Red Cabbage Kimchi — 42 Comments

  1. I just got my set up for fermentation and look forward to trying this out. I’m new to this and really like what you have done in getting these recipes out in you e-mails to me. keep up the great work and please keep sending those e-mails to me.


  2. This one sounds really good. As I read it, I’m sipping brine from a September 2015 batch that’s just about gone. I don’t recall exactly what’s in it, but it’s not quite like your recipe above. I’m happy to get more interesting recipes in your emails. I gotta try this one!

  3. You say ‘red pepper flakes’ but you call it kimchi cabbage. Are you using regular red pepper flakes or korean red pepper flakes? The quantity makes me think it’s the latter but I do have both. Thanks!

    • I’m using Korean Red Pepper flakes. Judging heat in a recipe is always a little tricky since there can be such a variation in the heat in different peppers. Welcome and good luck!

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I’m making it right now and have another question.
        The ingredients say you’re using 3.5lbs veg. Even trimmed and chopped let’s say 3lbs prepared plus 1.5 Tbsp of salt.
        But the ratio you give in the recipe is 1 tbsp for every 1.5lb of veg (which is what I normally use for sauerkraut). If that were the case then you should be using 2 tbsp not 1.5.
        This might seem pedantic to some but the salt ratio is important and as you point out, this is a different type of kimchi by leaving all the salt in, so I want to get it right.
        Thanks for your help!

  4. Hi”Ted”. I’ve never fermented or pickled anything from scratch, I just put veggies in previous juices in the store bought plastic jars the kimchi or pickles came in after finishing what was in the jars. Usually they’re plastic jars and as long as there’s juices left I add many things and put them in the fridge. Is that okay to do with red cabbage?

    • I suppose that’s fine, Sonya. Just so you know, there are a few stages in the fermentation process where, as the ferment progresses, the predominant strain of bacteria present changes as well. The final stage bacteria are different from the early stage bacteria. You may simply be “pickling” your ingredients in the more acidic brine of the previous batch rather than truly fermenting, especially since you are placing directly in the refrigerator which significantly slows any fermentation process. As basketball players say sometimes, “no harm, no foul,” but it may not really be a fermented product you are creating.

  5. Hi, I would like to try this recipie but I have 2 questions. 1. How many cups do you expect to have from 3 lbs of cabbage. I have no idea how much my cabbages weigh. and 2. Is the Daikon radish essential? I get a CSA box and have lots of cabbage which is why I want to make kimchi. oh and a 3rd question – can I use powdered garlic and powdered ginger?

    thanks so much.

  6. i am on a low salt diet. I just made some kimchi for the first time today. Using about a pound of ordinary cabbage 8 ounces of carrots 2 medium onions. Grated garlic and ginger. Fish sauce 2 red hot peppers. Tablespoon of sugar. Some chilli flakes. I used a quarter cup of salt soakd the cabbage for a couple of hours then I rinsed it 3 times. After pushing it down I put some water on the top. In a minute I’ll go and stir it all up after reading what you said. The jar it it is in is only half full. Probably going to go to the supermarket tomorrow and get something put on the top to press it down. The recipe says 1 to 5 days before refrigerating I think I’m going to leave it five days. Then two weeks in the fridge. I might see if I can put a plastic bag of water on the top too.

    • I’m not sure where you are seeing the 1-5 days. My suggestion in this Red Cabbage Kimchi recipe is 3-4 weeks fermentation time and then put it in the refrigerator.

      You seem to be referencing a different recipe. When I read your ingredients, I see very little cabbage in relation to the other ingredients. The carrots and onion won’t release quite as much liquid as cabbage will. If the liquid doesn’t rise above, even under pressure, I’d suggest just adding a little brine to the jar and mix it up and leave it there. Best of luck.

    • If using a crock, then cover with the crock lid. If using a mason jar, then an airlock screwed to the top is best. If simply using a glass jar, then covering with a tightly woven cloth is best. The basic concept is to prevent molds and yeasts from landing on you ferment.

