Fresh Kimchi (Geotjeori)

by MJ

Fresh napa cabbage kimchi (baechu-geotjeori) is non fermented and meant to be eaten after you make it.  The process is easier to make than traditional napa cabbage kimchi and is refreshing, crisp, and spicy with a hint of sweetness. 

This kimchi is great: 

  • when you need kimchi but don’t have time to ferment
  • if you don’t prefer the smell or taste of sour, fermented kimchi 
  • to introduce kimchi to those who never tried kimchi before 

Unless making it for a crowd, use small napa cabbage or 1/4 or 1/2 of large napa cabbage as this kimchi is to be eaten within 1-2 days. Choose cabbage with yellow leaves versus green leaves and for large cabbage, use the yellow leaves in the center.

Salt is added to the cabbage for flavor and not for preserving as traditional kimchi, so less is added. Then rests between 30-60 minutes for flavor and to release some of the moisture.  Some make this kimchi without letting it rest, which is personal preference. The less time you let sit, the crunchier the texture but will also have less flavoring so I let sit at least 30 minutes but that’s just my preference.

To substitute fish sauce:  add soup soy sauce which is saltier and lighter than regular soy sauce or add some salt. 

I sometimes mix in some sesame oil before serving for added flavor.

This kimchi will taste best when eaten within 1-2 days after making it but can last up to a week in the fridge. For traditional kimchi or other kimchi recipes, click on the “Kimchi” section under categories.

Fresh Kimchi (Geotjeori)

Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 4.0/5
( 2 voted )


  • 1-1.5 pounds napa cabbage ( 1 small or 1/4 - 1/2 large cabbage) 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 2 Tablespoons Korean coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 2 green onions, sliced into 1 inch pieces 
  • Optional: 1 bunch garlic chives (buchu), sliced into 1 inch pieces 
  • Optional: 1/2 -1 carrot,  grated or chopped into matchsticks 
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds 


  • 1/4-1/2 cup gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)  based on spice level
  • 2 Tablespoons Korean anchovy sauce or fish sauce 
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar  
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced or grated 
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced or grated 


Cut the napa cabbage lengthwise and roughly cut into into 2-3 inch strips. Transfer to a large bowl.  Add water and salt and toss together using your hands.  Set aside for at least 30 minutes, tossing a couple of times to  evenly distribute the salt. 

Meanwhile, combine the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and set aside. 

Chop the green onions, optional garlic chives and carrots and set aside. 

Drain and rinse the cabbage a couple of time to remove excess salt. Add the chopped vegetables and seasonings to the cabbage.  Using kitchen gloves, mix together until the cabbage is evenly coated with the seasonings. 

Taste and adjust seasonings, as needed. Add sesame seeds and mix together. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge. 


It’s best to eat within 1 to 2 days, but can last up to a week in the fridge. 

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