Vegan Kimchi Recipe
Vegan Kimchi is one of the side dishes worth making yourself, and it is surprisingly easy to make. It is an excellent addition to almost anything from salad dishes to ramen noodles and dumplings! You would think it would be naturally vegan because it only contains vegetables, but the kimchi sauce contains fish sauce and sometimes anchovy.
At its core, kimchi is fermented cabbage. But it’s so much more. It’s a little bit spicy and umami and sour and perfect for adding zing to your meals. I prefer my kimchi not very spicy. So, this kimchi recipe is mild but you can add more of the chili powder and adjust to your liking. Add one tablespoon at a time and taste if it is enough. The flavor profile improves once the paste have set in the fridge.
Depending on the room temperature, the fermentation can take slower or quicker. I am located in Thailand, and it is currently quite hot here, so the fermentation process for my kimchi only takes one or two days. After that, I place them in the fridge. Keep in mind that it keeps fermenting in the fridge, only at a much slower pace. I suggest tasting a sample each day to decide if the level of fermentation is to your liking.
Use filtered water for this vegan kimchi recipe because tap water often contains a small amount of chlorine, which will inhibit the fermentation process. Either use a filter jug or bottled water, and make sure to have all your glass jars sterilized. You can sterilize the glass jars by boiling them in hot water for a few minutes.
For the chili, the most crucial ingredient for this recipe lookout for Korean gochugaru chili. The Korean chili is very different from the normal chili. It has a complex flavor profile with spicy, sweet, and slightly smoky tastes. Look at your nearby Chinese or Korean supermarket or find it online.
I have used a two 1l glass jar for this recipe. You will also need a small glass jar that fits in the 1l glass jar to place on top of the cabbage mixture and close with the lid to help create a barrier to the air. You can also use the cabbage stem or a sterilized stone. Anything really that keeps the cabbage submerged in the sauce.
For more fermented goodness check out my German Sauerkraut recipe. Turning cabbage into sauerkraut is one of the easiest fermented foods to master. It is easy and requires very little special equipment, and the results are dependably delicious.
I hope this recipe serves you well.
Love, as always. xx
Korean Kimchi Sauce Recipe
- 2 big napa cabbage
- 1 Tbsp sea salt
For the kimchi sauce
- 8 Tbsp pure tomato paste
- 1 cup filtered water
- 7 clove garlic
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp korean chili
- 1 tsp sea salt
- Chop the cabbage and transfer it to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Massage the salt into the cabbage using your hands until well incorporated. Cover the bowl and let sit for 30min until wilted and water has been released.
- Discard water and allow it to drain in a colander for a couple of minutes.
- Combine sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined.
- Add 2-3 Tbsp of the chili paste to the cabbage and toss with your hands, using gloves, until evenly combined and the cabbage is thoroughly coated with the mixture.
- Once combined, place the mixture in a jar pressing down and packing tightly so that the mixture is submerged in its own liquid. Cover the jar, place over a plate and let sit in a cool, dark place for 24 hours (the mixture may bubble). Each day of fermentation, remove the lid to release gases and press down on the mixture to keep it submerged. Depending on the temperature the fermentation can take slower or quicker. So, taste a sample each day to decide if the level of fermentation is to your liking. Refrigerate for up to 1 month.
Use the sauce to ferment cucumber and other vegetables.