Can You Use Any Cabbage For Kimchi

When it comes to making kimchi, napa cabbage is the traditional choice. However, if you don’t have napa cabbage on hand, you’ll be glad to know that you can use other types of cabbage as well, such as green cabbage. Also known as yangbaechu in Korean, green cabbage is a great alternative for making delicious kimchi.

Key Takeaways:

  • Napa cabbage is the traditional choice for making kimchi, but green cabbage can be used as an alternative.
  • Green cabbage is healthy, naturally sweet, and crunchy, making it a suitable vegetable for kimchi.
  • Green cabbage doesn’t require as much salting time as napa cabbage, making it perfect for a quick kimchi recipe.
  • You can experiment with different types of chili pepper powder and seasonings to customize the flavor of your kimchi using green cabbage.

Making Yangbaechu Kimchi with Green Cabbage

To make delicious yangbaechu kimchi with green cabbage, follow these easy steps:


  • 1 green cabbage
  • Coarse sea salt or regular kitchen salt
  • Kimchi seasonings (Korean red chili pepper powder, garlic, ginger, etc.)
  • Optional seasonings (fish sauce, Korean soup soy sauce, etc.)


  1. Remove the tough outer leaves from the green cabbage and cut it into quarters.
  2. Remove the core from each cabbage quarter.
  3. Cut the cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Rinse the cabbage pieces well to remove any dirt or impurities.
  5. Salt the cabbage generously with coarse sea salt or regular kitchen salt. Ensure all the cabbage pieces are coated evenly.
  6. Let the salted cabbage sit for approximately 1-2 hours to allow it to release excess water.
  7. Rinse the salted cabbage once to remove excess salt.
  8. Drain the cabbage well to remove excess moisture.
  9. In a large bowl, mix the cabbage with your desired kimchi seasonings, such as Korean red chili pepper powder, garlic, ginger, and other spices.
  10. Add optional seasonings like fish sauce or Korean soup soy sauce for additional flavor (skip this step for vegan kimchi).
  11. Massage the kimchi seasonings into the cabbage, ensuring every piece is coated evenly.
  12. Transfer the seasoned cabbage into a clean, airtight container or jar.
  13. Press the kimchi down firmly to remove any air pockets and ensure it is fully submerged in its own juices.
  14. Cover the container or jar tightly and let the kimchi sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight to start the fermentation process.
  15. Once fermented, move the kimchi to the refrigerator for storage.

Here is an image of the ingredients and the process of making yangbaechu kimchi with green cabbage:

green cabbage kimchi ingredients

Enjoy the vibrant flavors of homemade yangbaechu kimchi with your meals!

Seasonings for Yangbaechu Kimchi

When making yangbaechu kimchi with green cabbage, the seasonings play a crucial role in creating its distinct flavor. While Korean red chili pepper powder (gochugaru) is the traditional choice, you can experiment with different types of chili pepper powder to add variations to your kimchi.

If your chili pepper powder is too spicy, you can balance it by mixing it with pureed red bell pepper or mild fresh red chili peppers. This not only reduces the spiciness but also adds a delightful flavor and vibrant color to your kimchi.

For a savory twist, salted shrimp (saeujeot) is commonly used in kimchi. However, if you prefer a substitute for salted shrimp, you can use fish sauce or Korean soup soy sauce (guk ganjang). These alternatives provide a similar umami flavor that complements the other ingredients in the kimchi.

For those following a vegan diet, omitting the shrimp is a suitable option. Instead, you can use a plant-based alternative like Korean soup soy sauce to achieve a rich and savory taste in your vegan kimchi.

Below is a table summarizing the different seasonings for yangbaechu kimchi:

Seasonings Description
Korean red chili pepper powder (gochugaru) Traditionally used for a spicy and flavorful kick.
Pureed red bell pepper or mild fresh red chili peppers Mixed with chili pepper powder to balance spiciness and add flavor and color.
Salted shrimp (saeujeot) Commonly used for a savory and umami taste.
Fish sauce or Korean soup soy sauce (guk ganjang) Substitutes for salted shrimp, providing a similar umami flavor.
Korean soup soy sauce Plant-based alternative for vegan kimchi.

