Green Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

Do you want to make kimchi, but you only have green cabbage on hand? This recipe for kimchi without napa cabbage is for you!

Kimchi is traditionally made with napa cabbage, but there’s nothing to stop you from using another cabbage! Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, green cabbage, savoy cabbage, white cabbage, red cabbage, and bok choy (we could go on and on) are all part of the very large cruciferous family (Brassicaceae).

Napa cabbage is more tender than other cabbage varieties, which gives a special texture to traditional kimchi. However, don’t let the choice of cabbage stop you!

Green cabbage, also called white cabbage and cannonball cabbage, is a round, light green, slightly sweet variety of cabbage. Although it is mostly used to make sauerkraut, you can also use it to make kimchi!

In Korea, kimchi made from green cabbage is called Yangbaechu Kimchi. In the history of kimchi, this is a very recent recipe!

In fact, green cabbage kimchi was developed and popularized by Koreans living abroad. Since they couldn’t find napa cabbage, they used local ingredients to reproduce their favourite condiment!

This recipe is ideal for making use of green cabbage, or as an introduction to the umami flavours of kimchi. Even if you can’t find napa cabbage, you can still make delicious kimchi!


What Is the Difference Between Sauerkraut and Kimchi?

Kimchi and sauerkraut are both lacto-fermented foods. In both cases, a combination of vegetables, mainly cabbage, is salted, and then fermented (lactic fermentation). Both sauerkraut and kimchi are eaten as condiments.

The difference between the two comes from their geographical origin and the ingredients used.

Traditional sauerkraut comes from Europe, especially Germany. It is usually made from green cabbage, or white cabbage, a dense, smooth cabbage.

Kimchi, on the other hand, comes from Korea. It is usually made from napa cabbage, daikon, and carrots. Kimchi often contains several flavourings, such as garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and Korean chili (called gochugaru)

Although Chinese cabbage-based kimchi is well known, it is not essential in the preparation of kimchi! There are kimchis made with bok choy cabbage, or without cabbage, as in our recipe for daikon radish kimchi!

You can easily use green cabbage to replace Chinese cabbage while keeping all the flavourings that add personality to the kimchi.

Eating Green cabbage kimchi


How Do You Use Green Cabbage to Make Kimchi?

As with any fermented vegetable, the basics of lacto-fermentation apply: the vegetable mixture must be kept in an airtight, oxygen-free container.

There are 4 main steps in preparing kimchi:

  1. Chop the vegetables
  2. Add the salt
  3. Put in a jar
  4. Let it ferment

Many kimchi recipes cut the cabbage into 1 inch (3 cm) squares to get a good texture. We like to slice it very thinly, for a softer kimchi!

Since green cabbage is firmer than Chinese cabbage, we prefer to let it ferment for 2 to 3 weeks. Traditional kimchi usually ferments for only a few days.

Green cabbage kimchi jars

Green Cabbage Kimchi Recipe

Make kimchi without napa cabbage with this kimchi recipe that uses green cabbage (also called white cabbage). This fermentation is packed with flavour and texture. Give it a try!
4.11 of 38 ratings
Preparation Time 30 minutes
fermentation 15 days
Servings 2 L



  • 3 lbs  green cabbage 1 small cabbage
  • 1 lb carrots
  • 6 green onions or chive sprigs
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 tbsp Korean chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp salt


Preparation of the vegetables

  • Rinse the vegetables roughly and remove any damaged parts. Set aside two large intact cabbage leaves.
  • Using a knife or mandolin, finely slice the cabbage.
  • Peel and grate the carrots.
  • Remove the ends of the green onions. Cut into large chunks.
  • Finely chop the garlic and ginger.
  • In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Stir for 1 to 2 minutes to remove water from the vegetables.
  • Let it sit for 20 minutes to allow the vegetables to soak.

Adding in jar

  • Pack the vegetable mixture into the two jars, compressing well as you go. The juice from the vegetables should cover them.
  • Fill with vegetables to within 2 inches of the rim of the jar.
  • Take the reserved cabbage leaves and spread them over the surface of the vegetables.
  • Place the ViscoDisc insert on top of the cabbage leaf to keep it submerged.
  • If the cabbage leaf is not under the brine, add a little water.
  • Close the lid.
  • If there are any vegetables left in the bowl, add them to a vegetable stir-fry or salad.


  • Place the jar on a large plate at room temperature.
  • Let it ferment for at least 2 weeks. Fermentation will generate life in the jar, and it may overflow! This is normal.
  • After you open the jar, put it in the fridge. Kimchi can be stored in the fridge for several months.


Various equipment can be used to make this recipe. For more information, read our Guide to Choosing Fermentation Equipment.
Fermented kimchi has a strong, slightly acidic smell. If bubbles form inside the jar during fermentation, it’s a good sign!
Have you tried it?Share and tag @revolutionfermentation!

There you go, you’ve turned a simple green cabbage into delicious kimchi! Eat it on your sandwiches, or as a side dish to your favourite abundance bowl.


Get Started!


Select your country and language:

Canada (Français)
Scroll to Top