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This is one of my favorite meal additions. A spoon full of lacto fermented kimchi wet with salty and sour juices served with white rice << best thing ever.
So what makes this kimchi vegan?
Korean kimchi traditionally relies on fermented fish to give it an intensely salty and umami flavor. This kimchi is made exactly the same (minus the fish sauce). For umami, we use soy sauce and a flavorful puree of apple and garlic instead.
With simple ingredients, this kimchi gets a ton of flavor from lactic acid producing bacteria. To read more about fermenting vegetables, check out my guide here.
How many kimchi types are there?
Did you know there are over 100 different varieties of kimchi — not all of them made with cabbage?
Since there are many ways to prepare kimchi, this is a great base to follow for experimenting with different chilies or vegetables. You could easily make cucumber or carrot kimchi.
There are many reasons to make vegan kimchi. Maybe you’re avoiding animal products, or maybe you don’t like the funkiness of fish sauce. Personally, I prefer this vegan kimchi over any traditional kimchi I’ve ever tried because it’s got an incredible flavor.
How long does it last?
Many say kimchi can keep for 6-8 months, but I’ve tested this for myself, and I’ve been able to eat from the same jar of kimchi for an entire year!
Want to know the best part? The flavor of the kimchi improves the longer it stays in the fridge.
Any time I’ve eaten kimchi at a restaurant, it’s been lacking in flavor and very crunchy. This is an indication that the kimchi hasn’t been fermenting for very long.
Your homemade version of kimchi will always be far superior to what you can commercially buy because of the amount of time you allow the flavors to develop.
How to Make Vegan Kimchi – Step By Step
Quarter the cabbage lengthwise and remove their cores (photo 1). Salt the vegetables and set aside to release the juices (photo 2).
Make the puree in a blender or food processor. Combine the puree, vegetables, and chilis (photos 3-4).
Pack the kimchi into pickling crocks or mason jars and press down (photo 5). Ferment at room temperature for 7 days (photo 6). Refrigerate.
Top Tips: Check the kimchi every day to ensure it stays submerged under the brine. Use a weight to prevent the cabbage from rising above the brine line. Make a large 1-Gallon batch and enjoy kimchi any time you want.
- 5 pounds nappa cabbage
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 bunches scallions, thinly sliced, or 2 leeks, white part cleaned and sliced
- 1 pound daikon radish, thinly sliced
- 4 tbsp sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 head garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
- 1 green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1/2 cup ginger, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup dried Korean red pepper flakes, or any dried or fresh chilis
- Quarter the cabbages lengthwise and remove the cores. Slice crosswise into 1/2 inch strips. Transfer the cabbage to a bowl along with the grated carrot, scallion, and radish.
- Add the salt and toss. Set aside to soften, 15-20 minutes.
- While the vegetables soften, make the kimchi paste: combine the garlic, apple, ginger, onion, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a blender or food processor. Blend to form a puree.
- Use your hands to toss and squeeze the vegetables with the paste.
- Pack the kimchee into fermentation crocks or a 1 gallon mason jar. Ferment at room temperature for 7 days. Refrigerate. The kimchi will continue to improve for many days, lasts for up to 1 year in the fridge.
Variations That Use This Kimchi Paste
- Cucumber Kimchi – instead of cabbage, make spicy cucumbers
- Carrot Kimchi – julienne carrot tastes fantastic with this kimchi paste; simply make a brine using 1 Tablespoon salt per cup of water
- Brussels Sprouts Kimchi – these would be so cute in a salty kimchi brine
More Kimchi Recipes You Might Like;
- Miso Salmon with Noodles
- Fermenting Vegetables Guide
- Colorful Vegetarian Kimchi Fried Rice (pictured below)