Our fermented broccoli recipe is without a doubt the most visited page on our blog. We love that fermented foods have become so popular and that the connection between gut health & overall health is gaining more mainstream attention. Be sure to look at some more of our fermented recipes to read more about how these foods can help improve our digestion and benefit our health on all levels. It’s pretty amazing and delicious stuff!
When we first fell in love with fermented veggies a few years ago, Kimchi was one the first experiments we tried in our little Colombian apartment. To be totally honest, it was quite a disaster and one that we look back on and laugh at. Let’s just say that we were naively enthusiastic with the quantities of chilli, ginger and garlic we used. Combined with tropical heat and a really strong fermentation, our entire home was infused with intensly funky smells for days and we almost blew our heads off trying to eat this spicy concoction. We’ve since adjusted our recipe and found a balance of flavours that’s much kinder on tastebuds and body…
Many traditional kimchi recipes contain vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and a paste made of garlic/ginger/chilli, but we’ve steered away from the traditional method in order to create a really simple recipe that still has a lot of flavour. This easy kimchi is made in a really similar way to sauerkraut , but has some extra ingredients that give it a stronger and spicier flavour. We’ve also used white cabbage because it’s grown locally to us and is what we have available.
How much salt to use when fermenting:
Vegetable to salt ratio - the magic formula for ferments
After a lot of experimenting, we've reached a good understanding of the salt/vegetable ratio for pickles and ferments. As a general rule of thumb, we always weigh our vegetables, then add 1.75% of this weight in salt. For example, 1kg of cabbage will need roughly 17.5g of salt. 500g of cabbage will need roughly 8.75g of salt. For reference, 1 teaspoon of finely ground salt is approximately 5.7g.
Servings: makes 2 large jars of kimchi
- 1 kg of white cabbage, sliced finely (roughly 2 small cabbages, but make sure you weigh them before you start)
- 17.5g of good quality salt (this is 1.75% of the cabbage weight, if you are making different quantities you can calculate it for your amount of cabbage)
- 2 medium carrots, grated
- 2 teaspoon of turmeric powder or 1 two inch chopped turmeric root
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely chopped (adjust depending on how spicy you like it)
- 2 inch piece of ginger, chopped finely
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 6-7 black peppercorns
- 1/2 onion, diced finely
- 2 large sterilised jars (you can sterilise them with boiling water)
- Before you chop your cabbage, peel away 2-3 of good quality outer leaves and put to one side for use later.
- In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except from the chilli. Make sure that the salt is thoroughly mixed with the cabbage. If you have time, leave it for 15-30 minutes - this will help draw the moisture out of the cabbage.
- With clean hands (or with gloves if you don't want turmeric stained fingers!) begin to mix and massage the kimchi. Continue for around 5-10 minutes, until liquid squeezes out of the cabbage. This liquid will help the fermentation process.
- Add the chilli to the bowl and stir in with a wooden spoon.
- Add the kimchi to your sterilised jars, pusing down as you go so that no air is trapped in the bottom of the jar. Keep pushing down as you add more kimchi (the back of a wooden spoon is really helpful for this). The idea is to pack the kimchi tightly into the jar.
- Once you've filled the jars, continue to push the kimchi down until the cabbage is submerged in some of its liquid. If the mix seems dry, leaving the jar for an hour or so between pressing down can allow more liquid to release.
- Fold the cabbage leaves that you set aside at the beggining to form a 'lid' that will fit into your jar. This stops little bits of cabbage floating to the top.
- Place the lid on top of the kimchi and again, push the kimchi down with the back of a wooden spoon. The 'lid' should be submerged in liquid.
- If you can, put a weight on top of the kimchi to keep it submerged in the liquid. We use a small glass with a weight or pebbles inside.
- Cover the jar with a fine cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band.
- Now it's time to let the kimchi ferment. Around 7 days is a good amount of time, but some people will prefer more or less. If you live in a very hot climate then you will probably need less time. Everyday, check on your jars and firmly push down the kimchi with a wooden spoon. You should see air bubbles rise from the bottom of the jar and the kimchi should remain submerged in liquid.
- After around 7 days, taste the kimchi to see if it suits your taste buds. If it tastes too strong or salty you can leave it a few more days.
- Once your satisfied with the flavour, secure the jar with a lid and store in the fridge. It's now ready to be eaten and should last for months if sealed well. We find that the flavour generally improves after the kimchi has been in the frige for a few days.