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Have you been looking for an easy kimchi recipe? Then this is the recipe for you! In this post I’ll share all my juicy tips on how I make easy vegan kimchi.Jump to Recipe
I never cared much for Kimchi until we spent a year in Korea. Once I got a taste for it, I couldn’t get enough! Give me some rice, a little baked tofu, and Kimchi and I’m a happy girl! Minus fish sauce, and shrimp paste, of course. However, if that’s your thing, go for it. This recipe is very easily adaptable to whatever flavors you like.
Let me start by saying, I’m no expert when it comes to making kimchi. However, in my time that I spent in Korea, I quickly learned to pick out the types of Kimchi I enjoyed, and the ones I didn’t. I was blessed with a wonderful Korean friend that gave me a lesson on how to make kimchi. Since then, I’m sure I’ve forgot many things she taught me. So here is my attempt to recreate this delicious Korean side dish.
Why eat kimchi?
Recently, I’ve been getting into making my own probiotic rich foods. You can find my sauerkraut recipe here. And my soy yogurt recipe here. Kimchi is also a fermented food, and if you like a little spice, then I highly recommend adding Kimchi to your arsenal of probiotic foods.
There are so many reasons to eat probiotic foods. But, one of the most compelling reasons is how the probiotics affect our gut health. I’m not going to get into all the science, but basically so much of our health, good or bad, can be traced back to our gut health. One article I read showed how having a healthy gut even alleviated Autism, and ADD symptoms. Here’s the full article if you are interested in reading more.
Why do I make my own easy vegan kimchi?
So glad you asked! Last week, I was out of town. When I’m away from my home I do my best to eat as healthfully as I can. All I had to cook with was a microwave, so I bought some microwavable brown rice, and some kimchi for one of our meals. Can I just toot my own horn for a minute? This kimchi was no where near as delicious and flavorful as my homemade kimchi!
And that’s why I make my own! I find in most cases my homemade version is so much better, and WAY cheaper! Not only am I getting a better tasting food, but it’s also higher quality, and saves on my grocery budget!
Did I mention it’s easy?
Like so easy! You’d think it would take a lot of work and be a huge process, but it seriously isn’t! So let’s make some easy vegan kimchi!
A few things you’ll need first
- mason jars
- Fermenting lids (Optional, but recommended) Fermentation Kit
- Funnel (optional, but is convenient for filling jars)
- Cutting board
- Large bowl
- Napa cabbage
- Daikon radish
- Green onions
- Garlic cloves
- Soy sauce
- Red miso paste
- Sea salt
Here’s how to make easy vegan kimchi
Chop all the veggies
You’re first going to chop your napa cabbage into bite size pieces. Then add them to a large bowl. Put 1/4 cup of sea salt into a small bowl and pour hot water over it to dissolve the salt. Now pour the salt mixture over the cabbage and then work it into the cabbage with your hands. Set the bowl of cabbage aside.
In a smaller bowl add chopped vegetables. Chop the daikon radish, carrots, and green onions, roughly the same size. Mine tend to be a bit bigger than matchstick size, but really can be chopped however you like them. Just keep in mind that the bigger the pieces are, the longer it will take to ferment. Also, keeping the veggies roughly the same size helps to ferment everything at the same time.
Now that the cabbage has sat for at least 30 minutes, drain the cabbage into a colander and rinse it thoroughly under cold water.
Combine the chopped veggies with the cabbage and add in the miso, spices, and soy sauce along with the chopped garlic and grated ginger. I like to use a zester to grate the ginger is finely as possible.
With clean hands massage everything together until well combined. Taste test a piece of cabbage to be sure the flavor is to your liking. At this point you can add more soy sauce or more pepper flakes to achieve your desired taste. Once the kimchi has fully fermented the flavors will be even better.
Fill your clean jars with kimchi. Add your fermenting lids if you are using them, and set aside in a cool dark corner for 2-3 days depending on the temperature in your house. Each day taste for sourness. When it reaches your desired tartness take off the fermenting lids, add a lid that has a good seal on it. Kimchi is quite fragrant and will quickly smell up your fridge. There is a reason the Koreans used to burry it outside while it fermented. Haahaa
I usually prefer the flavor after it has been fermenting outside the fridge for 2-3 days, and then sitting in the fridge for a couple more days. This gives the flavors time to become well combined.
How we enjoy our kimchi
- Kimchi soup
- Bipimbap (rice with a mix of veggies and kimchi)
- Kimchi fried rice
- Kimchi ramen
I hope you enjoy this take on Korean kimchi. Do you like kimchi? Are you ready to give it a try?! I’d love to hear your experiences, so please share.
Easy vegan kimchi
- 1 large or 2 regular size mason jars
- Fermenting lids (Optional, but recommended)
- Funnel (optional, but is convenient for filling jars)
- Cutting board
- 1 head Napa cabbage
- 1 Carrot
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 Daikon radish
- 1 Bunch of green onions
- 1 Knob of ginger gated
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce or to taste
- 1-2 tbsp Red miso paste
- 1/4 cup Gochugaru flakes (Korean red pepper flakes)
For the cabbage rub
- 1/4 cup sea salt (dissolved in hot water)
- Wash all your vegetables and set aside.
- Start by chopping napa cabbage into bite size pieces and place into a large bowl.
- Dissolve salt in a bowl with warm water and pour over cabbage. Massage salt into cabbage and set aside while you chop the rest of the veggies.
- In a smaller bowl add chopped vegetables. Chop the daikon radish, carrots, and green onions, roughly the same size a bit bigger than matchstick size. Keep in mind that the bigger the pieces are, the longer it will take to ferment. Also, keeping the veggies roughly the same size helps to ferment everything at the same time.
- Finally chop garlic and grate ginger on a zester.
- Let cabbage wilt for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly under cold water.
- Combine the chopped veggies with the cabbage and add in the miso, spices, and soy sauce along with the chopped garlic and grated ginger.
- Using your hands, massage the ingredients together.
- Once everything is mixed together well, fill your mason jars leaving at least 1 inch of head space at the top of the jar.
- Screw on fermenting lids if you are using them, and set aside in a dark cool place.
- Let the kimchi ferment for 2-3 days, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Daily check on your ferment, tasting it for sourness and pressing it down as it has a tendency to bubble up to the top of the jar.
- When your kimchi is ready, remove the fermenting lids and tightly screw on a lid with a good seal to hold in the smell.
- My kimchi usually takes another 2-3 days in the fridge before it is really ready. Enjoy!