Geotjeori is a type of kimchi that’s eaten fresh without fermentation. Geot means “to out or outer” and jeori means “to be salted or pickled”. So, geotjeori means pickling the outside of the ingredients instead of allowing the dressing to completely penetrate or sit over time. It’s like giving your salad a toss with dressing before serving.

Geotjeori is a favourite side dish that’s served with Korean barbeque or warm noodle soups as it is crispy, refreshing and pairs with fatty meat dishes. If you love the usual fermented kimchi version, you will love geotjeori even more as there is something about the fresh sweetness that you can’t compare against the sour, fermented version.

Geotjeori is enjoyed fresh and should be consumed within 7 days. Napa cabbage is usually used to make geotjeori but you can also substitute with lettuce too. Because it is eaten without fermentation where the natural sweetness develops, the addition of sugar or corn syrup is used.

Here’s how to make geotjeori at home.



  • 1 small napa cabbage
  • 3 tbsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 scallions – roughly chopped
  • 50 grams garlic chives, cut into 2-inch pieces


  • 4 tbsp gochugaru / Korean red chilli pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp Korean anchovy sauce / fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup / Korean rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp Korean plum syrup called maesil chung (add more corn syrup if you don’t have maesil chung)
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1tsp roasted sesame seeds



  1. Separate the cabbage leaves and cut lengthwise. Then cut into long bite pieces. If your cabbage is large, use only the inner tender parts. You can save the outer leaves to cook other dishes.
  2. Rinse the leaves and drain well.
  3. Place a layer of cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Repeat the process as you layer the cabbage and salt it. Then toss well to coat evenly. Leave it aside for 40 minutes to an hour to soften the leaves while tossing it halfway.
  4. Combine all the seasonings in a small bowl and mix well with 2 tablespoons water.
  5. Rinse the cabbage twice and drain well. U can even give it a little squeeze to remove excess water.
  6. Add the seasoning mix to the cabbage and toss well. Add the scallions and garlic chives. You can add more salt and fish sauce to taste.
  7. Serve with grilled meat or noodle soup.