Face the nappa cabbage horizontally on the chopping board and slice vertically against the stem into about 1″ pieces. This is just a rough chop ad doesn’t necessarily have to be perfect. We just want to get bite sized pieces for eating.
Place the cabbage in a large bowl and salt, massaging and rubbing in the salt so that it is well incorporated. You may want to do this step with rubber gloves because the salt can cause your hands to sting a bit. This isn’t mandatory, but suggested. Add water to cover to cabbage and place a plate over the cabbage with something heavy above to weight it down. You can use a can to do this. Let stand for 1-2 hours.
Rinse and drain cabbage.
After salting, rinse and drain the cabbage three times and drain in a colander. Rinse the bowl to reuse for mixing later. Put the drained out cabbage back in a set aside.
Make kim chi paste.
In a small bow, mix together gochugaru, grated ginger, sugar, and 3 tbsp. of water until it forms a paste. Mix in amount of gochugaru to taste. 1 tbsp. is mild and 5 tbsp. is spicy.
Massage cabbage with paste.
Pour the gochugaru paste over the mixing bowl with the napa cabbage and massage the paste into the cabbage. Incorporate well. You may want to use gloves for this step as well.
Jar kim chi.
Pack the kim chi into the mason jar(s) and put lid on. Don’t pack it completely tight and leave at least 1″ of headspace at the top of the jar.
Leave the jars out in room temperature to ferment for up to 5 days. Place the mason jar(s) on top of a plate or platter to catch overflow. You might see the kim chi bubble and it could bubble over on occasion. Feel free to taste the kim chi during different days of the fermentation process and you’ll see how the fermentation changes the flavour! Congrats! You just made kim chi.