Red Cabbage Kimchi

Kimchi is easy to make at home, and it's full of probiotics. Try adding it to omelets or topping it on a baked potato. This version is medium spicy; it won’t burn your tongue off, but still has enough heat and tang to make a meal interesting.


  • 2 pounds red cabbage, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pickling salt
  • 1/2 pound daikon, julienned
  • 1/2 pound carrot, julienned
  • 6 green onions, sliced into 1-inch segments
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 small Asian pear (or apple), peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 cup dechlorinated water
  • 1/2 cup Korean red pepper powder
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce


Red cabbage tends to be a tad tougher than other cabbage, so chip it into thin, bite-sized pieces. In a very large bowl, massage the salt into the cabbage until the leaves start to release liquid.

Cover with water and let the cabbage sit at room temperature for at least two hours while the salt draws out moisture. Periodically toss the cabbage and work your hands through the leaves to expel more moisture.

After about two hours, the cabbage should be soft and limp, and the volume reduced in half. (If yours is still firm and full, come back to it after another hour or two.)

Strain the cabbage and rinse under running water to remove excess salt. Strain again, then return the cabbage to the bowl. Add daikon, carrot, green onions, garlic, and ginger.

In a blender, combine the Asian pear (or apple, if using), yellow onion, water, red pepper, and fish sauce, and give everything a whirl until smooth. Pour the sauce over the vegetables.

Now, give the kimchi a good rubdown, making sure the veggies are well combined and coated with sauce. (Don some gloves if you prefer—the sauce can be pretty spicy and smelly to work with!)

Pack the kimchi into jars, leaving 1 to 2 inches of headspace. The veggies will expand and release more liquid as they ferment, so you don’t want to overfill the jars.

Tamp down the veggies with the back of a spoon or spatula to fully submerge them. There should be enough liquid in the jars to keep them submerged, and since the liquid is more of a paste, the veggies don’t float to the top as in other ferments.

Wipe the rims clean, then loosely seal with lids and let the jars ferment at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, for at least three days. (It wouldn’t be a bad idea to place the jars in a shallow baking dish to catch any overflow of liquid.) A proper ferment should have no mold and no off smell.

After three days, you can start tasting the kimchi; refrigerate when the flavor has fermented to your liking. It should take on a spicy, sour taste. Some people like less sour and some like more sour, but you should definitely wait for your kimchi to take on a noticeably tangy taste if you want all the beneficial Lactobacilli in your ferment.

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