Support your gut health with the power of cultured foods when you enjoy this easy & delicious raw vegetable kimchi recipe…
Eating fermented or cultured foods is one of the best ways to maintain good gut health, and fortunately, there are lots of delicious foods that suit every taste to fit the bill!
Fermentation was originally one of the best ways to keep food safe and edible before the advent of refrigeration, but it was more than that. Many health experts now believe that a lack of fermented foods in the modern diet is part of the reason why we have so many health problems as a society, despite all of our modern technological advances. The bacteria present in cultured foods have a symbiotic relationship with our own gut bacteria which helps to keep their hosts (humans) healthy.
While there are many different fermented foods, and consuming a variety of them is probably best for your health, one of my favorites is kimchi. Kimchi is a spicy condiment made of a tasty blend of vegetables, salt, and seasonings, and although you can buy it at many supermarkets these days, the homemade version is not only better tasting, but also better for you, and it’s surprisingly easy to make!
Here’s a bit more information about kimchi, according to FoodRevolution.org:
Kimchi is a fermented food that is naturally rich in probiotics (good bacteria for your digestive system). It’s made through a process called Lacto-fermentation, just like sauerkraut and traditional dill pickles. Lacto-fermentation doesn’t have anything to do with milk; instead, it utilizes the bacterium Lactobacillus to digest sugars into lactic acid, which gives the kimchi its characteristic sour flavor.
Kimchi is often colorful. You can make it from cabbage, radishes, and other vegetables, all of which are super healthy and delicious. Seasonings include Korean red chili pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger, which all have great health benefits. Many traditional kimchi recipes also use salted shrimps and anchovies or fish sauce for flavoring, but there are vegan versions as well.
While I’m not vegan, I typically make my kimchi the vegan way as I don’t care for the taste of fish in my ferments. Below is an example of a delicious and easy kimchi recipe. Feel free to swap out veggies for what you have and enjoy. I recommend always using some sort of cabbage (red, green, or Napa are all good), and I always like to add something radish-like, whether it’s traditional radishes, daikon, or turnips.
Raw Vegan Kimchi Recipe
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Fermentation Time: 4-7 days.
- 1 medium onion
- 6 large chilies, de-seed for a mild spice
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 3″ fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
- ½ a cabbage, cut into 2″ chunks
- 3 stalks of celery, 1″ chunks (optional)
- 3 carrots, 1″ chunks – or sliced or julienned
- 1 sweet red pepper, 1″ chunks
- ½ a cauliflower, 1″ chunks
- 8 radishes or 1-2 turnips, 1″ chunks (or sliced)
- 6 tbsp sea salt (do NOT use table salt or any salt that contains anti-caking agents, as these chemicals can alter your ferment or give it a bad taste)
- 2 litres / 3.5 pints filtered or chlorine-free water
- Dissolve the salt in the water.
- Chop all of the vegetables that are not for the paste.
- Place all the vegetables in the water and use a plate to ensure they are all submerged, use enough veggies for all the water. Leave for 8 hours or overnight.
- Place all of the kimchi paste ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Drain the vegetables and then coat well with the paste.
- Pack tightly into jars and leave somewhere at room temperature to ferment for 4-8 days.
- Open the kimchi lids daily to ‘burp’ the jars and let gases escape (or use an airlock fermentation lid). Taste daily after 4 days until they taste sour enough for your taste, then move to the fridge. It will continue to ferment slowly in the refrigerator, but will keep for up to several months. The longer the kimchi ferments the more beneficial gut bacteria it will contain.
- Enjoy your kimchi by itself or as a condiment for eggs, fish, curries, or on top of salads.