Quick And Delicious
A Basic Kimchi
March 13, 2014

‘Kimchi, Kimchee or gimchi – a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.  It’s often described as ‘spicy’ or ‘sour’.  Traditionally kimchi is allowed to ferment underground in jars for months at a time.   It’s Korea’s national dish, with hundreds of varieties made from napa (wombok) cabbage, radish, scallion or cucumber as a main ingredient’, Wikipedia

Kimchi is a particularly good addition to meat dishes as the enzymes and micro flora produced in the fermentation process aid the digestion of heavier protein foods like meat.   It offers many, wonderful nutritional benefits as well as a complexity of flavour rarely found in todays diet.
I’m all about whole foods but with simplicity in the kitchen, so this is a basic recipe, although non traditional it still delivers incredible complexity of flavour that fermented foods offer us.  We’ve been really enjoying it simply with poached eggs on wilted greens, labne (cultured cheese) & avocado with olive oil. SO GOOD.  Enjoy.

Preparation:  15-20 minutes

Fermentation:  approx. 3 – 5 days

Quantity:  approx. 1 Litre 

A Basic Kimchi

  • 1 head organic wombok (chinese) cabbage or other type e.g. savoy, finely shredded
  • 1 Tbsp fresh organic ginger root, grated
  • 1 small organic daikon radish or red raddish, shredded
  • 1⁄4 organic onion (preferably red if in season), chopped finely
  • 1 organic red chili pepper, seeded and very finely julienned (more if you like it HOT!)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp organic garlic, crushed
  • dash cayenne
  • 2 Tbsp whey (or if unavailable, add additional 1/2 Tbsp salt)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)


  1. Put the cabbage in a glass bowl with the salt and gently massage or pound to release the cabbage juice, a pestle or meat hammer can be used.
  2. Continue to massage until the juices of the cabbage are released.
  3. Add the other ingredients and mix well, using clean or gloved hands.
  4. Firmly pack the mixture with all the juice into a 1 litre glass jar until the juices released cover the vegetables by a good 2.5 cm.  If there’s not enough fluid to do this, add salted water i.e. 1 tsp in 1 cup of filtered water.
  5. The mixture must remain submerged in the juice.
  6. Cover tightly with the lid and place in a warm (not hot) place for a few days to ferment.


  • If the environment is hot, the Kimchi could be ready in 2 days and if it is cool, your Kim Chee could take a week or more to ferment. Check it after 2-3 days and every day thereafter until it achieves the right tartness and spiciness for your palate. Once it has fermented sufficiently, refrigerate for up to one month.

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