This EASY kimchi recipe has a fusion of Asian and Southwest flavors. A spicy, tangy, and oh, so delicious homemade kimchi! This recipe takes very little time to prep and make; the hardest part is waiting for it to ferment. A vegan-friendly, healthy side dish and the BEST kimchi I’ve ever tasted!
An Asian Southwest Fusion EASY kimchi recipe – say what?!! What happened to the Fall food and all things sticky, coffee, and toffee? Well, we’re taking a little sugar break today to feed the gut with the good stuff! No, really! This homemade kimchi is gonna do wonders ya’ll!
In fact, I’m kind of giddy for these next few recipes I’m sharing. They are not only easy to make but so so nourishing and with a little cultural/ethnic flair. I’ve found that to be true with many ethnic or ancestral recipes. Like… say…. sushi!!! They have a purpose and function for our overall health and well being. That whole real food focus, ya, it’s smart and just plain tasty.
HOW TO MAKE THIS EASY KIMCHI RECIPE
Today’s easy kimchi recipe was inspired by my love of fermented foods and gut health. Plus, I just can’t get enough of the different flavors of kimchi “style” recipes these days. “I just can’t get enough, I just can’t get enough.” Who sings that? LOL! Tangent.
But really, the science and nutrition nerd in me geeks out! But also, it’s so needed right now. Restoring the body, mind, and soul takes extra energy and nutrients. And let’s be honest here, our gut can always use extra TLC. Amen?!!
What is kimchi?
So let’s talk kimchi. What is it and what can we benefit from adding it to our diet?
Get the KIMCHEE facts:
The main ingredients of kimchi include:
- napa cabbage or daikon radish
- green onion
- sometimes cucumber, and
- red chili paste (sauce)
Then you can add more spices like ginger, garlic, and authentic Korean chili powder. But these days, there is so much more you can add to this cultural dish. I know, it’s probably sacrilegious, but it’s true.
More on that with my Asian Southwest Fusion easy kimchi recipe below!
What does kimchi taste like?
Kimchi tastes kinda like Asian style sauerkraut. Spicy and sour due to the fermentation process, and the kimchi fermentation produces live probiotic cultures. The ones that feed your gut with GOOD bacteria.
Kimchi (kimchee) is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties as well as vitamins A, B, and C! Plus, the good bacteria (as mentioned above) helps with digestion and even fighting yeast overgrowth (like SIBO, leaky gut, etc.) source
Think of kimchi like a superfood similar to that of kefir yogurt or kombucha. The longer kimchi ferments, usually the greater the health benefits. And might I add, the spicier it gets, like whoa!
Okay, let’s jump to this super duper easy homemade kimchi recipe.
How do you make homemade kimchi?
I tweaked the kimchi a bit, adding roasted southwest peppers (versus another pepper or veggie), but hey, it’s all about the overall result, right? Spicy, flavorful, and nourishing all around!!
Grab a knife and some Napa cabbage and let’s cut right to it. See what I did there?Print
This EASY kimchi recipe has a fusion of Asian and Southwest flavors. A spicy, tangy, and oh, so delicious homemade kimchi! A vegan-friendly, paleo, healthy side dish and the BEST kimchi I’ve ever tasted!
For the Veggie Base:
- 1 head of Napa cabbage (Asian)
- 1 tbsp kosher salt (see notes for uses)
- 2 –3 tsp sugar (sugar ferments/dissolves which makes it paleo friendly)
Fusion ingredients and Asian spices to blend:
- 2 roasted red peppers (can be from a jar) or few tbsp of other pepper (green chiles, jalapeno, etc).
- 2 – 4 tbsp Korean chili powder (or chili pepper flakes if you can’t find the Korean). Although the taste and spice will be different. See notes for a less spicy version.
- 1/4 cup red onion
- 2 tbsp fish sauce (or rice vinegar/GF tamari sauce if vegan)
- 5 garlic cloves peeled
- 1–2 tsp fresh grated ginger
- 1 spring onion – chopped (do not blend, but mix in before sealing)
- You will also need a large bowl and sterile canning jars.
- Cut the cabbage vertically. Trim the end. The cut into 3 or four more sections.
- Soak cabbage in sugar/salt mixture to brine. If you are using coarse sea salt, you might want to add a little extra salt.
- Cover in a bowl and set aside. Let sit at room temperature until cabbage is wilted, at least 2 hours and up to 12. It should release about 1/4 to 1/2 cup liquid.
- Reserve 1 -2 tbsp brine liquid from soak (at the bottom of the bowl).
- Next gently rinse off your cabbage with purified water. You will want to wash off the majority of the salt, but not all of it. you need enough salt for the fermentation
- Squeeze the cabbage over a bowl to get extra juice.
- Place cabbage, juice, and 1-2 tbsp brine in a bowl.
- Next, blend your fusion ingredients (spices, peppers, paste). Use a food processor or blender. Keep the green onion for later. Do not blend that.
- Mix blended spices/sauce with cabbage and juice/brine in a large bowl. I use my hands to coat it. Mix in the green onion last.
- Pack the mixture and all leftover juice/reserve in a large mason jar or 2 small jars.
- Seal jar tightly and place in a dark area at room temperature for 2-5 days. Check at 2 days and taste to see if it’s to your liking.
- You can eat it right away or place in the fridge to ferment for a few more days. Then check it around day 7.
- Store in the fridge for 3-4 weeks. I found it tasted best after 4-5 days at 77F. Then I placed it in the fridge for one more day. Enjoyed it all the following week.
Each batch will probably taste a little different depending on how long you ferment and the amount and type of peppers/spices/salt you use. Test it out a few ways to find your favorite ingredient combo and amount.
- If you don’t want the kimchi to be super spicy, use less chili powder. Use more for extra spicy! Same goes with the salt, rinse off more if desired, but the flavor will be less potent.
- Here’s the Korean chili powder I used. Or you can sub with chili pepper flakes. You can also use a different pepper. The mild kind.
- Nutrition shown below is for a 2 oz. serving.
- Nutrition shown is without fermentation process, so sodium should be reduced a little after.
- Category: side
- Method: no cook
- Cuisine: Asian
- Serving Size: 2 oz.
- Calories: 38
- Sugar: 5.1g
- Sodium: 733.3mg
- Fat: 0.2g
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 8.8g
- Fiber: 2.6g
- Protein: 1.6g
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: easy kimchi recipe, homemade kimchi, paleo
If you are looking for substitutions for the Korean Chili Powder, Serious Eats has great tips!
Don’t worry, this easy kimchi recipe takes like 10 minutes to make. The hardest part is waiting for cabbage to wilt, and then for the whole batch to ferment. But that’s the KEY for flavor and nourishment. No more instant gratification. Haha. Unless you just want to go buy some. But that wouldn’t be fun now, would it? LOL!
Ever tried Kimchi or made your own easy kimchi recipe?
If you did, please tell me how you made it! I love more tips too.
Cheers to almost Friday!