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Easy Homemade Kimchi

11

Easy Homemade Kimchi
[Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free]

Kimchi is a relatively new obsession in our household. It’s hard to recall exactly when we first tried the Korean side dish, but it was love at first bite. Kimchi is a bit difficult to describe because it’s not really like any other food. The texture is a bit like cole slaw and its spicy-sour flavor is in a class all its own.

People often add kimchi to salads or sandwiches, but it’s delicious all on its own. It’s a light snack that is packed with Vitamins A and C along with beta carotene, iron, and calcium. One cup contains less than 50 calories and about 5 grams of fiber. The main benefit of kimchi is that it contains good bacteria that combat inflammation, fight off bad bacteria, and strengthen the immune system. Many health food stores now carry kimchi, but when it’s so easy to make your own at home, why buy it?

Prep time: 30 minutes

Total time: 4-6 days

You’ll need: 4 to 5 – 16 oz. jars

INGREDIENTS [makes 4 to 5 – 16 oz. jars]

1 head of napa cabbage [chopped into 1-inch pieces] 1 medium carrot [julienned] 6 scallions [slivered] 1 c. leeks [chopped] 1/3 c. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sea salt
6 c. spring water
3 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

Thoroughly wash cabbage and other vegetables. Chop cabbage shortways as shown below, and then chop it into smaller pieces, nothing larger than 2 inches square.

Easy Homemade Kimchi

Easy Homemade Kimchi

In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of sea salt and 6 cups of spring water. Dissolve the salt as much as possible, stirring if necessary.

In a larger bowl, combine the cabbage and leeks. Carefully pour the salt water mixture over the bowl and use your hands to submerge everything.

Easy Homemade Kimchi

Easy Homemade Kimchi

The next step can get a bit tricky. You’ll need something flat, such as a plate, that will fit inside the bowl. Place the flat object on top of the veggies and then weigh it down with something heavy — dumbbells, a jug of water, or a cast iron skillet would work. The goal is to smash down the ingredients and make sure everything is under water.

After 12 hours, drain the brine from the bowl and pour it into something to save it for later.

In a small bowl, combine green onions, garlic, red pepper, and carrot. Add this mixture to the cabbage/leek mixture along with 1 tsp. of sea salt and stir to combine.

Easy Homemade Kimchi

Fill the jars with the kimchi mixture and carefully pour enough brine into each jar to cover the kimchi. Cut squares of saran wrap and use them to thoroughly seal the opening to each jar. After sealing, screw on the lid tightly. Store jars in the fridge for 3 days — after this time, the kimchi is ready to eat! Enjoy it for up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge.

Easy Homemade Kimchi

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Easy Homemade Kimchi

Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30

Ingredients

  • 1 head of napa cabbage [chopped into 1-inch pieces]
  • 1 medium carrot [julienned]
  • 6 scallions [slivered]
  • 1 c. leeks [chopped]
  • 1/3 c. minced garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 6 c. spring water
  • 3 Tbsp. red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. 1. Thoroughly wash cabbage and other vegetables. Chop cabbage shortways as shown below, and then chop it into smaller pieces, nothing larger than 2 inches square.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of sea salt and 6 cups of spring water. Dissolve the salt as much as possible, stirring if necessary.
  3. 3. In a larger bowl, combine the cabbage and leeks. Carefully pour the salt water mixture over the bowl and use your hands to submerge everything.
  4. 4. Place the flat object on top of the veggies and then weigh it down with something heavy — dumbbells, a jug of water, or a cast iron skillet would work. The goal is to smash down the ingredients and make sure everything is under water.
  5. 5. After 12 hours, drain the brine from the bowl and pour it into something to save it for later.
  6. 6. In a small bowl, combine green onions, garlic, red pepper, and carrot. Add this mixture to the cabbage/leek mixture along with 1 tsp. of sea salt and stir to combine.
  7. 7. Fill the jars with the kimchi mixture and carefully pour enough brine into each jar to cover the kimchi. Cut squares of saran wrap and use them to thoroughly seal the opening to each jar. After sealing, screw on the lid tightly. Store jars in the fridge for 3 days — after this time, the kimchi is ready to eat!

Notes

  • Makes 4-5 16oz jars of kimchi.
  • Keeps in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 228
  • Sugar: 11
  • Sodium: 23723
  • Fat: 4
  • Saturated Fat: 1
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 49
  • Protein: 9
  • Cholesterol: 0

11 Comments
  • Lorna
    December 2, 2015

    Thanks for this recipe. I notice in the photos that the carrots are included in the original cabbage soak but the instructions says to add them after draining. Which is the preferred way to do it. Thanks.

  • Chelsea
    October 28, 2013

    During the 12 hour soak, should the bowl of cabbge & leeks be left out at room temp or refrigerated? Thanks! Looking forward to making this recipe for a food swap group!

    • thefitchen
      October 28, 2013

      The cabbage and leeks should soak at room temperature. Thank you for the question and good luck! :)

  • veganmiam.com
    August 23, 2013

    Mmmm for kimchi! I love them spicy!

    • thefitchen
      August 23, 2013

      Right? It’s the best! So spicy but you just can’t stop eating it!

  • Judy
    August 19, 2013

    Can I make this without the red
    pepper flakes?

    Thanks, judy

    • thefitchen
      August 20, 2013

      You can leave out the red pepper flakes. It will definitely change the flavor and make it less spicy!

  • Teresa Heath
    August 18, 2013

    In photo #6 it references using ginger… ginger is not listed in the ingredient list. How much, how prepped/prepared. Can you please clarify??

    Thanks, Teresa

    • thefitchen
      August 18, 2013

      We used the ginger in half of the jars and left it out of the other half. We liked the half without much better — but forgot to remove it from the instructions. Sorry about that! If you would like to use ginger, it is 1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger.

  • claire
    August 18, 2013

    How much Ginger do you put in this recipe? It is mentioned in the directions, but not on the ingredients list.

    • thefitchen
      August 18, 2013

      We used the ginger in half of the jars and left it out of the other half. We liked the half without much better — but forgot to remove it from the instructions. Sorry about that! If you would like to use ginger, it is 1/2 tablespoon of grated ginger.

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