Kimchi with Regular Cabbage: Exploring the Classic Kimchi Delight

In the realm of kimchi, there exists a cherished classic, a timeless favorite that captures the very essence of this beloved Korean dish: Kimchi with Regular Cabbage. It’s the kimchi that often first comes to mind when one thinks of this iconic condiment.

Known for its simple yet harmonious combination of flavors, this variety of kimchi brings together the fresh crunch of regular cabbage, the spicy kick of red pepper flakes, the depth of garlic, and the transformative power of fermentation.

Benefits of making kimchi with regular cabbage

Benefits of making kimchi with regular cabbage

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that has gained popularity worldwide for its unique flavor and numerous health benefits. While Napa cabbage is commonly used in kimchi recipes, making kimchi with regular cabbage is a cost-effective and widely available option that offers similar health benefits.

In this article, I will discuss the benefits of using regular cabbage for kimchi, provide a traditional recipe, explain how to adjust the fermentation process, explore variations of kimchi using regular cabbage, and offer tips for storing and serving this delicious dish.

Cost-effective option

One of the main advantages of making kimchi with regular cabbage is its cost-effectiveness. Regular cabbage is generally more affordable and easier to find than Napa cabbage, making it a budget-friendly choice for those who want to enjoy homemade kimchi without breaking the bank.

By using regular cabbage, you can save money while still enjoying the delicious flavors and health benefits of kimchi.

Widely available

Regular cabbage is widely available in grocery stores and markets, making it easily accessible for anyone interested in making kimchi at home. Unlike Napa cabbage, which may be harder to find in some areas, regular cabbage can be purchased year-round, ensuring that you can make kimchi whenever you desire. Its widespread availability makes regular cabbage a convenient option for kimchi enthusiasts.

Similar health benefits

While Napa cabbage is often preferred for its tender leaves and milder flavor, regular cabbage offers similar health benefits when used in kimchi. Cabbage is a nutrient-dense vegetable that is rich in vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants.

These nutrients contribute to a healthy immune system, improved digestion, and reduced inflammation. By using regular cabbage in your kimchi, you can still enjoy these health benefits and add a nutritious element to your diet.

Traditional kimchi recipe using regular cabbage

Traditional kimchi recipe using regular cabbage

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of using regular cabbage for kimchi, let’s dive into a traditional recipe that you can easily follow at home.


– 1 head of regular cabbage
– 1/4 cup sea salt
– 1 tablespoon grated ginger
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
– 2 green onions, chopped
– 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional for umami flavor)

Preparation steps

1. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Rinse the cabbage under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities.
2. Sprinkle sea salt between the leaves of the cabbage, focusing on the thicker parts. Let it sit for 2 hours, flipping the cabbage halfway through.
3. Rinse the cabbage under cold water to remove excess salt. Squeeze out any excess water and set aside.
4. In a bowl, mix together the grated ginger, minced garlic, Korean red pepper flakes, chopped green onions, and fish sauce (if using).
5. Rub the spice mixture onto each cabbage leaf, making sure to coat them evenly.
6. Place the seasoned cabbage into a clean glass jar, pressing it down firmly to remove any air pockets.
7. Leave about an inch of space at the top of the jar and seal it tightly.
8. Let the kimchi ferment at room temperature for 1-2 days, depending on your preference. Check the taste and texture regularly.
9. Once fermented, store the kimchi in the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process and enhance the flavors.

Adjusting the fermentation process for regular cabbage kimchi

Adjusting the fermentation process for regular cabbage kimchi

When making kimchi with regular cabbage, it’s important to adjust the fermentation process to ensure optimal results. Here are two key adjustments to consider:

Shorter fermentation time

Regular cabbage tends to ferment faster than Napa cabbage due to its higher water content. Therefore, it is recommended to ferment regular cabbage kimchi for a shorter period, typically 1-2 days, to achieve the desired level of fermentation.

Keep a close eye on the kimchi during the fermentation process and taste it regularly to determine when it has reached the desired flavor and texture.

