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Spring-Inspired Kimchi Recipe

Note from Joy: Hopefully you've tried Kathrin's Crunch-tastic Sauerkraut recipe and jumped on the fermented goodness trend! I hope you love this recipe too.
May 9, 2015 | Kathrin Brunner

Note from Joy: Hopefully you've tried Kathrin's Crunch-tastic Sauerkraut recipe and jumped on the fermented goodness trend! I hope you love this recipe too. My favourite way to enjoy sauerkraut is stuffed into a collard wrap or with scrambled eggs, yum!

As we slowly, and joyfully, shift into Spring in Canada, we might notice that our tastes begin to shift as well. With warmer weather our tastebuds begin to crave lighter and fresher foods. Enter this tasty Spring-Inspired Kimchi. This fabulous ferment is full of healing superfoods and is a simple way to make your own probiotics!

Kimchi is a traditional Korean ferment that is easy to make and incredibly versatile. You can throw a spoonful on top of salads, soups and sandwiches or just enjoy it straight out of the jar! If you’re new to fermentation, this is a great first ferment to try. It’s simple and the results are delish!

Healing Superfoods


Ginger is an incredible superfood that helps to prevent bloating and indigestion and is one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatories. This is a fantastic food for pregnant mamas as its been found to be as effective as meds in reducing nausea.


Radishes belong to the cruciferous vegetable family and are an amazing source of antioxidants. The bitter flavour of radishes is a sign of phytonutrients that are essential for liver detoxification and cancer prevention.


Alliums, like Spring onions and ramps (aka wild leeks), are amazing for cardiovascular health and reducing chronic inflammation. Spring onions and leeks have a milder flavour than their onion cousins and are one of the first Spring harvests.


One of the most important factors in our overall health is the health of our bacteria. These tiny ‘friends’ live on us and in us and they play a crucial role in our digestive, immune and mental health. By adding a variety of fermented foods in our diet we help to ensure that our bacteria are balanced.

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  • 1 Napa cabbage, roughly chopped, reserve one leaf intact
  • 3 carrots, grated
  • 3-4 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch Spring onions chopped (if you can find ramps, then use a handful of these, they'll add a more peppery taste)
  • 2 Tbsp unbleached sea salt
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, peeled (adjust for how garlic-ey you like things!)
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 pear, de-cored and chopped
  • 2-4 Tbsp red chili flakes (adjust for how hot you like things!)
  1. Wash but don't peel veggies (most of the good bacteria is found on the skin - this is also why it's preferable to buy organic since chemicals kill the good bacteria and healthier soil means healthier bacteria).
  2. Add prepped veggies to a large bowl. Add paste ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until combined and fairly smooth.
  3. Pour paste over veggies and sprinkle with sea salt. Using your hands, massage your kimchi (you can use gloves for this if you prefer, there's heat from the ginger and chili). As you massage, the veggies will start to soften and release water, creating your brine. You can take breaks if you like, allowing kimchi to sit and release brine, then come back and massage a bit more. You need to create enough brine to cover the kimchi when you stuff it into the jar, so there should be a good puddle at the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Once you have enough brine, begin to stuff your kimchi into a clean 2 litre glass jar, make sure you pour your brine in too. Use the back of a wooden spoon or mallet and push kimchi down to remove air pockets and release more water. Leave about 1-2 inches of space from the rim of the jar, then top with your reserved cabbage leaf, using it to push the kimchi down so it is submerged under the brine.
  5. Screw your lid on loosely so that air can still escape and set jar aside in a corner of your kitchen to ferment. This will take about 7-10 days depending on the temperature of your home. Make sure to check your kimchi daily. If necessary, push the leaf on top down to keep veggies submerged under the brine.
  6. Begin taste-testing after a week. Once fermented to your liking, (it will be slightly tangy and the cabbage will be soft) remove your cabbage leaf, close lid tightly and store in the fridge where it will keep for several months.

Nicole   •   March 26, 2016

I can not eat garlic, is it possible to make this without it? Every recipe I see has it but I'd love to start eating more fermented foods. Thanks so much.

Joy McCarthy   •   March 26, 2016

Stef   •   September 28, 2018

So excited to try this finally! If I’m reusing a jar, should I boil the jar or take some other step to sterilize it? Or is clean from the dishwasher sufficient? Thanks😁

Joy McCarthy   •   September 30, 2018

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