Can You Make Kimchi With Regular Cabbage?

If you’ve ever had authentic kimchi, you know that yangbaechu (green cabbage) is the main ingredient. This brings us to the following question: can you make kimchi with regular cabbage?

Yes, regular cabbage can be used as a substitute to make Korean kimchi. Because yangbaechu can be difficult to find in grocery stores, you will need to use something similar in its place.

Regular green cabbage is crunchy, sweet, and makes any kimchi dish taste delicious. The good news is that green cabbage kimchi is also easier to make, compared to the traditional recipe.

Green Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

As we briefly mentioned in the sections above, there’s nothing wrong with making kimchi with regular cabbage. You can follow each step below to make a quick and easy kimchi recipe.


  • 4 lbs green or regular cabbage
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/3 cup sea salt
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 8 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Korean plum extract
  • 4 green onions (cut lengthwise)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds


  1. Begin by slicing the cabbage into quarters lengthwise. The exact size really depends on your personal preference, just remember to remove the stems.
  2. Combine the water and sea salt into a bowl. Then, mix around the salt until it completely dissolves. Place the sliced cabbage in the bowl and allow it to soak for one hour.
  3. You can then make the kimchi sauce while the cabbage is soaking. Combine the Korean plum extract, soy sauce, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, and chopped garlic.
  4. Once the sauce has been made and after one hour has passed, you can drain the cabbage. Rinse thoroughly with cold water to make sure any excess salt gets removed.
  5. When the cabbage has been drained you can combine it with the sauce and green onions. In a large mixing bowl, toss around the ingredients with your hands while squeezing the cabbage. Doing this motion will help the cabbage adsorb the sauce and it will add flavor.
  6. The final step is too add in the sesame seeds and mix the kimchi one last time. You can then jar the kimchi, to allow it to ferment. This process can take a few days depending on the temperature and climate in your kitchen.

Can You Make Kimchi With Red Cabbage?

You might be surprised to learn that you can also make kimchi with red cabbage. This does not follow the traditional Korean recipe, but it follows a similar method and creates a delicious dish.

When it comes to taste, red cabbage (or purple) and green cabbage taste very similar. Green cabbage does taste a little sweeter when it gets cooked, but that doesn’t apply to making kimchi.

Red cabbage on the other hand does offer more nutrients. It has potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A. So if you’re looking for a more nutrient dense kimchi recipe, consider using red cabbage.

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