- 1 pound Napa Cabbage
- 2 medium, thinly sliced Carrots
- 2, chopped Green Onions
- 2 Tablespoons Coarse Sea Salt
- 3 inch piece Ginger Root
- 1 overly ripe Pear
- 3 Tablespoons (or more if you like spicy) Gochugaru (Korean Red Chili Flakes)
- 3 Tablespoons (or more if you like spicy) Vegan Gochujang/ Vegan Kimchi Paste
Slightly sweet, sour, spicy vegan kimchi!
I don’t know why it took me so many years to finally fall in love with Korean cuisine!
Kimchi is a staple in any Korean kitchen. It is a traditional side dish of salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, made with a widely varying selection of seasonings including gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal, etc.
It is packed with umami and can be quite addictive in the best way!
Kimchi is great for soups, stews, stir fries or just adding it as a side dish!
Since it is fermented, it also has great health benefits and is especially good for gut health.
Though the spicer you make it, the more stomach acid you will create so eat in moderation.
Traditionally, kimchi is made with fish sauce or Korean salted shrimp. I skip this to make my kimchi 100% vegan.
Similar to saurkraut, kimchi is a fermented food.
Through the salt, the vegetable’s liquids, good bacteria in the air and time, kimchi is rich in beneficial bacteria.
It is particularly rich in lactobacillus bacteria which can also be found in foods like kefir, sour pickles, and yogurt.
These beneficial bacteria help support gut health and immune system function.
They also help to enhance your body’s ability to manufacture and absorb key nutrients.
Further, they can also help to support your immune system in cases of food borne illness or digestive distress.
Rinse & Salt Cabbage
One napa cabbage is likely around 2 pounds.
Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise then chop one half into chunks and discard the core.
Rinse the cabbage then add them to a large bowl with the coarse sea salt.
Gently toss the cabbage so the salt is evenly distributed.
Cover and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 hour (or up to 3 hours).
This resting period will draw out excess water from the cabbage and soften it.
Make The Kimchi Paste
Mama O's makes a great vegan kimchi paste but I like to add a bit more flavor with sweet pear and ginger.
If you do not have store-bought kimchi paste, vegan gochujang works as well!
Add the kimchi paste or gochujang to a food processor along with peeled ginger and the peeled and cored pear.
Process until somewhat smooth then move it to the refrigerator until ready to be used.
Give the mixture a taste. Add more kimchi paste if you like it spicier, however, keep in mind that gochugaru will be added later as well.
Wash & Drain The Cabbage
Wash the salted cabbage then allow to drain in a large colander for 20-30 minutes.
Mix Kimchi Paste with Cabbage
Add the drained cabbage to a large mixing bowl along with peel and thinly sliced carrot and chopped green onion.
I like to keep my vegetables chunky but chop them however you like!
Next, add the kimchi paste and gochugaru to the bowl then mix well.
I like mixing with my hands but wearing gloves as the kimchi paste can stain your skin.
Give the kimchi a taste and adjust spiciness by adding more gochugaru if desired!
I highly recommend using a glass jar with a well sealed lid for fermentation.
Be sure to use a clean glass jar. It's best to sterilize the jar first by adding it to a large pot of gentle simmering water for 5 minutes then allow to dry completely.
Add the kimchi to your jar and use your fist or a wooden spoon on push it down so all of the liquid rises to the top.
Allow the kimchi to ferment at room temperature in a dark, cool and dry spot for at least 4 days and up to 2 weeks!
The warmer the environment, the faster fermentation will occur.
Burp the kimchi once a week by simple opening the lid and allowing the gasses to escape.
After day 3 or 4, give it a taste. Once you've achieved perfect funky sourness, move the kimchi to the refrigerator and keep for up to 4 months!