Vegan Kimchi

This is my own recipe, adjusted to how I like it, using some lacto-fermenting preperation techniques to speed up the making process, and using a ‘no-fish sauce’ to make it vegan-friendly. The recipe is very forgiving and can be adjusted to your own taste; if you love ginger, up the amount; don’t like it spicy, down the chilli. Just remember that the flavour changes over time – the spices mellow and it becomes more vinegary overall – so if you’re letting it mature bear this in mind; once you’ve made one batch you will easily be able to understand how the flavours change.

If you are using fish sauce you can skip down to part two for the kimchi. As with all my recipes, I am using ‘cups’ and ‘spoons’; these are the measuring cups that come marked not just any mug from your cupboard. If you don’t have measuring cups: 1 cup is about 240 gr, or 12 oz. As I mentioned before this recipe is very forgiving so don’t worry too much about getting it exact.

Vegan fish sauce replacement

  • Servings: 1 small jar
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print



  • ¼ cup seaweed
  • 1½ cups water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ tsp peppercorns


  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp miso paste


  1. place the first 4 ingredients in a pot and boil for 20 mins.
  2. add the soy sauce and reduce the mixture to about half.
  3. add the miso paste .
  4. Strain if you want thin liquid.


  • Servings: 2 jars
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 1 nappa (or savoy) cabbage (sliced)
  • 2 carrots (finely sliced)
  • ½ apple (grated)
  • 4 tsp salt


  • 6 spring onions (sliced)
  • ¼ cup chilli flakes (you may wish to reduce this to 2 tsp if you intend on eating the kimchi straight away)
  • ½ head garlic (crushed)
  • about a thumb size piece of ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp ‘no fish’ sauce


  1. slice your cabbage (I prefer it finely sliced, though traditionally kimchi is less fine, so slice it as you prefer).
  2. slice your carrots (I use a peeler to get nice fine carrot strips).
  3. grate your apple (this is not for flavour; it is here to give the good bacteria some sugar to feed on, you can skip it if you’re eating your kimchi straight away).
  4. mix in the salt and set this bowl aside to begin softening while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
  5. slice your spring onions, crush your garlic, and grate your ginger but do not add them yet.
  6. go back to your bowl of sliced cabbage and give it a good massage (by hand). The volume will reduce to less than half the original mass. It should look something like this:rps20160821_112445_604.jpg
  7. now you can go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients and give it a good mix (with a spoon this time).
  8. you can eat the kimchi now or pack it into self-burping jars and let it mature for about a week.



  1. Looks great! I love that the recipe is laid out so simply, it has demystified kimchi for me, and I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!


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