Quick kimchi

This is a punchier Korean version of sauerkraut. It can be mild or fiery but the flavours get stronger during fermentation so you don’t want to go too mad. A wonderful cheap way to jazz up any dish especially salads as well as take your probiotics. Eat some fresh then ferment for a few days and it will keep for around a month. Thanks to Hemsley & Hemsley, 'The art of eating well' for this recipe.


  • 1 medium-large head of Chinese cabbage or pointed white cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, chopped or grated
  • 75g of pink radish or 1 white radish sliced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies or 2tbsp Korean chili powder
  • 2-3 spring onions
  • 40g fresh ginger
  • 2tbsp fish sauce (no chemical preservatives or it won’t ferment) or tamari or more salt
  • Makes a 1L jar


  1. Sterilise a jar with a lid (fill with hot water for 10 mins)
  2. Remove outer leaves and save, quarter and remove core, chop, slice or grate the cabbage
  3. Place cabbage, carrot and radish in a large bowl and pour over enough brine to cover (750 ml water mixed with 3 tbsp sea salt). Cover with a small plate, weigh this down with something heavy and leave to stand for 5 hours or overnight. Drain and reserve the brine.
  4. Make a coarse paste with the rest of the ingredients, add the fish sauce and mix with the drained vegetables.
  5. Pack the kimchi into the jar pressing down until the brine rises to cover the vegetables, wedge down with reserved cabbage leaves to keep the vegetables beneath the brine, leaving 2-3 cm of headspace. Seal or cover tightly with muslin and an elastic band.
  6. Leave to ferment at room temperature for 1-5 days, with a bowl underneath to catch any overflow. After a couple of days taste to see if you like the flavour and if so refrigerate to slow fermentation. If it needs longer press it back down and leave it until you like the taste or it starts bubbling and then refrigerate for up to a month.


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