Spicy, pickled, simple and vegan this Easy Vegan Kimchi with Cabbage recipe is pretty much fool-proof. All it requires is a pair of gloves and a little patience.
We have a new organics store in our area; it’s an organic mecca in a large warehouse stocking all the bits and bobs one might need to eat well. I have been a few times, they have a great vitamin section, but I mostly like to stick to my smaller, more intimate growers and sellers. I’m a bit old school that way; I like that the store owners in our little town know our names and we know theirs. I like that they sell a few brands of the same product to give choice but not to overwhelm. I also really like that they have the sense to not stock über expensive products like Kimchi for $25. Awesome segue aside, $25? Really?
Don’t get me wrong, I love kimchi. When we make it, I inspect it daily as it sits on our sill fermenting and devour it straight from the jar as soon as it is ready, but it’s cabbage and chilli paste and time. $25? Surely there is a cheaper easy vegan kimchi.
I stood in the mecca and lifted the jar looking underneath for flecks of gold but alas, there was none. No diamonds either. Only the word “sucker” spelled out in cabbage. Now, I am an advocate of all things healthy and believe you get what you pay for but $25? I am doubtful there is anything you can do with a cabbage that warrants a $25 price tag.
The good news is, I can make an easy vegan kimchi. And so can you.
In the absence of diamonds and gold, this easy vegan kimchi with cabbage is inexpensive, simple and so so delicious. Made from clean ingredients and a little time anyone can enjoy this vegan version of the traditional Korean side. I combine Chinese cabbage, baby daikon radish, spring onions and carrots in mine but once you’ve got the knack, you can add or subtract as you please.
While traditional kimchi uses shrimp or fish sauce to create a deeper bodied flavour, I use red miso paste. Fermented for longer than paler miso with barley or other grains, red miso has that earthy/fishy unami flavour we need here. Combined with gochukaru, Korean red pepper flakes/powder, fresh ginger, garlic and spring onions, this easy vegan kimchi is a wonderful spicy punch in the gut. Exactly what you want from your Kimchi. And it didn’t cost $25. Enjoy.
Recipe note: Wear gloves when massaging the paste in to the cabbage. Trust me.
Easy Vegan Kimchi
- 1 head Chinese napa cabbage
- 1 baby daikon radish cut julienne
- 8 spring onions greens roughly chopped and whites kept separately.
- 1 small carrot julienne
- Sea salt
- 5-6 cloves garlic chopped
- One 2-inch knob ginger peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup 125ml Korean red pepper powder (gochukaru)
- 1 1/2 tablespoon 22ml red miso paste
- 1 tablespoon 15ml rapadura or any unprocessed sugar
- 1/2 cup 125ml water
- Cut the cabbage in half lengthwise, then crossways into 4cm (approx 2") pieces, removing the root end.
- Place the cabbage in a large bowl, sprinkle with salt and cover with water.
- Leave overnight covered with a clean cloth or plastic wrap.
- Drain the cabbage in a colander and rinse well. Squeeze out as much excess liquid as you can and place in a medium bowl.
- Add carrot, radish and spring onion (scallion) greens to the bowl.
- In a food processor or mortar and pestle, blitz the chilli powder, spring onion whites, garlic, ginger, sugar and miso paste to a rough paste.
- PUT ON A PAIR OF RUBBER GLOVES.
- Add chilli paste to cabbage and vegetables and 1/2 cup of water .
- Massage to coat and combine.
- Spoon cabbage mixture in to a sterilised glass jar, pressing down firmly.
- Use a chopstick to press out any bubbles.
- Seal with a tight lid and leave in a cool dry place (I use our window sill away from direct light) for 24-36 hours before placing in the fridge for another 3 to 4 days.
- Store in the refrigerator once opened and eat within a month. The kimchi will continue to ferment.