Kimchi is a staple dish in Korea. It contains probiotics which can strengthen your immune system and reduce inflammation. Kimchi consists of fermented cabbage and other vegetables – there are many variations of this dish with different spices and vegetables and it has a spicy yet sour taste.

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To make Kimchi you need to have very clean surfaces and utensils and a good sized sterilised airtight jar or container such as the ones below which are at a good price of £11.99 for four.

For my version of Kimchi, first you quarter the cabbage and then cut into two-inch sized pieces, wash thoroughly and dry. Then you place the cabbage in a large bowl and place something heavy on top to press it down. You leave it for an hour, stir, then press for another hour. This removes the excess moisture from the cabbage which means better fermentation.

Whilst you are waiting, you can prepare your vegetables. Like I mentioned earlier, you can use any vegetables – I used carrots and green onion.

You then blitz all your sauce ingredients together to make the sauce. I used apple cider vinegar in this dish as I love the taste and it adds to the health benefits, but you can try pineapple juice or apple juice which will make it slightly sweeter. The traditional dish uses Korean red chilli flakes (Gochugaru) but I ran out so used the paste instead (Gochujang).

You stir the vegetables into the sauce, then when the cabbage is ready, rinse and dry and coat each piece in the sauce, making sure there is plenty of sauce on the cabbage. I used my hands to do this – it was messy but worth it. Pack your Kimchi into the airtight container and press down leaving as little air as possible and seal.

Store in a dark place for a minimum of 48 hours to ferment (maximum 1 week), opening and pressing once daily. When you press, bubbles may start to form which is a sign of good fermentation. When you are happy with the smell and consistency, place the Kimchi in the fridge. This can be refrigerated for weeks.

You can enjoy Kimchi on it’s own, as a side or stir into soups and stews. I will be using mine to make a Korean stew in a couple of weeks – I will let you know how that turns out!

Vegan Kimchi

A delicious vegan version of the Korean staple food.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Fermenting Time2 d
Total Time2 d 2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cabbage (chinese leaf / napa cabbage)
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 carrots julienned or cut thinly
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 100 ml warm water
  • 3 tbsp ginger chopped
  • 1 bulb garlic chopped
  • 1 small onion
  • 3 tbsp Korean Chilli Flakes or Chilli Paste

Instructions

  • Quarter the cabbage and cut into 2 inch pieces.
  • Wash and dry the cabbage and rub evenly with salt.
  • Place the cabbage in a large bowl and place something on top to weigh down. Leave for one hour, stir and leave for another hour.
  • Place the carrots and green onion in another bowl.
  • Blitz together the remaining ingredients to make a thick sauce.
  • Stir the sauce into the carrots / onions.
  • Rinse the cabbage and dry with paper towels.
  • Coat the cabbage evenly with the sauce / vegetable mixture and pack tightly into an airtight container.
  • Leave to ferment in a dark place for minimum 48 hours (maximum 1 week), pressing the mixture once per day.
  • Place in fridge – can be refrigerated for up to 2 months unopened.

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