Cook's Hideout: Vegan Kimchi with Ginger & Chiles

February 15, 2014

Vegan Kimchi with Ginger & Chiles

New Jersey is one state where you find large Indian population. In some towns it almost feels like Americans are in minority there. Most of the apartment complexes are filled with Indians and streets are filled with Indian stores, restaurants, beauty parlors, these towns look like mini Indias. 
But the town we live in has a majority of Koreans. Most of the stores are run by Koreans and stores have a lot of Korean vegetables and ingredients. Being around so many Koreans, I have always wanted to try Kimchi. It is a tradional fermented side dish made of vegetables and variety of seasoning. It tastes spicy and sour. Kimchi is Korea's national dish and is used to make other dishes like kimchi fried rice, kimchi pancakes, kimchi stew etc.
Vegan Kimchi with Ginger & Chiles
Our local Korean store has a whole Kimchi section. It's around the corner where fresh seafood is sold, so I never actually saw this side of the store in detail. When I decided to make kimchi and went to the store to get the ingredients, I took a few pictures to share with you guys.

Kimchi Section in Local Korean StoreKimchi Section in Local Korean Store
Store bought Kimchi usually has some fish sauce in it. So I made my own using this recipe from Vegetarian times that I bookmarked quite a while back. There is no cooking involved and it is very similar to making Indian pickle. This recipe makes a milder tasting kimchi.
Vegan Kimchi with Ginger & Chiles
Quantity of salt is quite a bit and I was initially worried if it going to taste too salty. In fact when I tasted the cabbage the next day, it was unpalatable. But after adding all the ingredients and fermenting it for 2~3 days, it mellowed out the saltiness. My 17month old loved the crunchy radishes and has been munching on them quite a bit.
Napa Cabbage - 1 small head, cut into ½" pieces
Kosher or Coarse Sea Salt - ½cup
Daikon Radish - 1 medium, julienned
Dry red chilies - 6~10
Green Onions - 6, cut into 1" pieces
Unseasoned Rice Vinegar - 2tbsp
Ginger - 2tsp, grated
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Sugar - 1tsp

  • In a large non-reactive bowl (glass or ceramic are best), combine salt and 2½cups of water. Add the chopped cabbage. Mix well to coat all the leaves. Set aside for 5 hours or overnight. Then drain the water.
  • Grind chiles into a coarse powder.
  • Transfer the cabbage to a clean bowl, add 1½tbsp chiles, radish, green onions, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic and sugar. Mix well to combine.
  • Transfer to a clean 1 quart canning container (I used 2 smaller glass containers) and pack it down tightly. Seal with lid. Set aside for 2~3 days, turning upside down once in a while to coat the cabbage with pickling liquids. Then store it in the fridge and use as needed.
Vegan Kimchi with Ginger & Chiles

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook Challenge' -- February Week 3.



  1. Represhing kimchi.. I made it at home once and loved it..

  2. Yum. What I delicious section in the shop. I am coming over Pavani.

  3. Never heard about this Pavani, very nice knowing a new dish..

  4. Kimchi looks delicious. I also like all the Korean condiments that are served food the food at the restaurants.

  5. Though heard and seen a lot, i too haven't tried this kimchi!! Looks delicious, must try when i get the ingredients around!! :)

  6. reminds me of Korean markets here. Your veggie version looks just as delicious

  7. you live in a best school district too. I also have one continental store nearby and I got all my supplies from there, will surely try this way. looks yummy, I will make it mine more spicy.

  8. Even in China you get these but all with some meat in them. Always wanted to try this at home.Now I have yours. Btw, can we use the regular vinegar instead of rice wine vinegar?

    1. PJ, i think you can use rice wine vinegar, you need the acidity to break down the cabbage. So any vinegar that is not too strong should work. Do try and let me know if it worked.

  9. Heard of kimchi but did not knew how to make it.... thank you for sharing such a wonderful and refreshing recipe...


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