Easy Kimchi or Mak Kimchi (막김치)

Easy Kimchi made with cabbages and radishes. Korean Mak Kimchi is an everyday kimchi that is simple to make but delicious with a zing.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Korean
Keyword pickles, quick, simple
KoreanCategory Kimchi (김치)
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 47kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 1 large Korean cabbage (approx 2 – 2.5 lb/900 – 1100g)
  • 1 small radish (1.5 lb /600 g)
  • 2 green onions , sliced
  • 9 Cups (240 ml x 9 = 2.16 litre, 2.3 quart) water

Salting Vegetables

  • 1.5 cups sea salt for brine
  • 4 tsp sea salt for sprinkling between cabbage leaves
  • 5 tsp sea salt for radish

Kimchi Seasoning Paste

  • 1 Cup anchovy stock
  • 1.5 Cup water
  • 1 handful of dried Korean anchovies (국물멸치 Gukmul myeolchi)
  • 1 pc square (of dried Kelp (다시마 Dashima)
  • 5 Tbsp gochukaru (Korean red chili powder)
  • 2 Tbs gochussi (dried red chili pepper seeds) – OPTIONAL but recommended
  • 4 tsp anchovy sauce (멸치액젓 myeolchi aekjot)
  • 2 Tbs fermented shrimp (새우젓 saewoojot)
  • 1 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ginger powder or
  • 1/4 onion , finely chopped or blended
  • 2 tsp sugar


  • Cut cabbage in half.
  • In a bowl or pot large enough to hold the cabbages, mix 9 cups (240 ml x 9 = 2160 ml) lukewarm water and 1 1/2 cups of sea salt. Stir until salt is dissolved.

Pickle cabbage halves in brine for 3 hrs

  • Pour some brine on top of cabbage to get it wet. Grab a generous pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp) and sprinkle salt in between maybe 2-3 layer of leaves, focusing on the thickest part of the cabbage. You only need to sprinkle about 3 times per cabbage. Put the cabbage back in brine. Turn over the cabbage once every hour.
  • Try the ‘bend’ test on thickest part of cabbage to see if it’s fully pickled. It should bend easily without breaking when it’s fully pickled.

Pickle Radish for 30 mintues

  • Cut radish into bite size squares. About 0.5 cm/0.2 in thick and 1.25 in/4cm sizes.
  • Pickle radish by sprinkling a handful (4 tsp) of salt and leaving them for 30 minutes.

Make anchovy broth

  • Simmer handful of dried soup anchovies and dried kelp (dashima) in 1 1/2 cups of water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until you get a yellowish cloudy broth. Let it cool.

Prepare kimchi seasoning paste

  • Use a blender/chopper: throw onions, garlic, ginger together and chop or blend quickly for couple minutes until they are in small bits.
  • Dump chopped onion, garlic, ginger into a bowl. Add red chili powder, anchovy sauce, saewoojeot, sugar and optionally chili pepper seeds. Substitute red chili pepper flakes for seeds. Mix.
  • Add 1 cup anchovy stock and mix. Set aside.

Rinse cabbages and radishes

  • Rinse brine from cabbage by soaking cabbage in water. Drain. Repeat 2 more times with new bowl of water. Let it drain for 5 min or more to completely drain excess water from cabbage.
  • Rinse radish in water. Drain.

Cut cabbages

  • Cut out root end of brined cabbage halves by cutting in a V shape and carving it out.
  • Cut rest of cabbage leaves altogether into 1.5~2 inch slices.

Mix kimchi vegetables with seasoning

  • In a large bowl enough to hold everything, add the cabbage, radish and green onion slices and mix with the kimchi seasoning paste. Use plastic gloves to protect your hands from the spicy chili paste! Coat all cabbage and radishes evenly with the seasoning.
  • IMPORTANT!! Taste your kimchi and you can adjust seasoning. Remember it should taste a bit salty at this time and the saltiness will go down as it ripens.
  • Get a glass jar or plastic container large enough to hold everything plus some head room for expansion during fermentation and transfer kimchi into the container.


Leave it at room temperature for 2 days or so and then put in the fridge. It should be ready to eat in a few days.


Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 262mg | Potassium: 419mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1970IU | Vitamin C: 32.7mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 1.4mg