Experiment with these variations to find the perfect combination of seasonings for your green cabbage kimchi. Whether you prefer a spicy or savory flavor profile, there are options for everyone to enjoy this traditional Korean dish.

seasonings for yangbaechu kimchi

Storing and Fermenting Yangbaechu Kimchi

After making yangbaechu kimchi, it is important to let it sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight before storing it in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to develop and enhances the fermentation process. While you can start eating yangbaechu kimchi right away, it is best to let it ferment in the fridge for a couple of weeks for optimal flavor. Yangbaechu kimchi is lightly seasoned, so it is recommended to consume it within 3 to 4 weeks for the best taste. Keep the kimchi in an airtight container or jar, pressing it down firmly to remove any air pockets.

Storing Kimchi
Optimal Storage Time for Green Cabbage Kimchi Best Practices
Temperature Store kimchi in the refrigerator at a temperature below 40°F (4°C) to slow down the fermentation process and maintain freshness.
Airtight Containment Use an airtight container or jar to store the kimchi, preventing exposure to air and potential spoilage. Press the kimchi down firmly to remove any air pockets.
Fermentation Time Allow the kimchi to ferment in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1-2 weeks to develop its characteristic tangy flavor. For a stronger flavor, ferment for a longer duration.
Quality Check Regularly check the kimchi for any signs of spoilage, such as an off smell or unusual texture. If the kimchi smells rotten or shows signs of mold, discard it immediately.

By following proper storage practices and allowing the kimchi to ferment, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of yangbaechu kimchi over an extended period. Remember to consume it within 3 to 4 weeks for the best taste and quality.

Using Different Cabbage Varieties for Kimchi

While napa cabbage and green cabbage are the most commonly used varieties for kimchi, there are other options available that can add unique flavors and textures to this traditional Korean dish. Experimenting with different cabbage varieties allows you to create a variety of kimchi flavors to suit your taste preferences.

Here are some cabbage options for kimchi:

  1. Savoy Cabbage: Savoy cabbage has crinkled leaves and a slightly milder taste compared to napa cabbage. It adds a pleasant crunch to kimchi and works well for those who prefer a less spicy flavor.
  2. White Cabbage: White cabbage, also known as Dutch cabbage, has a dense texture and a mild, sweet flavor. It is often used in European cuisines and can be a good alternative for making kimchi.
  3. Red Cabbage: Red cabbage adds vibrant color and a slightly peppery taste to kimchi. It has a firm texture and retains its crunch even after fermentation, making it a great choice for those who enjoy a tangy and visually appealing kimchi.
  4. Bok Choy: Bok choy, also known as Chinese cabbage, has tender leaves and a mild flavor. It is commonly used in stir-fries but can also be used to make a milder and more delicate version of kimchi.

Each cabbage variety will contribute its own unique taste and texture to the kimchi. Napa cabbage is favored for its tender texture, while green cabbage offers a crunchier bite and a slightly sweeter taste.

Remember, the best cabbage for kimchi flavor ultimately depends on your personal preference. Feel free to explore different cabbage varieties and find the one that best complements your desired kimchi experience.

kimchi with different cabbage varieties

Experimenting with different cabbage varieties allows you to create unique and delicious variations of kimchi. Whether you prefer the traditional napa cabbage kimchi or want to explore the crunch and sweetness of green cabbage, the choice is yours. Have fun and enjoy discovering the flavors that speak to your taste buds!

The Difference Between Kimchi and Sauerkraut

While both kimchi and sauerkraut are lacto-fermented cabbage-based condiments, they have distinct differences in terms of their origin and ingredients. Sauerkraut, a staple in European cuisine, particularly in Germany, is traditionally made with green or white cabbage. On the other hand, kimchi is a Korean culinary delight that typically features napa cabbage, along with daikon radish, carrots, garlic, ginger, and Korean chili pepper.

Although both kimchi and sauerkraut go through a similar fermentation process, they each have their own unique flavorings and ingredients that contribute to their distinct tastes and culinary heritage. Sauerkraut has a tangy and sour flavor profile, while kimchi offers a more complex and pungent taste. The inclusion of additional seasonings and vegetables in kimchi further separates it from sauerkraut, resulting in a spicier and more aromatic condiment.

Despite their differences, kimchi and sauerkraut share a few similarities. Both are rich in beneficial bacteria and are known to have probiotic properties that can promote good gut health. Additionally, they are versatile and can be enjoyed in various dishes, such as sandwiches, salads, and as side dishes. Whether you prefer the bold and fiery flavors of kimchi or the tangy simplicity of sauerkraut, both condiments provide a delicious way to incorporate fermented cabbage into your culinary repertoire.

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