It’s really easy to follow this Raw Fermented Kimchi Recipe, and your health will thank you. When I was young I felt invincible, eating whatever I liked, within reason. As I grew older and maybe wiser and couldn’t keep up with the twenty-somethings anymore, my interest in health miraculously came alive. So how can I combine my love of cooking with the added benefits of probiotics and natural health?
Spicy Sauerkraut and Kimchi. I love spicy foods and Asian foods, so this is a marriage made in heaven for me! Koreans have eaten Kimchee for over a thousand years, and annually eat over 40 pounds per person! Lucky for me, it’s not hard to make, lasts a long time, and I believe will improve my health and boost my immune system. The best part is because I made it, I know exactly what went into it.
I love this recipe because it doesn’t add sugar or honey, but authentically adds natural sweetness with a grated apple. (You could substitute grated pear or nashi pear instead). That’s the secret to an authentic Kimchee. I used a lot of carrots in this recipe, as the carrots I bought were some giant carrots, so I used them all as I don’t like wastage. The photos are very carrot heavy, in hindsight, I should have used less carrot due to the physical size of the carrots.
Traditionally Kimchi is made by covering the whole pieces of napa cabbage with the spicy paste. I prefer to chop it all up into small manageable pieces. This doesn’t impact the fermentation in any way, it’s just easier to use as a condiment.
In my pantry I had a 1 kg bag of Himalayan Salt, and that is perfectly acceptable to use instead of regular salt. As I always say, use what you’ve got! If sodium levels are a concern in your diet, use kosher salt, as it has a lower milligram amount of sodium vs regular salt. When you eat this Raw Fermented Kimchi Recipe, your health will thank you. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
cutting board and knife
small and large bowl
large sterilised 4 litre glass jar (make sure the jar is clean and sterilised to prevent bacteria growth)
disposable kitchen gloves
- 1 large Napa Cabbage Wombok or 2 smaller Napa cabbages
- 4 carrots - grated
- 6 garlic cloves - crushed
- 1 grated knob of ginger approx 75 grams
- 1 cup garlic chives chopped into bite sized pieces
- 4 spring onions - chopped into bit sized pieces
- 1 daikon - cut into 2 inch match sticks
- 1/4 - 1/3 cup Gochujang paste or Korean red pepper powder*
- 1 apple - peeled cored, and grated
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce or soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- Optional - to give kimchi a redder look with a spicier taste add 2 tablespoons of the Korean red pepper powder
Remove the cabbage leaves individually, and cut lengthways into 3 long pieces. As you get closer to the core, you will cut them in half.
Cut the cabbage leaves into 2 inch pieces, and put into a large bowl.
Put 1/4 cup of salt into a small bowl of warm water and stir till dissolved.
Add the salt water to the bowl of cabbage leaves and mix it up using your hands, ensuring each piece gets a good covering of salty water.
Leave the cabbage in the bowl at room temperature for 4-5 hours. The salt will start to draw out the water from the cabbage. You will see a brine in the bottom of the bowl.
Strain the cabbage through a colander and quickly rinse it once or twice with water. Put your cabbage back into the bowl.
Add the grated carrot, match stick daikon, crushed garlic, grated ginger, garlic chives,grated apple and mix together.
Measure 1/3 cup of Gochujan and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce OR soy sauce, and vigorously mix thoroughly until completely covered. I suggest wearing disposable gloves, so the peppers don't burn.
Your Kimchee is basically done. Have your jars ready, and pack them tightly and close the lid. If Kimchee is dry, push down to force the liquid on top of the cabbage. Don't fill the jar to the top, leave a few inches for the carbon dioxide to expand. Let it sit in a cool dark place for approx 48 hours. (Some people let it sit for up to 5 days, which increases the sourness). Periodically open up the jars to release the pressure that builds up. Bubbles will likely appear, this is normal. The warmer your room is, the quicker the Kimchi will start to ferment. Keep and eye on it and taste it as per your preference. When its ready, place in the fridge, where it should last 2 months or more. It will keep slowly fermenting in the fridge but at a slower rate. I prefer a fresher and less sour Kimchee, so tend to put it in the fridge after about 48 hours on the counter. Enjoy the healthy benefits of Kimchee and enjoy fermenting!