The Korean word “mak” means “carelessly” or “roughly” (generally used as an adverb). The name mak kimchi (막김치) suggests this is carelessly (or roughly) made kimchi. Of course, all kimchi types are made with care, but the name comes from the shortcut method used to make this version as compared to traditional kimchi (aka pogi kimchi).
How to make easy kimchi at home
Tips and Variations on this easy kimchi recipe:
When I make this easy kimchi recipe, I almost always add some mu (Korean radish) just like my mother and mother-in-law used to. Not only does kimchi taste more refreshing with some radish, but it’s like having two different kinds of kimchi in one dish.
You can dress it up by adding other ingredients like Korean pear, oysters, garlic chives, etc.
If you like lighter tasting kimchi, simply reduce the amounts of gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes), salted shrimp, fish sauce, and/or garlic. If you don’t have salted shrimp, just add more fish sauce (and salt if needed) to achieve the desired salt level.
How long can I keep homemade kimchi in the fridge?
Your homemade kimchi will continue to age in your refrigerator, and this type of kimchi will be good for a month or two or even longer, depending on the salt level.
More kimchi recipes
Mak Kimchi (Easy Kimchi)Side Dish Print Recipe
- 2 medium size napa cabbages (about 4 pounds each) about 8 pounds
- 1-1/4 cups coarse sea salt less if using finer salt
- 6 cups water
- 1 small Korean radish (mu) - about 1.5 pounds
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 5 - 7 scallions roughly chopped
- 1 cup gochugaru Korean red chili pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup saeujeot salted shrimp, finely minced
- 4 tablespoons myulchiaekjeot fish sauce
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar - optional
- large bowls preferably at least 7 - 8 quarts
- large colanders
- kitchen gloves
- airtight containers or jar(s) - about 1.5 gallons total
- Cut the cabbage heads into quarters and remove the core from each quarter. Cut each quarter crosswise into bite sizes (about 1.5-inches).
- Place the cabbage pieces in a large bowl(s). In a smaller bowl, dissolve 1-1/4 cups of salt in 6 cups of water. Pour over the cabbage. Toss well to wet the cabbage pieces evenly with the salt water. Let stand until the white parts are bendable, about 2 hours, turning the cabbage pieces over occasionally.
- Cut the radish into bite sizes (about 1.5-inch square, about 1/4-inch thick). Sprinkle with a tablespoon of salt. Toss well. Let it sit for about 30 minutes. Drain. Do not wash.
- Rinse the bowl with 1/2 cup of water by swirling around, and pour over the kimchi. Press it down to remove air pockets.
- Leave the kimchi out at room temperature for half a day to a day, depending on how quickly you want your kimchi to ferment. Then, refrigerate.