Salting Cabbage for Kimchi Making

Follow these simple steps to salt the cabbage and other vegetables to make Kimchi. Dress with The Basic Kimchi Sauce for a traditional spicy red pepper based Kimchi as well as non spicy White Kimchi.

Traditional Cabbage Kimchi
White Kimchi
Bok Choy Kimchi


Salt Water Solution

5 pounds cabbage*
1 cup Kosher salt
6 cups water

*If more than 5 pounds, increase the salt water solution accordingly to the weight of the cabbage using the same salt to water – one to six proportion.

Salt to Cabbage Proportion

1 tablespoon kosher salt to 1 pound cabbage

Kimchi Salting

Cut the bottom portion of the root and discard.


Using a sharp knife, cut 1/3 of the cabbage from the root portion.

Kimchi Salting

Grab each piece with your hands and pull the cabbage apart.

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Repeat the same steps with the halved pieces so that you have 4 quartered sections.

Kimchi Salting

In a large bowl, combine salt and water.

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Place the quartered section in the salt water solution. Gently spread open the leaves and dunk in the salt water solution, making sure to wet in between the leaves. Once drenched in salt water solution, transfer to a separate bowl

Kimchi Salting

Measure out kosher salt based on the weight of the cabbage using 1 tablespoon kosher salt to 1 pound of cabbage.

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Sprinkle salt on each of the leaves.

Kimchi Salting

Repeat the steps with all the cabbage pieces. Place the salted quartered pieces side by side alternating the heads until done.

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Sprinkle any remaining salt and pour the remainder of salt water solution on top.

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Place a bowl on top, and fill the top bowl with water. This will weigh down the cabbage and help to extract excess water and salt the cabbage. Let it sit in for 3-4 hours or until the cabbages are salted. If there are more than one row, alternate the cabbage pieces once or twice.

Kimchi Salting

After the cabbages are salted, clean and rinse the cabbage in the salt water solution, gently rubbing each of the leaves.

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Transfer the pieces to a sink or a large bowl filled with fresh water. Clean and rinse the cabbage, rubbing each of the leaves using your fingers. Drain. Repeat with fresh water until there’s no longer a slick oily feel to the leaves.

Salting Cabbage

Drain in a colander. Ready for Kimchi Making!