Friday, November 4, 2011

Vegan Vegan Kim Chi!

It is here!  The long-awaited kim chi post.  It has now been fermenting in the fridge for 15 days, and it is delicious!  I can't detect a difference in taste over the past week of fermentation, but we'll see how it does in the next week when kim chi recipe writers warn of its growing pungency.  The only concern is that there may not be much left for the taste test!

This recipe is super easy and only requires time.  The kim chi is so tasty, and we've been eating it with so many different things. I reduced the amount of sugar in David Chang's recipe, so the chili flavor is super mellow and secondary to the nosy tingle of the fermented vegetables.  I cut the daikons and carrots into ribbons, and left the garlic and ginger in slices, so that they could be enjoyed for themselves in addition to adding to the over all flavor.  The garlic slices are a real winner!  Although the ginger is a little overpowering for me.  There are many for whom I know that would be a real plus though!

It's amazing to see the pictures from when all the vegetables first went into the jar to the vegetables now! From this:

To this!:

Can't wait to hear about your experiences trying this great recipe! 


Kim Chi
adapted from David Chang's Momofuku recipe
Takes 1 hour active time, 2 days to 2weeks fermentation time
Makes about 1 liter kim chi (about 1 quart)

1/2 of a large head of napa cabbage, discolored or loose outer leaves discarded
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup of sugar (I used palm sugar, which I had left over from making the fish sauce)
1/2 cup Korean chile powder (if you don't have it, some combination of hot chile powder and paprika would work--Korean chile powder isn't that spicy.  Armenian, or Kashmiri chile powder would work too)
1/4 cup fish sauce (or vish sauce)
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 teaspoons vegetarian shrimp paste
20 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
20 thin slices of ginger (about 2 inches of ginger, peeled)
1/2 cup 1-inch pieces of scallions (about 8 scallions)
1/2 cup carrot ribbons, sliced with a peeler (about 3 small carrots)
1/2 cup daikon ribbons, sliced with a peeler (about 6 inches of a daikon)

Cut the cabbage in half, lengthwise, and then cut each hemisphere into 1-inch wide pieces.  Separate the leaf-pieces and toss in a large bowl with the salt.  Let sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Combine chile powder, fish sauce, soy sauce, shrimp paste, and sugar in a large bowl.  Add 1/3 cup of water to make a thick, salad dressing-esque liquid.  Add the garlic, ginger, scallions, carrots and daikons.

Drain the cabbage, and add to the big bowl.  Stir thoroughly.  

Place it in a large jar (I used a 3 liter jar), and press the mixture down to release the juices of the cabbage.  I found this slotted spoon best for the pressing.

Make sure as much of the vegetables are under the brine as possible.  Cover and refrigerate.

Will keep indefinitely, but good luck keeping it beyond 2 weeks!


  1. soooo excited!! cannot wait to try this.

  2. What the heckins do fermented vegetables taste like? Is it a very polarising flavour? Might have to try this to find out, may reduce the garlic though =D

  3. Don't be afraid of the garlic! They are very tasty, but intense yes. Fermented vegetables taste zingy! Like they have a little carbonation to them. Some fermented things include kombucha, raw sauerkraut, kefir.