On-Hand Kimchee

We love spicy, fermented kimchee, and it seems that there are endless varieties, all of which are proper, but maybe not traditional in the true kimchee tradition. I use what I have on hand, as we are a little bored with plain sauerkraut or cordito.

For this kimchee I used a large glass container which has a glass lid, just like the one I continuous brew kombucha in.

This is what I used, because it is what I had on hand or in the garden, but you can vary everything.

2 medium heads of dutch flathead cabbage, sliced as thin as you can.

I started out using 3 tablespoons of real salt, sprinkled in between layers, for the finished product to be salty, but not excessively so, but needed one more tablespoon towards the end.


From time to time, press and pound down the cabbage, salt and vegetables and they will begin to release water and create the brine for fermentation.


I had two bunches of broccoli rabe, from the farmers market


and cut the florets and leaves into slices


a total of 5 medium white onions, sliced very thin


mixing, salting and pounding as you go


For some reason the chipmunks have spared my swiss chard in the garden, so I sliced that very thin, including the ribs. My sweet neighbor was being attacked by her glorious garden and gave me lots of wonderful things, including beets, and I chopped up the beet greens and stems and added those.

One and a half heads of garlic, sliced or diced. I then added two heaping tablespoons each of turmeric and ginger, which goes in just about everything.


and two big tablespoons of liquid fire, or you could slice or dice any hot peppers you choose.


I also sliced some thin carrots.


After 12 to 24 hours, periodically pounding and pressing down the vegetables, it will make a liquid brine enough that you can then put your kimchee in jars for further fermentation.


Pack as much in as you can, pressing everything down so the vegetables are underneath the brine. Leave at room temperature for at least 7 to 10 days for lacto fermentation to take hold and then refrigerate.

Update: I had earlier said to leave in room temperature for 3 to 4 days, then refrigerate. I then remembered that I did not use kefir whey in this ferment, and when you are doing a salt only ferment, the good bacteria need a longer time at room temps to establish themselves. This post from Food Renegade explains all the mistakes of fermentation very well.

3 thoughts on “On-Hand Kimchee

  1. Pingback: Grassfood Recipe Page | grassfood.

  2. I have been looking for a good kimchee recipe using only vegetables and spices. Must give this a try, especially now that I have most of the ingredients in the garden ready to harvest.

    • I do hope it turns out, but at this stage it does taste very good. I decided to only use the ginger and turmeric, instead of other spices as well, so the flavor of the greens and vegetables will come through. I had turnip greens as well, but did not use those because the flavor would be overwhelming. Let me know if you come up with something better, I’m sure you will! 🙂

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