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Cabbage Kimchi

Cabbage Kimchi

A quick and easy recipe that only takes 30 minutes of hands-on time. Full of healthy, gut-healing probiotics, this authentic kimchi recipe is vegadaptable, gluten-free and can be made as spicy or as mild as you like.

Ready in: 35 minutes

Serves: 12

Complexity: very-easy

kcal: 70

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1 head napa cabbage (about 1 kg)
¼ cup sea salt
Water, preferably filtered
1 tbsp grated garlic (5 to 6 cloves)
1 tsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1-5 tbsp chilli flakes
250 g daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
4 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces


Cut the Cabbage: Cut the cabbage lengthwise through the stem into quarters. Cut the cores from each piece. Cut each quarter crosswise into 5 cm wide strips.
Salt the Cabbage: Place the cabbage in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Using your hands, massage the salt into the cabbage until it starts to soften a bit. Add enough water to cover the cabbage. Put a plate on top of the cabbage and weigh it down with something heavy, like a jar or can of beans. Let stand for 1-2 hours.
Rinse and drain the Cabbage: Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times. Set aside to drain in a colander for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the spice paste.
Make the Spice Paste: Rinse and dry the bowl you used for salting. Add the garlic, SIDS CRAZY SALT, ginger, sugar, fish sauce and stir into a smooth paste. Stir in the chilli flakes using 1 tablespoon for mild and up to 5 tablespoons for spicy then set aside until the cabbage is ready.
Combine the Vegetables and Spice Paste: Gently squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add it to the spice paste. Add the radish and spring onions.
Mix Thoroughly: Using your hands, gently work the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated. The gloves are optional here but highly recommended to protect your hands from stings, stains, and smells.
Pack the Kimchi into the Jar: Pack the kimchi into a 1 litre jar. Press down on the kimchi until the brine (the liquid that comes out) rises to cover the vegetables, leaving at least 2 cm of space at the top. Seal the jar.
Let Ferment for 1-5 days: Place a bowl or plate under the jar to help catch any overflow. Let the jar stand at cool room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for 1-5 days. You may see bubbles inside the jar and brine may seep out of the lid.
Check Daily and Refrigerate when Ready: Check the kimchi once a day, opening the jar and pressing down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. (This also releases gases produced during fermentation) Taste a little at this point, too. When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator. You may eat it right away, but it's best after another week or two.
Seafood Flavour and Vegetarian Alternatives: Seafood gives kimchi an umami flavour. Different regions and families may use fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, oysters, and other seafood. Use about 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, salted shrimp paste, or a combination of the two. For vegetarian kimchi, use ¾ teaspoon kelp powder mixed with 3 tablespoons water, or simply 3 tablespoons of water.
Storage: Kimchi can be refrigerated for up to a few months. Use clean utensils each time to extract the kimchi from the jar.
Inspired by Namiko Chen