Kimchi is a fermented cabbage. Once you have tasted kimchi’s fermented spicy hot, crunchy properties, you will want to have it at home.

It is surprisingly simple to prepare and will last many weeks in your fridge.

Fermented foods have so many health benefits for your digestive system that it makes it even more beneficial for you to get comfortable making your own kimchi.


Photo: Simon Lambert
Photo: Simon Lambert

Makes two  1 litre jars

1 large whole Chinese cabbage
½ cup sea salt flakes
3 carrots, sliced into matchstick size
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 shallot, sliced thinly
6 Tbsp Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp honey

Begin the day before by cutting up the cabbage into 2 cm pieces. Reserving some outer leaves for later use (cover and store in the fridge).

Dissolve the salt in a cup or two of cold water in a nonreactive large bowl. Add the cabbage and massage the salt in it, press down and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours.

The next day remove the cabbage, reserving the liquid. Rinse the cabbage and pat dry.

In a blender process the ginger, garlic, shallot, gochugaru, fish sauce and honey until you get a paste.

Add this to the cabbage along with the carrots. I would suggest wearing gloves for this next stage as you want to massage the paste into the cabbage and carrots so it is very well covered.

Press into the clean jars, pour over enough of the reserved brine to just cover the cabbage. Cover the jar with the reserved cabbage leaves as this will allow the kimchi to breath and allow the built-up gases out.

Place on a dish and store at room temperature for a couple of days then store in the fridge for months. You can eat it after a couple of days but the longer you store it the better the fermentation and of course depth of flavour.

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