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 tablespoon kosher salt (see notes for uses)
- 2 –3 teaspoons 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 tablespoons of other pepper (green chiles, jalapeno, etc).
- 2 – 4 tablespoons 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 tablespoon fish sauce (or rice vinegar/GF tamari sauce if vegan)
- 5 garlic cloves peeled
- 1–2 teaspoons 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. Then cut into 3 or four more sections.
- Soak cabbage in sugar/salt mixture to brine. If you are using coarse sea salt, 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 tablespoons 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 process.
- Squeeze the cabbage over a bowl to get extra juice.
- Place cabbage, juice, and 1-2 tablespoons 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. Coat evenly, using clean hands to mix if needed. Mix in the green onion last.
- Pack the mixture and all leftover juice/reserve into 1 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.
- Prep Time: 2 hr
- 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