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by Adam Elabd from Fermenting Food

Master gut health-boosting and flavour-packed Korean kimchi with this easy step-by-step recipe.


Kimchi is a spicy fermented dish from Korea that can be made with a variety of ingredients. This basic version is fresh, pungent, and flavourful.

Kimchi benefits from a lower fermentation temperature (below 27°C/80°F) and a few weeks of ageing. Even if your batch tastes bland after the week-long ferment, it may blossom after a month of ageing in the fridge.


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1 medium head Chinese leaves
50g salt
1 medium daikon radish
1 ripe pear
½ white onion
7.5cm (3 in) piece fresh root ginger
5 cloves garlic
60g Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru - found online and in speciality spice shops)
1 tsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla) (optional)
5-7 spring onions, finely chopped

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor and a 2 litre sterilised preserving jar.


1. Cut the leaves into quarters and remove the inner stem, keeping the leaves intact.

2. Generously distribute salt between the leaves, working it all the way down to the core. Place the cabbage leaves in a shallow bowl and leave them at room temperature for 2 to 6 hours.

3. In a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, purée the radish, pear, white onion, ginger, garlic, Korean red pepper powder, and fish sauce (if using) into a smooth paste.

4. Rinse the salt from between each of the leaves, then squeeze them to drain as much of the water as possible.

5. Spread the paste and chopped spring onions onto all the leaves, making sure to cover them all the way down to the core.

6. Pack the seasoned Chinese leaf quarters into a a 2 litre sterilised preserving jar and press down to release trapped air. Spread any remaining paste on the surface of the cabbage. Screw on the lid tightly, then loosen it again slightly with a one-eighth turn.

7. Place out of direct sunlight and ferment at room temperature for 1 to 2 weeks. Once you are satisfied with the level of fermentation, refrigerate and chop to serve. Kimchi will keep, refrigerated, several months.

Prep: 3 hours Time: 1 to 2 weeks 


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