Traditional Whole Napa Cabbage- Pogi Baechu Kimchi Recipe

Pogi Kimchi is the traditional way of making Kimchi. Although Pogi Kimchi is usually meant to be stored longer than other kinds, you can still eat it before it is fully fermented. So you might want to try it in different stages of fermentation and find out your favorite period of fermentation (Just remember to not eat all of it before it is even fermented!) There's no right and wrong time to eat your Kimchi as long as you love the taste. And when it gets too fermented to eat it 'as is,' it would be the perfect Kimchi for Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew).


Basically, we will be pickling a napa cabbage and stuff daikon stuffing mix between the pickled Napa leaves. Daikon stuffing mix is all the ingredients combined together.
Let's start!

You will need the following:

1 whole Napa Cabbage (Medium-size)
1/2 cup 'morton' salt
4 cup water

Daikon stuffing
12-14oz Daikon/Japanese radish, peeled
3 scallions, cut into 2 inches lengths
1 oz ginger root, peeled and minced
2 tsp finely chopped garlic, purchase from a store or chop it at home
1 tsp 'morton' salt (for Daikon stuffing)
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup sweet rice power OR flour
1 cup hot chili pepper flake(NOTE: COARSE powder! Not the fine powder!! & make sure it's MADE IN KOREA)

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Kimchi ingredients

***Young's Tip: You can adjust the amount of ginger, garlic, hot pepper, and scallions based on your taste.***


DON'T wash it yet. Just take off all the dirty (holes..unappealing brown color) outer leaves.

cut and split
Don't cut all the way through. Cut into Napa about an inch and then separate with your hands.

split into quarters
Split Napa into 4 parts. First split into two halves and then into quarters. Now we are ready to pickle Napa.

soak in saltwater
(**Remember 1/2 cup listed for pickling?) Just mix half of salt (1/4 cup) with water in a bowl first.
Soak Napa in the salt water and take it out right away. Squeeze out excess water gently.

sprinkle salt
With the remaining 1/4 cup salt, sprinkle in between each Napa leaf. Make sure you control yourself so you'll have enough for all of them. Press Napa down firmly to help salt soak in....Let it sit for 2.5hrs.

WHILE YOU ARE WAITING FOR NAPA ...we will start preparing radish stuffing.

pulMix 2 cups water and flour or sweet rice powder in a pot and stir till boil. Turn it off when it boils and let it cool. Set it aside. (This porridge like mixture is called "Pul" which is used to pull all the flavors together and to help fermentation process.)

slice daikonlThinly slice daikon (or Japanese radish).

combine everything
Combine chopped radish, hot pepper flake, scallions, minced ginger, garlic and mix in a large bowl. Next, combine fish sauce, 1tsp salt, and Pul (porridge mixture) and mix thoroughly (but gently) again.

(BECAREFUL!!!:There are 2 kinds of hot pepper flakes. One is coarse flakes and the other one is fine powder. Coarse flakes are the ones used for Kimchi. The pepper powder is for making hot pepper paste.
Also, make sure those peppers are from Korea. You should be able to find that information on the back in English.)


wash baechu
Wash Napa thoroughly in the running water. Wash 3-4 times. Make sure to clean between the leaves too. Drain.

stuff napa
Lightly stuff radish mixture into Napa leaves. (Here, you need to estimate equal distribution and don't overstuff).

Put stuffed Napas in a jar, smallest leaves facing up. (You should leave some room for fermentation or it will overflow from the jar). Press them down firmly to get rid of any air bubbles. When you put all Napas in, mix any remaining fallen leaves and stuffing together. Put the mixture in the jar to cover Napas (This is to aid fermentation process). YAY!!

Let the jar sit 24hrs in a room temperature and then store in the fridge.


***Young's Tip: You can start eating Kimchi even before you let it sit for 24hrs.***

Kimchi Recipes:

Quick 'n Easy version Kimchi
Non Spicy American Cabbage Kimchi
Kimchi Fried Rice
Young Radish Water (YeoulMoo Mul) Kimchi
White Non-Spicy Kimchi

Other Recipes:
Bulgogi-Korean BBQ beef
Spicy Chicken Bulgogi
Korean style Pickl (Oiji)
Fresh Spicy Cucumber Salad
Fresh Tofu Salad
Stir Fried Eggplant
Mini Ground Turkey Pancake
Zucchini Jun

Kimchi Facts:

About Kimchi
Different Tastes of Kimchi
Korean Homemade Kimchi Part I-Most Popular
Homemade Kimchi vs Store Bought Kimchi


  1. THX ! You saved my day !
    I live in Sweden and it´s quite expensive..Now i can make my own yammi Kimchi :)


    • Hello Jimmy! We are soooooo glad that we could help you ^^
      Please let us know how it turned out and any other recipes you’d like… our ears are (or eyes?) open
      so please do ask.

  2. Hello,
    The best kimchi I ever had came hand made from a korean grocery store and contained salted shrimp. Do you know how I could add salted shrimp to your kimchi recipe to get that same taste?
    Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us!

    • Lily,
      Glad to hear ur interested in trying this recipe!
      You see how we have fish sauce in our ingredients? Just substitute that with the salted shrimp. Basically people use different kinds of fish sauce for their kimchi by their own preferences (and salted shrimp is one of those preferences)
      Let me know if u have any other questions and please let us know how it turned out!

      FYI Even though groceries have handmade kimchi they might add extra MSG so you might taste it little different especially if ur used to it ^^

  3. How long do we soak the cabbage in the salted water? I’ve read on other websites 4-5 hours, but I’m interested in making your recipe. Thanks.

    • Hello yun,
      We would recommend 8hrs for the traditional kimchi. Whole napa kimchi. If u choose to do cut up quicker version, then about 4 hrs. ^^

      Let me know How it went. ^^

  4. Finally! An authentic kimchi recipe that’s actually very close to the one my mother-in-law uses. Awesome… But she does 8 Napa cabbages at a time so I’m glad this recipe is good enough for just 1 head of cabbage. We used chives instead of the green onions too. So glad I found this website!

  5. Kimchi Green says:

    Love your Kimchi Recipe but for those of you who don’t have the time or patience to make it yourself, this is your lucky day! Check out Kimchi Green and Like us and maybe you will be selected to host a Kimchi Party!

  6. @Huy
    Let’s see if I can be little more clear…
    1. you dunk Napa and take it out right after (Don’t leave it in just a quick dip)
    2. take it out immediately
    3. now Napa will be wet with salt water (just like you had a quick dip in saltwater ^^)
    4. the wet Napa… let it sit as it is in somekind of bowl since water will start to ooze out from Napa itself due to saltwater dip and will make Napa tender and chewy.
    5. When you let it sit for several hours like that, lots of water would have come out from the cabbage itself (this is not the saltwater you dunked your napa the first time…it’s FROM Napa naturally)…you didn’t actually ‘soak’ it in the saltwater. You let it sit and let the salt do its work…

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