Kimchi is hot, salty and pungent. A staple in Korea, it is eaten at nearly every meal. This simple vegan kimchi is packed full of flavour and is delicious eaten fresh or sour.
Traditional kimchi is made with raw squid, oysters and/or fish sauce. Like all traditional foods, the exact recipe differs from region to region and from house to house. It also varies based on the availability of ingredients and personal taste.
Since my husband, Brad, is allergic to shellfish we always make vegan kimchi. If you want to make more traditional kimchi, then I recommend exploring Maanchi.com.
And check out this video: How to Make Kimchi: according to my Kun Umma for an entertaining look at kimchi and Korean-Canadian immigrant life.
What can you do with kimchi?
Kimchi is a tasty all-purpose condiment. Fresh kimchi (only 3 to 7 days old) is sweet and sparkling. It is typically served alongside of meals, like a salad or pickles.
My daughter, Una, LOVES fresh kimchi. She eats it by the forkful as a healthy afterschool snack.
As kimchi ages, it becomes sour and is more suited towards flavouring other dishes and meals. Sour kimchi is delicious, probiotic and perfect for making quick, Asian-inspired meals. Here are six delicious ways to serve sour kimchi.
- Serve it as a trendy hot dog or hamburger topping.
- Kimchi fried rice is my kids’ favourite way to eat kimchi.
- Use kimchi to make a rich and delicious noodle bowl (not a vegetarian recipe, but you can use tofu for the protein instead.)
- This quick and easy vegan kimchi soup only takes 15 minutes to make.
- Try a traditional, not vegetarian, pork belly kimchi soup.
- Add kimchi to an Asian-inspired Buddha bowl.
Kimchi is a hot, salty and flavourful condiment that is a staple in all Korean kitchens. This 100% vegan kimchi is simple and delicious. See the section above for 6 ways to enjoy kimchi.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 3 quarts 1x
- Category: Condiment
- Method: Fermented
- Cuisine: Korean
- Diet: Vegan
- 4 Tablespoons non-iodized salt
- 8 cups of water
- 1 large head of napa cabbage
- 1 daikon radish (6″ to 8″ in length)
- 3 carrots
- 4 green onions
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2-inch knob of ginger, peeled and diced
- 1 – 4 tbsp red chilli pepper flakes (using gochugaru is traditional)
- Dissolve the salt in the water to make a brine.
- Roughly chop the cabbage, and submerge it in the brine for at least 5 hours, up to 24 hours. If there isn’t enough brine to cover the cabbage, wait 30 minutes for the cabbage to start softening before adding more brine.
- Use a weight to keep the cabbage below the surface of the brine. I soak my cabbage in a large bowl and use a dinner plate to keep it below the surface.
- After soaking, drain the cabbage reserving 6 cups of the brine.
- Dice the radish, carrots and green onions into sticks.
- Place the yellow onion, garlic, ginger and chilli pepper flakes into a food processor and chop until it becomes a paste.
- Mix all the vegetables and the paste together in a large bowl.
- Pack the vegetables into mason jars. It should make around 3 quarts depending on the size of the cabbage.
- Pour the reserved brine over the vegetables, using as much as needed to keep them submerged.
- Leave the kimchi to ferment in a cool location for up to 3 days. It is traditional to eat kimchi while it is still in the sparkling stages of fermentation (3-7 days.)
- After 3 days, place the kimchi in the refrigerator to stop fermentation.
- If the raw garlic, onions and spices aren’t your thing, here’s my recipe for kid-friendly kimchi. It avoids the stronger flavours while keeping the delicious kimchi-ness.
- If you can’t find napa cabbage then use savoy. You can also use a regular cannonball cabbage, but it won’t have the same texture or flavour.
- You can find gochugaru in Korean grocery stores or online (affiliate link.)
Keywords: vegetarian, vegan, no shrimp, no fish, no shellfish, gluten free, paleo, keto, probiotic, spicy, salty, pungent