While the majority of kimchi is left to ferment for months and possibly years, this recipe is a notable exception as it can be eaten right away. It’s briefly dipped in salt and sometimes drizzled with sesame oil at the end of cooking. People who prefer a milder, fresher kimchi will enjoy this unfermented yet flavoursome dish.






Skill level

Average: 3.5 (23 votes)


  • 750 ml (3 cups water)
  • 250 g (1 cup) fine sea salt, plus 1 ½ tbsp extra
  • 1 kg (1 head) wombok (Chinese cabbage), sliced into long strips, about 3 cm x 8 cm
  • 2 cups Korean radish (moo) (see Note), cut into julienne
  • 2–3 tbsp rice flour
  • ½ cup Korean chilli powder (kochugaru)
  • 2–3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cm piece ginger
  • ½ brown onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Korean salted shrimp (saewoo gert)
  • 2–3 tbsp fish sauce or Korean anchovy sauce
  • 2–3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 3–4 spring onions, sliced
  • ¼ cup garlic chives (see Note), sliced into 3–4 cm lengths, optional
  • 24 oysters, optional
  • rice wine vinegar, to serve
  • sesame seeds, lightly toasted, to serve
  • sesame oil, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Resting time 2 hours

The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Combine the water and salt in a medium size saucepan and stir over a low heat until the salt dissolves. Pour the salt water over the cabbage and allow to stand for 2 hours or until the cabbage wilts. Drain, wash the cabbage three times in fresh water, drain well and set aside.

Mix the extra salt and the Korean radish in a bowl. Allow to rest for 15 minutes then drain and set aside.

Mix the rice flour with 250 ml (1 cup) water in a small saucepan and bring it to the boil, stirring constantly. This should take about 1 minute. Turn off the heat, transfer the rice paste to a bowl, allow to cool, then mix in the chilli powder.

Blend the garlic, ginger, onion, salted shrimp and fish sauce and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Add the blended mixture to the cabbage, along with the radish and rice paste and toss until well combined. Add the spring onions, garlic chives and oysters (if using).

To serve, drizzle kimchi with rice vinegar, sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. If not using straight away, pack leftover kimchi into sterilised jars (don't add the oysters until ready to eat). Refrigerate and consume within a week.


• Korena radish, known as moo, and Korean salted shrimp can be found at Korean supermarkets and some Asian grocers.
 Kochugaru can be found at Korean and some Asian supermarkets. Substitute cayenne or chilli powder.


Photography by Alan Benson