Kimchi is one of the best things you can have for your gut. I was introduced to it as a child, from this restaurant called Arirang. My family and I have been eating at Arirang for over 30 years, and the food still tastes delicious, to this day. The consistency of the chefs, flavours and recipes are truly incredible. I was absolutely honored when they invited me to their kitchen to see first-hand how they made the vegan Kimchi we love.
Since they make their kimchi in large portions, I took the liberty to adapt and tweak the recipe a little bit for a smaller scale batch, best suited for our home kitchens. Here is the recipe I have adapted from my all-time favorite restaurant here in Hong Kong.
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean condiment that is an excellent probiotic. The same ‘good bacteria’ in Kimchi is found in other probiotics such as yoghurt and other fermented dairy products. It is typically made from napa cabbage/Chinese cabbage, radish, spring onions and chives that’s is spiced and left to ferment over a duration of a few days.
Each region in Korea makes their own style of Kimchi. According the Ms. Margaret, the founder of Arirang in Hong Kong, the coastal regions tend to use more seafood flavours in their Kimchi, and the inland regions tend to use basic vegetables.
Kimchi is a local Korean delicacy. Historically, meat would have been very expensive to purchase, so the dish has traditionally been vegan friendly.
How do you preserve kimchi?
Kimchi is best preserved in an air-tight container because limiting exposure to air helps the fermentation process. The growth of good bacteria thrives under sealed conditions…and so does the carbon dioxide! Be sure to release the carbon dioxide from the container/jar periodically to ensure the container does not explode!
The probiotics found in fermented foods contain live microorganisms that are amazing for your gut. A good functioning gut is vital to a healthy digestive system and helps prevent diseases. Consuming probiotics has also shown to improve mental health, treat allergies and boost your immune system.
This recipe is perfect for those who are also lactose-intolerant or vegan.
The secret to making delicious kimchi
This vegan kimchi recipe needs a full two days of fermentation out in a cool, dry place in your kitchen. However, with the Hong Kong humidity, it may take just a day. You need to keep checking if your kimchi is ‘fermenting’ by the level of bubbling, and measuring if the kimchi is rising in the air-tight jar.
Another very important ingredient to make this recipe is 7-up or Sprite! Using carbonated sugar is a trick was shown to my by the chef at Arirang and adds some extra deliciousness to this kimchi! So make sure you do not skip that out when making this.
Lastly, I always say the quality of your food truly depends on the quality of your ingredients, so ensure you use high quality, fresh herbs from the market. The chives and spring onions need to be bright green, and crisp. The cabbage needs to be fresh and crunchy as well. I used Fuji apple from China and Fung Shui pear from China – these work best for this kimchi.
The Most Delicious Vegan Kimchi Recipe You’ll Ever Make
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 air-tight storage container
- 350 grams Chinese cabbage (wombok) sliced, separated, salted, washed then dried
- 30 grams chives chopped (make sure this is measured AFTER its chopped)
- 40 grams spring onions chopped (make sure this is measured AFTER its chopped)
- 3 tbsp Korean red pepper paste gochujang
- 1 tbsp Korean red chilli flakes gochugaru
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp rice flour mixed with 3 tbsps water (room temp)
- 3 tbsps Sprite or 7up make sure its new/carbonated
- 1/2 apple grated
- 1/2 pear grated
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- As mentioned above, the cabbage needs to be sliced, separated then salted. You can use a large bowl for this. Keep this aside for about an hour to let all the water from the cabbage drain out. Where salt goes, water follows.
- Once the cabbage water has been released, wash the cabbage and completely dry it. You can use a salad spinner for this (available on my amazon store). If you notice the cabbage is not completely soft, and it is still very crunchy, repeat the salting process. You need the cabbage to be soft **
- Mix all the ingredients for the seasoning together in a large bowl.
- Add the cabbage. Mix it in the seasoning really well.
- Store the kimchi in an air-tight container for about a day, in a cool, dry place in your kitchen. Somewhere with no direct sunlight. Be sure to release the gas periodically.
- Taste the kimchi the next day. It should have some fermented tanginess to it. If not, keep it out for another day.
- Once the kimchi has reached your desired fermented tanginess (make sure it doesn't get too tangy) you can store this in the fridge for up to a month. Use it for kimchi fried rice, pancakes, or even stuffing. Its so delicious.
- HOW EASY WAS THAT??? Rate this recipe if you love it! Enjoy 🙂