Fiery Ferments: House Made Kimchi

Fiery Ferments House Made Kimchi Recipe from The Lunchbox Season
This is a great time of year for Napa Cabbage. With one stab at fermenting firmly under our belts [our summer pickles], this weekend, we decided we’d tackle one of our favourite fiery sides: Kimchi.

There are a bazillion Kimchi recipes out there to choose from. But, the technique is basically the same. Soak cabbage in salt water for at least a few hours. Then, drain the cabbage [reserving some of the brine]. Chop your vegetables [carrots, daikon, and spring onions]. Make a paste made of garlic, ginger, onions, apples or sugar, some sort of salty-yummy substance [salted shrimp or shrimp paste, fish sauce, veg. bean paste], and crushed asian hot peppers [a.k.a. Korean Gochugaru]. Then combine it all. And, set up your kimchi in a fermenting vessel or mason jar with a bit of that leftover brine, leaving it to ferment for a few days before eating or refrigerating.

For those of you who appreciate visual aids, here’s a Daikon, our Shrimp Sauce, and the Crushed Red Pepper:

Daikon Fermented Shrimp Paste and Gochugaru or Dried Pepper Powder for Kimchi

Here’s our House Made Kimchi Visual DIY: 
House Made Kimchi Visual DIY from The Lunchbox Season - Easy Recipe on the Site

And, here’s our Recipe:

The Lunchbox Season's House Made Kimchi

Prep Time30 mins
Author: Roseanne Carrara, The Lunchbox Season


  • 1/2 Head Large Napa Cabbage [5-6 Cups Chopped as below]
  • 1/4 Cup Sea Salt
  • 10 - 12 Cups Cold Filtered Water
  • 2 Cups Matchstick Carrots [About 3-4 Medium Carrots]
  • Scant 2 Cups Matchstick Daikon Radish [About 1/2 Medium]
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Large Knob of Ginger [about 1 inch] peeled and sliced
  • 6-8 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Medium Apple
  • 1 Tablespoon Fermented Shrimp Paste [or Salted Shrimp or Bean Paste] OPTIONAL
  • 2 Tablespoons Fish Sauce [or Water]
  • 6 Spring Onions Greens Only, Thinly Chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/2 Cup Gochugaru [Korean Chili Powder] or Ground Chiles from an Asian Grocer


  • Slice the cabbage in half and set one half aside for future use.
  • Remove and discard the core.
  • Slice the half cabbage into 2 x 2-inch pieces.
  • Place cabbage in a large bowl and toss with the salt.
  • Cover the cabbage with the cold water.
  • Place a plate on top of the cabbage in the bowl in order to weigh it down, submerging the cabbage in the brine.
  • Set aside for at least 2 and up to 24 hours.
  • Slice Carrots and Daikon into matchsticks, about 2 cups each, and place into a clean bowl.
  • Slice Spring Onions and place these on top of the sliced vegetables.
  • Drain cabbage, making sure to collect about 2 cups of the brine for later use.
  • In a food processor, blend the onion, garlic, ginger, OPTIONAL shrimp paste, and fish sauce into a paste.
  • Transfer paste to the bowl with the chopped vegetables.
  • Sprinkle the Gochugaru on top of the vegetables and paste.
  • With a non-reactive spoon or gloved hands, combine the ingredients until fully coated.
  • Add the drained cabbage to the mixture and combine until fully coated.
  • Place kimchi in a large fermenting crock or into mason jars.
  • Place a weight in the crock or place small weights [we use little round soy sauce bowls] into the jars.
  • Add a bit of the brine back to the mixture just to cover the top of the kimchi.
  • Top with the crock lid, with a mason jar fermenting lid, or with a mason jar lid.
  • Allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 5 to 7 days. [If you are using simple mason jar lids, you will want to open the jars to "burp" them, or let air out, about once a day.]
  • Transfer the mixture from the crock to sealed containers or seal the mason jars.
  • Refrigerate for up to one year.
  • Enjoy!

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