Life in Korea

Baechu Geotjeori (배추겉절이): Fresh Cabbage Kimchi


Baechu geotjeori is basically a kind of kimchi that is made of lightly-salted nappa cabbage. ‘Baechu’ is the Korean word for nappa cabbage and ‘geotjeori’ means lightly-salted. Unlike the classic cabbage kimchi, baechu geotjeori is made for immediate consumption without fermentation. It is best to eat it in a day or two. Since it is lightly-salted, it is more refreshing and crispier but it doesn’t have the depth in flavor compared to the classic kimchi. Summer nappa cabbage tends to be small with thinner leaves. If you have a large cabbage, use only the inner tender parts. You can use the tough outer leaves later if you want to cook some soup. 🙂


  • 1 nappa cabbage
  • rock salt
  • 5 green onions (add more if you like)
  • garlic chives (optional)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp salted shrimp
  • 1 tsp sugar or corn syrup
  • 4-5 tbsp red chili pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 2 tbsp roasted sesame seeds

Cut the cabbage into half and sprinkle rock salt to each leaf. Leave it for one hour. It is okay to salt it for a shorter time but the cabbage will taste bland. To expedite the salting process, you can also add water to the basin and add more salt.

geotjeori 1

Rinse the cabbage and cut into bite sizes.



Cut the green onions and buchu (asian chive) into 2-inch lengths.


Prepare the seasoning paste. Mix the other ingredients in a huge mixing bowl.


Using kitchen gloves, mix everything. You can adjust the seasoning according to your preferred taste. All homemade kimchi in Korea taste different since they’re made based on the maker’s taste. I’m glad that Hubby and I have similar taste in food. Well, it can be hard to prepare food especially if what’s just right for you is too salty or bland for others.


Add the salted cabbage and toss by hand.


Make sure everything is well-coated with the seasonings.


Then, serve it on a nice dish. If you have made a lot, keep it in a container and store it in the refrigerator but try to consume it within 3 days. The longer you keep it, the more watery it becomes.


Baechu geotjeori is perfect with bossam (boiled pork) or kalguksu. It is also just perfect with boiled rice. 🙂

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