Vegan Kimchi is delicious and very easy to make. Super hot and spicy, this Korean fermentated cabbage dish has all the taste and heat you could ever want.
I’m half Korean and while I didn’t grow up eating Korean food, we would occasionally have it for special occasions. I always loved kimchi with it’s mouthburning spice and heat, and it was one of the first recipes from my childhood I successfully veganized. I’m very glad I did as it’s crave worthy delicious and adds so much to any meal.
Kimchi is a fermented cabbage pickle and is amazingly versatile. You can eat with any dish for added spice and flavour. It also has probiotic qualities and can promote inner flora health and balance. I make a few jars every summer and let it ferment over the months as I enjoy it.
The reason I had to veganize the recipe is because traditional kimchi recipes includes fish sauce. I just omit it and all that is left is the same delicious kimchi taste.
Making vegan kimchi
Making kimchi is time consuming but surprisingly easy to make. You can make a few jars which will last about a month refrigerated. You can also freeze some for later.
Begin by preparing the napa cabbage. After washing it, the cabbage is cut it into long strips about two inches high.
Place the cut cabbage into a large bowl and generously sprinkle with baking soda. Let that sit for at least 2 to 3 hours or until the cabbage is completed wilted. Rinse it well in a colander and let drain well.
Prepare the vegetables by first grating a carrot. Place in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside. Next, chop the green onion and finely chop the onion, ginger and garlic, and finely slicing the pear. Place everything but the pear into the bowl with the carrots. Mix well and set aside. Measure your seasoning and set it aside as well.
The sauce is made by heating boiling water and rice flour into a slurry. Once heated and thick, remove from heat and let cool slightly. Once cooled, add all the spices, and vegetables except for the pear.
Place the spice mixture over the cabbage and mix very well with your hands. Make sure every piece of cabbage is well covered. If you’re sensitive to hot spice, I would recommend wearing rubber gloves. Once the cabbage and seasoning mix are fully combined, you can start filling your jars.
Start by placing a few pear slices into each jar. Pack the kimchi in tightly, winding it around. Tightly cap each jar and let sit out at room temperature for at least 24 hours.
Once the fermentation had begun, store the kimchi in the refrigerator. It will continue to ferment refrigerated so you can enjoy it now or later. Kimchi just gets better with age.
Store or freeze and enjoy anytime
As awareness of the importance of probiotics to your diet and health, Kimchi had become a regular part of many vegan diets. It is delicious, addictive and add flavour and heat to practically any dish. I enjoy it best with rice, steamed korean style spinach and bulkogi style tofu or tempeh. You can also adds some to any rice dish or a soup to add flavour and unami flavour.
To me, Kimchi speaks of home and tradition. It is perfect as both a comfort food and as a flavour and mood booster. There is nothing kimchi can’t make taste better and its even great straight from the jar. If you enjoy spice and fermented food you’ll love vegan kimchi. Enjoy!
More Vegan Asian Recipes
Asian recipes are really easy to veganize. Here are some recipes to try:
Cauliflower and Banana Skin Curry
Black Eyed Pea and Kale Masala
- 1 large head Napa cabbage
- 1 cup baking soda
- 8 tablespoons red chil flakes
- 3 tablespoons cayanne powder
- 4 large cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon stevia seasoning or commercial salt free seasoning
- 1/2 Asian pear peeled cored and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger peeled and minced
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped about 1 tablespoon
- 2 tablespoons glutinous rice flour
- 1.5 cups water
- 3 green onions
- Prepare cabbage: Wash and chop the napa cabbage into long 1 inch pieces. Place in crock or large metal mixing bowl.Sprinkle baking soda evenly over leaves. Stir well until all leaves are covered. Cover and let sit until cabbage has wilted, about 2-4 hrs.
- Prepare the glutinous rice paste: Mix glutinous rice flour with the water in a medium size saucepan. Boil over medium heat for 5-8 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Once thick, transfer the rice paste to the medium-size mixing bowl.
- Prepare the seasoning: to prepare, slice the green onions, finely chop the onion, mince the garlic and ginger and core, quarter and thinly slice the Asian pear. Set aside.
- Add Korean chili flakes and cayanne powder and salt free seasoning to the glutinous rice mixture. Combine well.
- Add Korean chives, carrots, onion, garlic, ginger, green onion to the glutinous rice mixture . Stir until well mixed. Set aside.
- Making kimchi: Rinse cabbage several time to remove the baking soda. Place in another large mixing bowl.
- Spoon the seasoning mix on top of the leaves. Gently but thoroughly mix with your hands. If you're sensitive to spices, wear gloves. Keep mixing until every piece of cabbage is well coated.
- Pack cabbage and spice mixture tightly into jars. Loosely cap and set out until fermented 24-36 hrs. Taste to check.
- Store in the refrigerator or freeze. It will continue to ferment in the refrigetator.
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