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Vegan Kimchi

I remember the first time I tried Korean food at a mall near my apartment in Bangkok. It was also the first time I tried Kimchi. And to be honest, I couldn’t decide if I like it. I immediately thought that it was like ‘Som Pak’, a pickled cabbage and green onion dish which we usually had with fishy dip. I recalled calling it Som Pak on Steroid because Kimchi made red hot chili burn my tongue and the delightful fishy scent stung my nose at the same time.

When I moved to India was when I began to love Kimchi. Actually, I began to love every little thing that reminded me the flavor of home. Asian cuisines are somewhat concatenated and I began to enjoy having Kimchi on the side of my rice whether we’re making a Thai meal, Japanese food or Korean dishes.

This Kimchi is vegan so I’m not going to be using fermented shrimp and fish sauce. Frankly, it’s also the version I enjoy making because a lot of people here not really a fan of fishy scent, and food tastes a lot better when we can share with a lot of people. And if you’re thinking boohoo, this is not even authentic, I’m not even using Kombu or glutinous rice flour either because I want this recipe to be easy and accessible for everybody. So the more generic the ingredients, the better the chance for all of you to try. Everyone can make this, and I promise you that the result is going to be crunchy, spicy, pungent, and yummy. You can have kimchi with rice, in salad, sandwiches or soup. You can make kimchi fried rice, and oh, you can also make kimchi pasta, which I’m gonna tell you about that later.

Vegan Kimchi Recipe

Watch Vegan Kimchi Recipe

Vegan Kimchi Recipe

All you need are 10 simple ingredients

1 whole head of Chinese cabbage

Some carrot (1-2 small carrot)

1 cup of sea salt

1 apple- this is what gonna some sweetness into our kimchi

2 -4 tbsp of Korean chili powder, and paprika or Kashmiri chili powder are the good substitutes for it

2 inches long fresh ginger root

1 whole garlic

1 tbsp table salt

A handful of spring onion

And white radish (I use half)


Slice Chinese cabbage into chunky bite size, and then roughly rinse it in cold water.

Put the layers of cabbage and sea salt in the pot. Leave it like this for 3 hrs. We should also turn the cabbage every 30 minutes to encourage the salt to work on extracting the liquid from the cabbage. By the end of this process, you should see the liquid almost cover all the cabbage.

Drain the salty water and wash the cabbage in clean water 5 times to get rid of the excess salt.

After that, drain the cabbage for 30 minutes. Add put some weight over it, by using a plate, if you need, to make sure all liquid from the cabbage is gone.

So while we’re waiting for our cabbage to drain completely, make the kimchi sauce.

First, we need to prep all the veggies. Peel and slice white radish into matchsticks size. Do the same with the carrot. Slice the green onion. Put them into a bowl and keep aside.

Puree some garlic, ginger, and apple together.

Add some chili powder and salt into the puree. You need to taste the mixture at this point but keep in mind that you want it to be quite strong.

Mix the paste and the veggies together. And the sauce is ready.

Now, mix the sauce and the cabbage together.

Keep the kimchi in an air-tight jar. You can definitely eat fresh kimchi, too. But the pungent fermenting flavor is gonna start developing after 24 hrs. So usually I’ll keep the jar at room temperature for 1-2 days and then store it in the fridge. This kimchi can stay in the fridge for about a month, giving you a lot of luxury to enjoy it.


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