Korean Kimchi

asian fermentation korean probiotics sides Dec 16, 2020

Serves: 2 liters

Time: 40 mins ( 2-4 weeks fermentation time)

Kimchi Paste:

4 garlic bulbs (20-40 peeled garlic cloves)

500 g fresh ginger, unpeeled

1 cup of korean chili flakes (gochugaru)

125 ml fish sauce

125 ml tamari or light soy sauce


2 wombok (chinese cabbage)

5-6 tbs fine salt

1 cup sliced spring onions

1 cup grated daikon

1 cup grated carrot

2 nashi pears, sliced


For the paste; Place all the ingredients for the paste into your food processor or thermomix and process until you have a thick paste that looks kind of like a curry paste. Set aside.

For the Kimchi; Wash the veggies and then peel off some outer layers of the Wombok and set aside.

Cut the Wombok into quarters, long ways. Then dice the Wombok into inch pieces (or there about) don't chop too finely as traditional Kimchi has larger square pieces of cabbage.

Grate your carrot and daikon, finely slice your nashi pears and spring onions.

Place all your fresh cut veggies in a large bowl and add the salt.

Pour your pre-made Kimchi paste over the veggies and (with gloves) start to massage the paste into the chopped veggies to thoroughly coat them all.

Once the paste is dispersed evenly and the veggies are all coated you should see some water start to be released from the veggies too, this combined with the paste will mean you have enough "Brine" to cover your ferment once jarred.

You can now start to pack your 3 litre Jar, one handful at a time, packing down with your fist as you go. You want to create an anaerobic environment where we don't give any mould the chance to grow.

Once you've packed all the Kimchi into the jar and packed down tight you will need to place a weight and following on top to keep all your veggies down below the brine line. A "following" is something you use to keep all your contents securely under the weight you're using, in our case it will be a Wombok leaf that we saved from the start of the process.

So, with your kimchi tightly packed into your jar, place a wombok leaf in over the top and wipe down the jar to make sure there aren't any random bits of cabbage or veggies that are sticking to the inside of the jar. (Please just wipe down with a clean hand, don't put your kitchen cloth in there!)

On top of the following you will need to place a weight to keep it all down under the brine. Some jars you buy for fermenting, come with the right sized weights and are really easy to use, otherwise, you could find something like a small glass jar filled with water to weigh your contents down.

Cap your jar off and place in a cupboard or on your bench. You'll need to keep an eye on it over the next 10 days or so, so don't put it somewhere you'll forget about it! It will start to bubble and hiss, this is a fantastic sign that good things are happening :)

You may need to "Burp" your jar a few times depending on the jar system you use, if you see the contents of your jar being pushed to the top from all the gasses it's creating then you can open the jar and push them back down.

After 7-10 days you can taste your creation and if you like how it tastes then it's ready! Pop it in the fridge and have a tbs a day with your meals.


If you're new to fermented foods please take it easy and just add a ts per day to your diet to see how you go, you can up it from there when you know your gut will cope with it.

Kimchi will keep in your fridge for 12 months and beyond, if you don't eat it all first, so don't worry about it expiring.

Look into different jar systems you can use to make life a little easier. You can of course use old jars that you want to recycle, but note you will have to find weights that fit and likely have to "burp" your ferment every day to avoid an explosion.


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