All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Asazuke hakusai kimuchi / quick napa cabbage kimchi

Sodium-savvy kimchi that we can eat without hesitation. This is a quick version inspired by non-fermented salad-like baechu geotjeori. Quick, but not exactly so ... the process takes some patience, as you need to let hakusai enjoy the sun (or the chill in the fridge) to intensify its natural sweetness and then spiced it up in red seasoning mix. The seasoning mix does contain sodium from fish sauce, shiokoji salted rice malt and shrimp flakes, but total sodium content is one-third to one-quarter of regular store-bought kimchi.

Kimchi (whole recipe; approx. 320 g [260-270 g solids])
237 calories; 7.2 g protein; 6.7 g fat; 33.7 g carbohydrate; 27.4 g net carbs; 612 mg sodium (approx. 340 mg with solids only); 1 mg cholesterol; 6.3 g fiber

Yangnyeom seasoning mix only (whole recipe; approx. 100 g)
175 calories; 4.3 g protein; 6.4 g fat; 19.1 g carbohydrate; 17.6 g net carbs; 596 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g fiber

(Makes approx. 320 g kimchi [260-270 g solids])
3-4 leaves (approx. 240-260 g) hakusai napa cabbage (250 g in photo)
1/3-1/2 medium onion (60 g in photo)
1 green onion
6-7 leaves nira garlic chives
5 tbsp (100 g) yangnyeom seasoning mix (below )

For yangnyeom seasoning mix for hakusai kimchi
(Makes approx. 100 g)
2 tbsp Korean pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp roasted white sesame seeds
1 tsp shrimp flakes
1 large clove or 2 medium cloves garlic (10 g in photo)
1 small knob ginger (6 g in photo)
1cm slice apple or pear, or 1 tsp mirin (21 g apple slice in photo)
1 tbsp sake
1/2 tsp rice vinegar (or kurozu brown rice vinegar)
2 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt
1 tsp nam pla fish sauce
2/3 tsp sesame oil


Chop hakusai into squares, and dry for 1-2 days (if weather does not cooperate, dry uncovered in fridge).


Grate garlic, ginger and apple (pear), and mix well with rest of ingredients for yangnyeom seasoning mix.

Keep in the fridge until use.


When ready to proceed (hakusai leaves are adequately wilted, white thick parts have lost glossy look and can be bent slightly), slice onion and green onion, and chop nira garlic chives.


Place hakusai in prep bowl, add two-thirds of seasoning mix, and mix well with hand, coating all surfaces with seasoning.


Add onion, green onion, garlic chives and remaining seasoning mix, and mix well with hand.
Keep refrigerated.
Ready to eat from Day 3 (best after 4-5 days).
Keeps at least a week.

  • After squeezing out liquid or very loose paste of seasoning mix from finished kimchi, the solid portion contains about 45% less sodium as a conservative figure.
  • This kimchi is especially good as an ingredient in dishes involving other salty seasoning (ex. topping for kamatama udon, at right).
  • Store-bought napa cabbage kimchi contains about 600-900+ mg sodium per 100 g edible portion.
  • I use a Thai nam pla containing 690 mg sodium per tablespoon.

No comments: