Vegan Kimchi – Plain and Simple

Fermented food is good for the gut. And in my opinion, the soul, particularly when you make it at home. Why? Because in our ancestry, most of us have some tradition of eating fermented foods. My tradition includes sauerkraut and pickles – everything from cucumbers to beets and onions to herring (though I must admit, the latter is not in my taste repertoire). While kimchi was definitely not in my own ancestral cooking genetic download, I love it nonetheless. It’s like sauerkraut with fireworks!

Making kimchi is fast, easy, inexpensive, and satisfying – and it keeps for a couple of weeks in the fridge. I enjoy it as a condiment to many meals – and especially love a liberal amount of it atop a “Buddha Bowl” of steamed or stir-fried vegetables over rice or – when I can splurge on them – pure buckwheat soba noodles.

Servings: 10 or more
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Passive Time: 24 hours refrigerated

Ingredients

  • 1 large head Nappa cabbage remove the hard end, cut in half lengthwise, and cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 medium daikon root sliced thinly
  • 4 medium carrots in matchsticks or cut on the diagonal
  • 1 bunch scallions cut into thirds
  • 1/4 cup sea salt
  • 2-4 TBS fresh ginger root grated
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. Place the cut Nappa cabbage into a bowl and sprinkle well with the sea salt.
  2. Mix well with your hands until the leaves are well coated – this just takes about 30 seconds.
  3. Let sit in the bowl for 2 hours, then place in a colander and rinse well to remove the salt.
  4. Return the Nappa cabbage to the now rinsed out bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  5. Mix well with your hands until the leaves are well coated – this just takes about 30 seconds.
  6. Let sit in the bowl for 2 hours, then place in a colander and rinse well to remove the salt.
  7. Return the Nappa cabbage to the now rinsed out bowl and add the remaining ingredients.
  8. Refrigerate and start to eat after 24 more hours in the fridge.
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