  7. fermenTed- Thanks for the inventive and clearly explained recipe. Unfortunately 10 days into the fermentation my kimchi started getting moldy, despite the fact that I did not remove the lid (e.g., to taste) after initially covering. Any ideas on why this happened and how to avoid such a fate in the future? Thanks!

    • The bottom line is that somehow mold spored got into your ferment and grew. If your lid was on and it was a true airlock, then the mold spores must have been present before you covered it. Mold grows on the surface generally so perhaps some of your ingredients were exposed to the air rather than under the liquid? Feel free to reply and let us know more details about your fermenting vessel and lid and whether all ingredients were submerged.

  8. Hello! I’ve come home after a few days away to find there are a few patches of bubbles on the surface of my kilner jar of kimchi (only a week since bottling). I suspect this is fine and just an effect of the fermentation, but wanted to check with you.

    • Bubbles generally reflect an active fermentation and as such aren’t usually a problem. Mold is the main culprit you want to keep an eye out for. As always I can’t formally diagnose from afar. Use your best judgment. Kimchi can be pretty tasty after just a week when active so give yours a nibble and see how you like it!

  9. Thanks so much for your reply. It’s still looking good but I’ve put it in the fridge now for a slow fermentation. Unfortunately the other little jam jar pot has gone mouldy, so I’ll have to ditch that one. It was just what I couldn’t fit in the main one, so not a disaster.

  10. On my first ever batch of what I hope to be tasty Kimchi. Followed your recipe with 1 head red cabbage. Used 1 tablespoon sea salt to 1.50 lbs vegtables. I am using a 2 gallon cookie jar with loose fitting lid but also have a plastic bag with water on top of mixture to form a good seal. It all appears to be submerged in liquid. It has been 1 week and it seems not much is going on. It is in basement at about 55 degrees. I have not bothered it, just letting it hopefully do its thing. I was told I should be smelling the gases by now.

    • Hey Doug, I wouldn’t worry about what appears to be a slow fermentation with your kimchi. Some folks in Korea and other places actually bury their kimchi in urns to keep temps cool to make for a slower fermentation and ultimately storage. The cooler temps you are working with will undoubtedly slow things down. It may take a month or longer at that temp but your own taste buds will know.

  11. I put one together today, and I liked the taste even before it could start to ferment. Getting Nappa Cabbage is tough, and I buy lots of green/red cabbage for 2 Kraut recipes. I keep Kosher, and it’s hard to get a non-fish fish-sauce, but this recipe is Sans-Fish-Sauce.
    I made some changes based on the ingredients available:
    1) 1/2 cup of Korean Chili Flakes plus 12 Jalapenos. (Some like it hot!)
    2) Radishes instead of Dikon.
    3) 1 small red onion, and lots of scallions.
    4) Shitaki Mushroom Powder (from Japan) for the Unami flavor that Fish-Sauce would provide.
    5) 1 head red cabbage, 1 head green cabbage (I like to see the ingredients, which is hard with all red cabbage).

  12. Thanks for this recipe! It’s my first time trying out fermenting.

    Like you advised, I had to add extra water to my mix before leaving it to ferment as When compacting the cabbage mix down it just didn’t release enough water to cover the mixture.

    How is the kimchi supposed to look after 3 weeks? Is it supposed to be soft cabbage pieces, covered in a watery brine? Sorry I’m just worried mines going to be really watery when serving! Or do you just drain off the liquid before you serve? Thanks for your advice in advance!

    • Once it’s no longer under the pressure of a weight, the liquid level should retreat to under the surface. If it’s kind of swimming in brine without the weight, I’d guess you added too much liquid. You could definitely drain it off.

    • Hi Fay. It’s important that the cabbage remain under liquid. I’d start by opening and applying pressure to the weight on top of your ferment and seeing if that sufficiently raises the liquid level. If it doesn’t you can add a little water if necessary. I’d probably add a touch a salt to the water you add as well. Good luck!

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