(6 ratings)

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  • Serves: 12

  • Prep time:

    plus 5-6 hours marinating and 2 days to ferment
  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

This spicy pickle is one of Korea's national dishes and is made from fermented Chinese cabbage (sometimes known as Chinese leaves). It is served with many of their traditional dishes and is delicious served as a condiment to barbecue or roast meats and fish. There are many variations on this recipe but it is traditionally made with Korean chilli powder known as kochukaru which you may find in oriental stores. It is a hot red pepper powder, but you can use hot cayenne instead.


  • 1 head Chinese cabbage (Chinese leaves)
  • 100g sea salt
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1tbsp grated root ginger
  • 3bsp fish sauce
  • 3tbsp Korean chilli powder (kochukaru)
  • 1tsp light muscovado sugar

To sterilise jars, wash in hot soapy water, rinse and dry. Place on a baking try and heat in warm oven for 10 mins.


  1. Cut the cabbage into quarters lengthways, then into thick wide, slices.
  2. Place the salt in a large non metallic container a large glass mixing bowl is ideal and add 2 litres cold water. Add the cabbage, making sure it is submerged and if necessary, use a plate to weight it down. Leave the cabbage to soak for 5-6 hours or overnight
  3. Drain the cabbage through a colander, then rinse in clean water and drain again, squeezing out the excess water.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mix the garlic, fish sauce, ginger, chilli powder and sugar. Add the cabbage and stir well until coated. Place in a clean sterilised jar with a tight fitting, non-metallic lid and leave to ferment for 1-2 days at room temperature until it is bubbling a little. When fermented, store in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.

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  • 4
(6 ratings)

Your comments


Many thanks Rosie


Hi jljazz, Thanks for spotting that, I'll change it now. You can just add the ginger with all the other ingredients when you mix them together, before popping into a jar.


Looks great but when do you add the ginger?

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