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How to Make Quick Vegan Kimchi

If you love Kimchi and investigated making it yourself at home, or wanted to make it vegan like I did, then you were probably dismayed to find that it requires several hours of salting and soaking the cabbage (and that many versions contain a fish sauce). If you really want to make it authentic, then you've also got to create your own chili paste. Ain't nobody got time for all of that.

So, with the help of fellow Vegan Lifestyle Coach & Educator, Diana Goldman, creator of Beantown Kitchen in Boston Massachusetts, I concocted this recipe so you can make vegan kimchi quickly and get the benefits of fermented foods to help keep your digestion on track. The key, says Lawson, is shredding down the cabbage to avoid the long salting and waiting to create the brine.

Vegan Cooking Level: Beginner


Pint jar with a plastic lid (metal tends to rust when it comes in contact with the brine solution and the fermentation process.)


4½ cup (12 oz.) green cabbage, shredded

1 small carrot, grated

1-inch nub ginger, shredded

2 cloves garlic, shredded

3/4 tsp. prepared vegan chili paste or 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne or Gochugaru (Korean hot) pepper, or more if you like the heat

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 tsp. sea salt or Himalayan salt

(If extra brine is needed to totally submerge vegetables, mix 1 cup water with 1.5 teaspoons salt and add a little to the jar to just cover vegetables completely.)

Step 1: Combine the cabbage, carrot, ginger, garlic, chili paste, green onion and salt in a bowl and stir. Use your hands (wearing gloves to avoid burning from the hot pepper) to massage the salt into the vegetables for about 10 minutes. They will begin to soften and liquid will be released creating the brine solution as you squeeze.

Step 2: Pack the vegetables and liquid into a pint (or larger) container. Press them down firmly with a spoon and then add a folded cabbage leaf to the top. This will help to submerge the kimchi in the brine liquid. If needed, pour a bit more brine solution on top of the cabbage mixture so that it is completely submerged.

Step 3: Smell the mixture in your jar so you know what it smells like at this point so you can pick up the difference later once it starts to ferment. Cover the jar with a lid screwed loosely on and place in a bowl (to catch any drippings) on the counter.

Step 4: Leave the mixture out at room temperature, for 5 to 7 days or until it begins to produce bubbles, a tip-off that your kimchi is fermenting. Hissing and leaking are normal!

Step 5: Once bubbles have formed, it is ready to taste and should have a different "twang!" (sour and tangy) when you smell and taste it from when you first put it in the jar. At this point, screw on the cover tightly and refrigerate your jar. It can keep a few months or more if refrigerated.

Experts say to eat at least 2 tablespoons per day for optimal gut health!

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