Kitchen Tips

How to make your own easy kimchi

This spicy Korean staple has become widely popular as a tasty and super-healthy condiment. Here's how to make your own kimchi at home - it's easier than you think!

Kimchi is essentially fermented cabbage pickle. A blend of the salty, spicy, tangy and crunchy, it can be used as you would any other condiment or pickle. Try it in everything from stir fry to sushi bowls tosteamed buns. Mixed with yoghurt it makes a tangy dressing, or give your sandwiches some added zing by layering it with meat and cheese.
It not only tastes good; kimchi is loaded with vitamins, and like all fermented food it features healthy bacteria that help with digestion. Plus, in making kimchi you are engaging in a highly sustainable practice; it's a great way of avoiding the wastage most of us have when only using part of a vegetable in a recipe. Turning the remains of a cabbage into kimchi gives it a whole new lease of life.
Kimchi lends great flavour to this beef noodle stir-fry.

How to make red cabbage kimchi

Prep + cook time: 45 mins + standing + chilling
Makes 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 5 litres warm water
  • 1 cup cooking salt
  • 450g red cabbage, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced lengthways
  • 4 spring onions, cut into 10cm lengths
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chilli paste
Method
  1. Combine the water and salt in a large bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and spring onions; stand for 1 hour or until cabbage leaves have softened.
  2. Drain. Rinse very well under cold running water to remove most of the brine; pat dry.
  3. Whisk vinegar, syrup, oil and chilli paste in a medium bowl until combined.
  4. Layer cabbage, carrot and onion in a 3-cup sterilised jar; pour in vinegar mixture to cover. Seal the jar. Refrigerate overnight before use.
Cook's notes
Store bottled kimchi in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. With cabbage as a base, you can add a wide variety of your favourite crunchy vegetables.
Feature photograph by: Bauer Photo Studio.
This recipe first appeared in Food magazine.
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