13 March 2022

Vegan Kimchi

Homemade vegan kimchi - Korean-style spicy fermented cabbage and veg, perfect for sandwiches, rice bowls, dips and bao. Simply prep your veg, soak overnight, coat in your marinade, pack it into a jar and let it ferment for 2-3 weeks. 

Kimchi is a classic Korean spicy cabbage ferment - it isn't typically vegan due to the addition of shrimp paste or fish sauce - whilst vegan versions are available to buy, making it yourself is surprisingly easy,  tastier and much cheaper too. The primary ingredient is traditionally Chinese or Napa cabbage, which is marinated and fermented whole, but the beauty of making your own kimchi is you can use your pick of veg and make it to your own tastes - I used a savoy cabbage for this recipe which was homegrown and chopped the veg pre-ferment which I find makes it easier to enjoy straight out the jar post-fermentation.

Fermented foods are not only tasty and add a good crunch and tang to dishes and they are super good for you and full of live bacteria (probiotics) that are great for gut health. There's a huge link between your gut health, mental health, and overall health and eating probiotics, along with a diverse range of plant-based foods that are full of fibre (prebiotics), can help to create optimum gut health that will help you to thrive.

If you make any of my recipes do snap a pic and share with me @euphoricvegan and if you want to try any other fermentation recipes try my Turmeric Sauerkraut or Cashew Cream Cheese.

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Vegan Kimchi | Yield: 3-4 cups | Soak time: 12-24 hours | Prep time: 20 mins | Fermentation time: 2-3 weeks

You'll need

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Extra-large bowl (ideally glass)
  • Plate
  • Colander
  • Small mixing bowl
  • 1L clip-top jar
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Fermentation weight (optional)


  • 2L water + 1/4 cup water (for soaking)
  • 1 large Savoy or Chinese (Napa) cabbage
  • 2 large carrots
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1/3 daikon/regular radish
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 1/3 cup gochujang
  • 1-2 tbsp vegan oyster/fish sauce or dark soy sauce
  • 1-2 tbsp chili flakes/gochugaru (optional, for extra spice)
  1. If you do not have fermentation weights, you'll need to reserve some of the cabbage outer leaves and stem to weigh down your ferment. Remove 2-3 outer leaves and cut away the stem of the cabbage in one piece, wash well and place in a sealed container in the fridge whilst you prep your veg the day before. Then dice the cabbage into 2-3cm pieces, peel and chop the carrots, slice the spring onions and slice the radishes. Wash well to remove any dirt.
  2. Add the water and salt into a large bowl and stir to dissolve, then add in the chopped veg and top with a plate to weigh it down and ensure the veg is fully submerged. Leave it for 12-24 hours in an ambient place away from direct sunlight, this will kick-start the fermentation process. Then drain in a colander.
  3. You don't need to sterilise your equipment but it's best if you clean your utensils and your fermentation jar with hot soapy water and dry with a clean towel ahead of using. 
  4. Then peel the garlic and ginger and mince them, then mix together with the gochujang, vegan fish/oyster sauce or soy sauce and chilli flakes for some extra heat if desired. 
  5. Mix together your paste with the veg until evenly coated, then tightly pack into a jar. To weigh it down, either top with a clean fermentation weight or top with the outer leaves of the cabbage you previously put aside and then wedge the cabbage stem in between the veg and the top of the lid to weigh it down.
  6. Seal the jar and leave it in an ambient place away from direct sunlight for 2-3 weeks - it's best to let it rest on a tray or small plate. Every few days gently release the catch on the jar without allowing it to open too much to 'burp it', this will release the pressure and stop it from spilling over. If you like your ferments more sour or the weather is colder, leave it for longer and if the weather is warmer or you like a slightly less sour flavour, 2 weeks will be enough.
  7. After the fermentation time is up, simply remove the weight or cabbage leaves and use it straight away or pop it in the fridge. Be sure to use a clean utensil to remove the kimchi from the jar to avoid any cross-contamination and it should last for up to 6 months in the fridge.
  8. Serve up with your favourite foods and enjoy!
Cassidy xx