How to Make Spicy Korean Kimchi

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Spicy Kimchi

With the divisional championships of the playoffs beginning this weekend, many of you may be looking forward to hosting football viewing parties at your home. With football comes food, obviously!

If you want to wow your family and friends with something different this year, serve them a side dish of kimchi. It will knock their socks off and before you know it, they’ll be piling it on top of their pizza and their burgers. Or maybe they’ll even be sneaking back into the kitchen during commercial breaks to try to eat it straight out of the jar!

Kimchi is a very traditional and extremely popular Korean side dish. My husband grew up eating kimchi several times a weeks and according to him, the spicier…the better! It was a staple of his mom’s kitchen and brings him right back to his childhood every time he eats it.

Kimchi is very easy to make if you use this simplified recipe, but you do need to begin several days ahead of the big game, to give the vegetables time to ferment.

El Yucateco Hot Sauce

1. To begin, visit your local Meijer and pick up some El Yucateco Hot Sauce. You can find it in the hot sauce/ketchup aisle. My husband loves this hot sauce for certain types of foods because of the red pepper taste. El Yucateco has a far less vinegary taste to it than most hot sauces.

2. Your full list of ingredients is as follows:

  • 3 T of El Yucateco hot sauce
  • a head of Napa cabbage
  • 4 scallions
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • water
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 1 t ginger
  • 1 t sugar
  • 3 T red pepper flakes
  • daikon (this is Korean radish and you can find it near the cabbage and red radishes)

chopped cabbage

3. Prep your cabbage. Chop the entire head of cabbage, except the core. How big the pieces are is up to you.

floating cabbage

4. Add the chopped cabbage and salt into a large bowl and massage the salt into the cabbage. Then add enough cold water to cover the cabbage.

Weigh it down

5. The cabbage will float, so put something heavy on top to weigh it down. I used a plate and a mason jar. Leave the cabbage alone, in room temperature, for about 2 hours.

6. After about 2 hours, the cabbage will feel soft. Rinse the cabbage thoroughly under cold water to remove the salt. Let it drain in a colander while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

chopped scallions

7. Peel and slice the daikon (it is not shown, but daikon looks like a large, white zucchini) and slice the scallions.

Add the sauce

8. Mix together the garlic, ginger, sugar, red pepper flakes, and a couple of tablespoons of water. Traditional kimchi uses fish sauce instead of water, but my husband prefers it without.  Authentic Korean kimchi also uses red pepper flakes called gochugaru.

9. Add 3 T of El Yucateco hot sauce. Give the mixture a taste and add more hot sauce if you need a bit more spice.

10. Using gloves, mix everything thoroughly together.


11. Pack the kimchi into a jar.  Make sure that it is pressed down enough to allow the water to cover the vegetables. Also make sure that there is at least 1 inch of space between the vegetables and the lid of the jar.

12. Leave the jar at room temperature for 1 to 3 days. Because of the fermentation, some of the liquid may seep out of the lid. Every so often, press the vegetables down under the liquid and give it a taste. When you are happy with the taste, move it to the refrigerator.


If you fall in love with El Yucateco hot sauce after testing out this recipes, stop by their online shop! They have a variety of El Yucateco branded clothing items, such as hoodies, t-shirts, and hats. The perfect cozy-wear to show off during the playoffs!

*Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links.

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