I was a super picky eater as a kid, I would only eat the blandest of foods as that’s all that was given to me for the longest time. After finding vegetarianism and then veganism however my tastes have completely changed and now the more flavour the better.
The last thing I came round to appreciating was spice. Specifically chili. I desperately wanted to try kimchi but the hot red colour put me off as I just couldn’t face that much heat so when I started my YouTube channel I made my own kimchi style cabbage
It was nice and all at my level of heat but I still wanted the proper red stuff. Well over the last year my taste for hot sauce has become an addiction and my tolerance for heat has naturally improved so the proper red kimchi is now no problem and I love making my own so I can always have a stock of it.
So Marianne this is for you… how I make my vegan kimchi.
First things first – Jars. I’ve got one my friend Lisa gave me that holds 800ml which is perfect for me however I also use old pickle jars, pesto jars… any size and anything I can lay my hands on really. Make sure its super clean.
Now the important bit – Greens. Traditionally its nappa cabbage but I can’t always get hold of it so I use what I can get. Pointed cabbage, bok choi, cavolo nero kale, spring greens… whatever you fancy/is in season/is cheap at the shop that day. Now this is the hard bit… how much do you need? It depends on what your using.
Pointed cabbage – 1 small one
Bok choi – 3
Kale – A whole big bag
Spring Greens – 1. They tend to come in packs of 3 or 4 so you can either eat the rest another way or make more kimchi paste and fill all the jars in the house.
Next you need to salt your greens. There are a couple of ways you can do this – dry or wet. I’ve played with both and personally I prefer a wet salting. I break up the greens into manageable bits (I’m not fussed about whole leaf kimchi) put it in my big mixing bowl and cover the greens with water and sea salt. It’s 2tbsp of salt to a liter of water. Pop a plate over the greens and weigh them down so they are all submerged and leave overnight.
The next morning drain and rinse your greens and pop aside to drain more while you make your paste.
Combine in the biggest bowl you’ve got –
1/4 cup of korean red pepper flakes
2 tbsp of light soy sauce
4 spring onion finely sliced
1 large carrot cut into matchsticks
6 salad radish cut into matchsticks
2″ square piece of kombu hydrated and finely minced
1 tsp of garlic powder
Now you have two options greens wise. You can add in the greens as they are or you can remove the stalks from the leaves and finely chop them. I prefer to do the latter as I like to eat my kimchi fresh and it makes the stalks easier to eat. If your going for the full ferment they will go soft either way.
Once your paste is all mixed together throw your cabbage in the bowl and rub everything together. Wear latex gloves. Don’t be shy with it, really rub the paste into the greens. When everything is nicely coated pack it into your jars. You want to avoid air gaps in there so again you can be a little rough with it when your packing it in.
Once everything is it its jars cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours. Don’t put the jar lids on properly just rest them on top to stop anything getting in there. After 24 hours put the lid on properly and put it in the fridge. I starting eating our kimchi now but you can leave it in the fridge as long as you like and it’s just going to keep fermenting. With your first batch I recommend packing the mix into small jars so you can open one every week or so and taste it. You’ll then know how long you like it to ferment for the next batch.