hate the stuff no matter how it's prepared and the hubs was just talking about wanting me to make some Kimchee....I will happily use this recipe and see how it turns out. I might have to special order the chili flakes and salted shrimp as I live in the mountains of TN and I am positive that NO ONE in a 100 mile radius would be carrying what I need. Any suggestions on a good online source for those two things?
  32. Michelle Landry says:
    Hi! I am about to venture into making my own kimchi. I love kimchi and prefer it to sauerkraut. I want to eat it for its fermented and nutritional value but I am surprised that you recommend leaving it out only for 24 hours. Some recipes for fermented foods say a couple to three weeks. Would you please elaborate, Hyosun. Thank you!
    • It will continue to ferment in the fridge. You can start eating any time, but it will taste best after two or three weeks. If you leave it out too long, it will ripe and become sour very fast. Hope this helps.
  33. I'm looking for a recipe for a dish served in my favorite Chinese restaurant. It was served as an appetizer alongside the regular kimchi. While the kimchi is salty and hot, this was sweet and didn't have the peppers to make it red. It was green and also fermented. The owners of the restaurant retired, so I don't even know what the dish is called. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
  34. I live in a tropical country where every day is summer day? (30-33 degree celcius here) Do you think it's okay to put my freshly made kimchi straight to the fridge? I'm afraid if I put freshly made kimchi in the room temperature it will be so sour.
    • Yes you can put it in the fridge right away, but the first few hours (maybe 4 to 5 in your case) at room temperature should be fine. Enjoy!