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BEST EVER Vegan Kimchi

Cultivator Kitchen
Spicy fermented and flavorful Korean pickles


  • 3 heads napa cabbage
  • coarse sea salt

Red Sauce

  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup filtered water

White Sauce or Rice Paste

  • 1 tbsp mochi or 'sticky rice' flour
  • 4 tbsp filtered water

For the Kimchi

  • 1 bunch scallions or garlic chives, chopped
  • 2 inch daikon radish, julienned
  • 1/3 cup Gochugaru (Korean Red Chili Flakes)


Prepare the Cabbage

  • Wash the outside of the cabbage thoroughly, remove any bad leaves.
  • Cut the cabbage into large chunks, slightly bigger than bite-sized.
  • In a large salad bowl (or 2) separate the kimchi leaves and layer them in the bowl with sea salt. Add more cabbage then more salt as you go, till all the of kimchi is layered with sea salt.
  • Cover with a cotton cloth and leave for 2 hours so the salt can draw out the moisture.
  • After 2 hours, wash the cabbage thoroughly, draining away any excess water.

For the Red Sauce

  • Put all the red sauce ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
  • Massage onto the rinsed and drained cabbage leaves, mixing well.

For the White Sauce

  • In a small sauce pan whisk your rice flour and water together until there are no lumps.
  • Then over low heat, stir constantly until it forms a paste. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Once cool, add your white paste to the kimchi and mix in evenly.

For the Kimchi

  • Mix in your extra veggies. I like to put scallions and daikon radish.
  • Finally, add your chili flakes and massage them in, coating the kimchi evenly.
  • Fill a large glass jar with your kimchi, I use a 4L canning jar without the gasket (see above) and make sure there is at least 1 inch of room at the top.
  • Leave on your kitchen counter for 3 full days. WARNING: Your house will smell very strongly of kimchi, I never have guests over during these three days. :-P
  • After 3 days move the kimchi to the fridge. Leave in the fridge for 2 weeks before serving for the best flavor.


I mix the kimchi with my hands, feel free to use gloves if you don't want hot peppers on your skin, or use a wooden spoon. Never use a metal spoon as it will ruin your ferment. 
To ferment the kimchi I use a canning jar with the rubber gasket removed so it is covered but not sealed. This allows gas to escape without letting any contaminants in. If you use a sealed lid you will need to 'burp' the jar 1-2 times a day. Feel free to add the gasket back when you move the kimchi to the fridge. In the fridge it will ferment more slowly.