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How to Make Kimchi: A Little Korea in Thailand!

5 min read

Ah, Kimchi. 

The representative dish of Korea. 

I have to say that I’m not the biggest fan of kimchi, but I’ll eat it if it’s in front of me.  

You might be wondering how or why I learned to make kimchi then…and while in Thailand. 

Well, the answer is simple.

I hang out with a bunch of Koreans here, OK?! …Stop judging me!! I’m priming myself for my visit to Korea sometime later this year.

I also love to cook – I actually miss having a kitchen. And, lastly, why not learn a new skill?!

Here’s my cute Korean neighbour – Sook Sook.

She was our Kimchi Master for the day…and also my ghetto hairstylist 😀

A self-proclaimed lazy person, her method of making kimchi is the easiest and fastest way of doing it.

It should take no more than 30 minutes to prep and put together.

Enjoy her recipe!

The Only 5 Ingredients You Need

We all took a trip to Thanin AKA Siri Wattana Market in Santitham to buy all the produce we needed before we started our lesson. It’s just a 5-minute walk from our apartment, so it was nice to get fresh ingredients!  


  1. Daikon, Cabbage and/or Cucumber 
  2. Salt
  3. Chili Flake Powder
  4. Garlic 
  5. Green Onion

No amounts of ingredients are recommended because this is not the sook-sook way! Use as much as you want to make as much kimchi as you want. 

Step 1: Cut Veggie

Sook Sook said the daikon is the easiest of the 3 to turn into kimchi. As a fellow lazy-ist, I naturally chose the daikon.


So what do you do with it?

Cube it.

About 1.5cm in dimension – that’s about the size of a quarter. I cut mine a bit smaller because I’m too lazy to chew that much. haha! 

You basically do the same thing with the cucumber. With the cabbage, just cut across for 1-2 inch in length. Otherwise, you can cut it up any way you like, really.

You can cut up a whole daikon or cut enough to fill one container.

The container must have a lid that you can tightly seal. We’ll be using it later. 

Step 2: Salt It

Once you’ve diced up enough of your veggie, sprinkle on that salt.

You can use any kind of salt, but I like sticking to Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Salt, if I’m feeling fancy.

Sook Sook layered on 2 spoonful of salt for me. I thought maybe it was too much, but it turned out just right. 


If you’re not sure, I’d recommend erroring on the side of caution and go light with the salt. It’s too much work to “unsalt” it, and you can always add on more later. 

Put the lid on the container, put on a timer and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

Step 3: Lay on the Chili 


Time to put in the chili flake powder. How much will depend on how spicy you like it. 

I’m also who can’t handle too much spice, so I stuck with just 1 spoonful. 

Put the lid back on and shake it up!

Exercise those arms for about 15-20 seconds. The chili powder should look nicely mixed in. 


Then, add in some diced green onion and minced garlic. Again, as much as you want depending on your preference. 

This is where I went rogue and started adding in whatever else I wanted. Some minced ginger and a quarter-wedge of lime juice. 

Shake it up again for another 15-20 seconds.

Now you can relax, the hard part is over. 

Step 4: Let it Ferment

You’re basically done at this point. 

You can eat it now if you want, but it wouldn’t taste as good as fermenting for 3 days.

Leave the container with the lid on out at room temperature and away from the sun for 24 hours. Then, put it in the fridge for the remaining two days. 

Your kimchi will be ready for eating on the 3rd day…but I’m not saying that you can’t sample it every day to taste the difference 😉 

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy, right?

How did your kimchi turn out? Show me your pictures! 

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