This Vegan Kimchi recipe is a plant-based substitute for the traditional fermented Korean side dish that often contains fish sauce or even shrimp. Like sauerkraut and non-dairy yogurt, vegan kimchi is filled with beneficial micro-organisms and probiotics from the fermentation process. Best thing about making vegan kimchi is the freedom that you have to customize your kimchi to your liking—sour or spicy, complex or simple, whipping up a batch lets you play around until you find a combination that you love. Have fun and enjoy!
Plant Based Kimchi Recipe
- 1/4 cup salt, must be free of iodine (as it can inhibit fermentation)
- 1 head (about 2 pounds) Napa cabbage, cored and cut lengthwise into 2 inch wide strips
- 1 liter water (chlorinated water will also inhibit fermentation)
- 1 Tbsp garlic, grated
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1-5 Tbsp gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder)
- 8 oz daikon radish, peeled and cut into matchsticks
- 4 green onions, sliced
- 1 tsp cane sugar (optional)
- 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks (optional)
- 2-3 tsp kelp powder or a few strips of seaweed cut thin (optional)
Place the cabbage and salt into a bowl and massage until cabbage starts to soften. Cover with water. Put another bowl or a plate on top of cabbage with something heavy on top to weigh it down. Let sit for 1-2 hours.
Rinse cabbage under cold water at least 3 times and let drain in a colander for 20 minutes.
While cabbage is draining, combine garlic, ginger, salt, kelp powder and mix well. If using seaweed strips add when you combine everything together. Add in gochugaru into mixture to create a paste. The more you add the spicier your kimchi will be.
Gently squeeze any excess water out of cabbage. Mix cabbage, daikon, green onions, carrots and paste together thoroughly. (Tip: you may want to wear gloves.)
Pack kimchi into a sanitized quart jar, pressing down until; brine covers vegetables. Leave 1 inch headspace. Seal with lid lightly.
Ferment in a warm dark spot where the vegan kimchi won’t be disturbed 1 – 5 days, Checking on kimchi everyday, tasting and pressing kimchi down below liquid.