How to Make Vegan Kimchi
This week, I’m posting Korean Vegetarian / Vegan recipes! The first recipe was Korean Vegetarian Broth which can be used for soups or stews. The vegetable broth was also used to make this vegan kimchi recipe to substitute fish sauce or shrimp paste which are common ingredients added to kimchi.
Brining: Salting the cabbage with Korean coarse sea salt is an important step in Kimchi making as: it helps the cabbage to draw out water making the cabbage pliable, helps absorb the seasonings, and essential to kimchi preservation and fermentation process. If you don’t have Korean sea salt available, kosher salt can be substituted or use 1/4 less for fine salt.
Gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes): You will find coarse or fine gochugaru at Koran marketa. Coarse gochugaru is used for kimchi making and for most Korean recipes. Fine gochugaru is used to make gochujang and also added to soups or stews for a smoother texture or vibrant color.
Porridge: Added to thicken the paste which helps mix and bind the seasonings to the cabbage. Porridge is usually made by boiling sweet rice flour and water together but for this recipe, I used vegetable broth from my previous post.
While the cabbage is brining, make the porridge and kimchi paste and chop the vegetables. Combine the ingredients together in a large bowl, rinse the cabbage and mix everything together.
Transfer to air tight containers and ferment at room temperature for 2 days ( 1 day during hotter months). Then place in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks to continue to ferment and develop its flavors. When it will be ready to eat is based on how sour you prefer your kimchi so taste after about a week or so to see how it tastes. Kimchi will be good for about 4-6 weeks and then will turn sour as it ages. Keep the sour kimchi it in the fridge to add to stews or kimchi fried rice!
- 1 napa cabbage, (4-5 pounds)
- 1 cup coarse sea salt ( kosher salt)
- 2 cups water
- 3 green onions (scallions), sliced
- 1 bunch garlic chives, sliced (optional)
- 1/2-1 carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 1-2 cups Korean radish, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
- 1/2-1 cup Korean red chili pepper flakes, gochugaru ( depending on spice level)
- 1 cup vegetable broth ( see previous post)
- 2 Tablespoons sweet rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour)
- 1/2 onion, roughly cut
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1/2 inch ginger, peeled
- 1/4 apple or pear or 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth ( previous post)
Cut the napa cabbage in half lengthwise, then cut each half into quarters. Cut into bite sized pieces, discarding the core.
Brine: Add the cabbage into a large bowl. Add the salt and water and toss together. Let sit for about 2 hours, tossing every 30 minutes for the salt to distribute evenly.
Meanwhile prepare the porridge, seasonings and vegetables.
Porridge: In a saucepan, add the vegetable broth (from previous post) and flour and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes or until it has thickened, whisking often. Set aside to cool. Vegetables:
Slice radish, carrot, green onion and optional chives and set aside.
Seasoning: In a blender or food processor, add the onion, garlic, ginger, apple, and broth and blend together until smooth. Set aside.
Rinse the cabbage a few times to remove the salt. Let sit in a colander to drain out all the water.
Meanwhile, make a paste by adding the porridge, seasoning and gochugaru into the bowl used to brine the cabbage and mix together. Using kitchen gloves, mix in the chopped vegetables. Add the cabbage and mix well until the cabbage is evenly coated. Taste and add more seasonings or gochugaru to taste.
Transfer to airtight containers or jars. Press down to remove any air pockets, leaving about 1 inch space on top as the kimchi will expand during fermentation.
Leave out at room temperature to ferment for 1- 2 days depending on the weather. (1 day during hot summer months as heat speeds up fermentation).
Open the jar and press down the kimchi. Place in the fridge to continue to ferment and depending on how sour you prefer your kimchi, you can start eating after 1-2 weeks.
When it will be ready to eat is based on how sour you prefer your kimchi so taste after about a week or so to see how it tastes. Kimchi will be good for about 4-6 weeks and then will turn sour as it ages. Keep the sour kimchi it in the fridge to add to stews or kimchi fried rice!