Saturday, 10 September 2016


This is an approximation to kimchi, using ingredients which are easier to find in an English supermarket. It tastes a bit different, but is just as tasty. It's best attempted with latex gloves to stop the fish sauce or chilli from staining your hands.


  • 4 sweetheart cabbages, cut into quarters, cores removed and then sliced into inch slices
  • 300g salt
  • 4 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 6 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp ground chipotle pepper or smoked paprika
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 4 spring onions, ends removed and finely sliced
  • 1 turnip, peeled and finely chopped


  1. Break up the cabbage with your hands so that all the layers are separated from the slices
  2. Toss the cabbage in a couple of large bowls with the salt, use your hands to make sure the salt is evenly coating the cabbage
  3. Add just enough water to each bowl so that the level is almost above the cabbage, place a couple of plates on the top to press the cabbage down and leave for a couple of hours
  4. Drain the cabbage and rinse it under running water to wash off the salt
  5. In a small bowl mix the chilli flakes, fish sauce, pepper, garlic, sugar and ginger into a paste
  6. Mix the paste with the cabbage so that it's evenly distributed, you'll probably need to use your hands to get it evenly coated
  7. Add the spring onions and turnip into the bowls and mix
  8. Push the completed mixture into jars, being sure to press down firmly to get it as packed as possible
  9. Leave a couple of cm of air at the top of the jars to allow for any bubbling without overflow
  10. Place lids on the jars, stand in a baking tray with sides (to catch any overflow) and leave on the side for 4 days
  11. About once a day, open each jar to let out the pressure and press down the cabbage
  12. After the fermentation has completed, place the jars in the fridge and leave for about a week before eating

Makes about 3 litres of kimchi.

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