BY: Camila Costa
Simple authentic kimchi recipe for beginners

Easy beginner authentic kimchi recipe

Here’s a simple beginner vegan recipe for kimchi. Like all the best recipes it is written down directly from the brain of a real live grandmother!

Kimchi is a beloved Korean dish known for its delicious flavors and numerous health benefits. This vegan kimchi recipe is a wonderful introduction to the world of kimchi, packed with flavor and made entirely from plant-based ingredients. The recipe was generously shared by a friend, who received it from her Korean grandmother, ensuring an authentic and time-tested approach to making kimchi.

Vegan Kimchi Recipe

  • 1 medium-sized Napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari (for added depth of flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (for a touch of tanginess)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional, aids in fermentation)
  1. Prepare the cabbage:
    • Cut the Napa cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Chop the cabbage into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Salt the cabbage:
    • In a large bowl, add the chopped cabbage and sprinkle the salt over it.
    • Gently massage the salt into the cabbage, ensuring it is evenly distributed.
    • Let the cabbage sit for about 1-2 hours, flipping it occasionally to allow the salt to draw out moisture.
  3. Rinse and drain the cabbage:
    • After the salting process, thoroughly rinse the cabbage under cold water to remove excess salt.
    • Drain the cabbage well and transfer it to a clean bowl.
  4. Mix the seasonings:
    • In a separate bowl, combine the gochugaru, minced garlic, grated ginger, chopped green onions, soy sauce or tamari, rice vinegar, and sugar (if using). Mix well to form a paste-like mixture.
  5. Coat the cabbage with the seasoning:
    • Add the seasoning mixture to the drained cabbage.
    • Wearing disposable gloves, gently massage the seasoning into the cabbage, ensuring each piece is coated.
  6. Ferment the kimchi:
    • Transfer the seasoned cabbage into a clean glass jar or fermentation vessel, pressing it down firmly to remove air pockets.
    • Leave about an inch of headspace in the jar to allow for expansion during fermentation.
    • Place a weight or use a clean ziplock bag filled with water to keep the cabbage submerged in its own juices.
  7. Cover and ferment:
    • Cover the jar with a clean cloth or use a fermentation lid.
    • Allow the kimchi to ferment at room temperature for 1-2 days to kickstart the fermentation process. Keep an eye on it to avoid over-fermentation.
    • After the initial fermentation, transfer the jar to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process and allow the flavors to develop over time.
    • The kimchi will continue to ferment and develop more complex flavors with time.

This vegan kimchi is a flavorful and healthy addition to your meals. The combination of gochugaru, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings provides a rich umami taste with a hint of heat. As the kimchi ferments, it develops a tangy and robust flavor profile, while enhancing its numerous health benefits. Enjoy it as a side dish, a topping for rice or noodles, or incorporate it into your favorite recipes for a delightful twist of flavor.

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