Kimchi, the national dish of Korea, is a spicy pickled cabbage that adds a tangy, robust punch of flavor to any dish. While kimchi sometimes contains shrimp paste or fish sauce, the kimchi in this recipe is completely vegan and because tamarind is used instead of soy sauce to recreate the saltiness, it is gluten-free too! Add this kimchi to any dish you feel could use a burst of umami. Yum!
How to Make Your Own Kimchi [Vegan]
For the Brine:
- 1 Napa cabbage
- 1/4 cup sea salt
For the Mushroom Broth:
- 4 Shiitake mushrooms, cut in half
- 1 5 by 7-inch Kombu sheet
- 2 cups water
For the Rice Flour Paste:
- 1 tablespoon sweet rice flour
- 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 1 cup water
For the Vegetables and Fruit:
- 1 cup Daikon radish, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup carrots, sliced thinly
- 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch slices
- 1/2 cup Asian chives (optional)
- 1/4 of 1 Asian pear, cut thinly
For the Seasoning:
- 12 garlic cloves
- 1/2 of 1 onion
- Ginger, 1-inch, peel removed
- 1/2 of 1 Fuji or Honeycrisp apple
- 1/4 of 1 Asian pear
- 2 red chili peppers (optional)
- 3 tablespoons tamari
- 1 cup Korean-style crushed red pepper
- Quarter the cabbage head, then slice each quarter into square, bite-sized pieces. Place into a large shallow bowl and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sea salt
- Gently turn cabbage pieces every 30 minutes for a total time of 1 hour, 30 minutes. After total time, rinse well under cold water (3-4 times) to remove salt. Allow to drain well.
- In the meantime, make mushroom broth by adding mushrooms and Kombu seaweed to water and bring to boil. Then simmer for 30 minutes. Discard solids and reserve 1/2 cup mushroom stock.
- Make rice flour paste by adding the sweet rice flour to water and bring to a gentle simmer while continuously whisking, approximately 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add sugar. Allow to fully cool.
- Slice vegetables – daikon radish, carrots, scallions, Asian chives, and Asian pear – into matchstick-sized slices. Then set aside in bowl
- In food processor, add garlic, onions, red chili peppers (optional), ginger, apples, pear, and tamari, and pulse until well combined.
- Place contents of food processor into large bowl and to it add rice flour paste, 1/2 cup mushroom broth, and Korean-style crushed red pepper. Mix well.
- To this, add cabbage and matchstick vegetables and massage using disposable gloves, fully coating all the vegetables in spicy red paste.
- Pack tightly into fermentation container, airtight seal, and place in cool place for 3 full days.
- After 3 days of fermenting, immediately enjoy and store in refrigerator for up to 6 months.