Increased salt content

Regular cabbage is generally less sweet and has a higher water content compared to Napa cabbage. To compensate for this, it is advisable to increase the salt content when making kimchi with regular cabbage. This will help draw out excess moisture and ensure proper fermentation.

Use approximately 1/4 cup of sea salt for one head of regular cabbage, adjusting the amount based on personal preference and taste.

Variations of kimchi using regular cabbage

Variations of kimchi using regular cabbage

While traditional kimchi is made with cabbage, there are various delicious variations that you can explore using regular cabbage. Here are a few popular options:

Radish kimchi

Radish kimchi, also known as “kkakdugi,” is a crunchy and spicy side dish that pairs well with regular cabbage kimchi. It is made by cubing radishes and seasoning them with a mixture of Korean red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. The radish kimchi can be enjoyed on its own or mixed with regular cabbage kimchi for added flavor and texture.

Cucumber kimchi

Cucumber kimchi, or “oi kimchi,” is a refreshing and tangy variation of kimchi that is perfect for hot summer days. Thinly sliced cucumbers are marinated in a mixture of Korean red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. The result is a crunchy and flavorful kimchi that complements regular cabbage kimchi beautifully.

Green onion kimchi

Green onion kimchi, or “pa kimchi,” is a simple yet delicious variation that highlights the flavors of green onions. The green onions are seasoned with a mixture of Korean red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. This kimchi can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to regular cabbage kimchi for an extra kick of flavor.

Tips for storing and serving regular cabbage kimchi

To ensure the longevity and freshness of your regular cabbage kimchi, follow these tips for proper storage and serving:

Proper storage containers

Store your regular cabbage kimchi in glass jars or airtight containers to prevent air exposure and maintain its flavor and texture. Plastic containers may absorb the strong flavors of kimchi, so glass is the preferred option. Make sure to leave some space at the top of the container to allow for fermentation gases.

Refrigeration guidelines

After the initial fermentation process, transfer the kimchi to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation and enhance the flavors. Regular cabbage kimchi can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks to months, depending on personal preference. The flavors will continue to develop over time, so feel free to taste it periodically to determine the optimal fermentation period for your liking.

Serving suggestions

Regular cabbage kimchi can be enjoyed in various ways. It can be served as a side dish alongside rice, used as a topping for noodles or rice bowls, or incorporated into various Korean dishes such as kimchi fried rice or kimchi pancakes. The spicy and tangy flavors of regular cabbage kimchi add a delightful kick to any meal.



In conclusion, making kimchi with regular cabbage offers several benefits, including cost-effectiveness, wide availability, and similar health benefits to Napa cabbage kimchi.

By following a traditional recipe, adjusting the fermentation process, exploring variations, and utilizing proper storage and serving techniques, you can enjoy the delicious flavors and health benefits of regular cabbage kimchi.

So why not give it a try and embark on a flavorful journey into the world of kimchi?


  • Can you use regular cabbage instead of napa cabbage?

    You can use napa cabbage and green cabbage almost interchangeably, in a variety of recipes. However, green cabbage maintains a firmer texture compared to napa cabbage, making it ideal when used as wraps or stuffed.

  • Does the type of cabbage matter for kimchi?

    Kimchi is traditionally made with napa cabbage, but there’s nothing to stop you from using another cabbage! Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, green cabbage, savoy cabbage, white cabbage, red cabbage, and bok choy (we could go on and on) are all part of the very large cruciferous family (Brassicaceae).

  • Can I use cabbage instead of lettuce for kimchi?

    Of course. Kimchi can be made pretty much with any vegetables like regular cabbage, cucumber, green onions, radish and etcetera. The texture maybe different but made right, they are great pickled vegetables.

  • Is napa cabbage better than regular cabbage for kimchi?

    The texture and taste won’t be the same, but it will turn out okay. Regular cabbage works for making kimchi, but the finished product won’t taste the same as the much more common Napa Valley cabbage kimchi. Regular cabbage has a stronger bite and is crunchier than Napa Valley cabbage when fresh or fermented.

Originally posted 2023-06-11 02:08:54.

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