K-Recipe: Modern Take to the 100+ Varieties of Kimchi

by Michelle Li

Like many of you, my first introduction to the plentiful of Korean side dishes was kimchi, the traditional style with napa cabbage. After realising that kimchi wasn’t just made out of napa cabbage, I’ve soon discovered the other varieties like radish, cucumber and spring onion.


My mum and I actually were planning on making traditional kimchi with napa cabbage. We actually went to a Korean supermarket to get all the ingredients but after watching countless videos, we’ve been putting it off. Simply because it seems like a lot of work and a LOT of time 😅 It’s not only manually coating each individual cabbage leaf with seasoning but before all that, you have to make sure to salt the cabbage to get all the water out. When I asked about all these steps, I was surprised to find out that a lot of us at HIKOCO HQ buy their kimchi at Korean supermarkets. Very few actually spend the time and effort to make their own. 

But lately, a new type of kimchi has been trending and it’s only right for me to share, Basil Kimchi! This new kimchi recipe got K-netizens talking after it was introduced in the Korean TV Show, Omniscient Interfering View. This show observes the life of the cast members, known as the ‘interferers,’ and their invited guests and managers. In one of the episodes, cast member and comedian Lee Young-ja finally showed off her Basil Kimchi recipe and surprised the rest of the cast members on how tasty it was. But for me (and I’m sure everyone watching), what made me want to try it myself even more was how deliciously Jun Hyun-moo ate it. Upon taste-testing it, he was left speechless which made the rest of the cast members hurry to try it too. 


I was so intrigued by it and honestly the more I thought about it, why would it be weird? Basil comes with so much flavour, considering it’s a herb, that it would make the perfect side dish to pair with even just rice itself. After digging deeper, this recipe isn’t like other kimchi recipes. Trust me, making this Basil Kimchi recipe will definitely take you less time and effort to make than your traditional kimchi. So here’s the recipe to prove it and if you would like to visually see it come together click here:


  •  300g basil leaves
  • 100ml Haitai Korean Pear Juice 
  • 4 tbsp red pepper flakes (고추가루)
  • 5 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
  • 4-5 Chives (finely chopped)
  • Sesame Seeds


  1. Rinse and dry basil leaves
  2. To make the sauce, combine and mix together pear juice, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, minced garlic, chives and sesame seeds.
  3. Add sauce to basil leaves, gradually. This makes sure that the basil leaves aren’t soaked in sauce.
  4. Toss basil leaves very gently to mix with sauce.
  5. Add sprinkles of sesame seeds to garnish!

NAVER BLOG | @won2822

That’s it! Super easy and quick right? In the episode, the cast members paired basil kimchi with jajangmyeon (자장면), black bean noodles. The combination went so well together that they described it as an ‘unforgettable taste.’ But of course, there are many ways you can dish it up. After all, basil is a signature ingredient in a lot of dishes. This is where you can switch basil with basil kimchi and use it in pasta, pizza or just a refreshing salad. And be the basil kimchi fanatic that the cast members (and me 🙋‍♀️) are now!

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