Kimchi Recipe that is So Easy

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This fast and easy homemade kimchi recipe is full of healthy probiotics and is so delicious. You can easily make it at home for a zesty condiment. 

Kimchi recipe easy

Kimchi recipe

When you have a goal of eating probiotic foods with every meal, it’s nice to have a variety of ferments to fit with different dishes. This kimchi recipe is my favorite fermented food whenever I make Asian inspired meals.

If you’re curious about the benefits of eating fermented foods, read all about sauerkraut benefits here. I also have lots of other recipes for probiotic foods, such as sauerkraut, fermented beets, crisp dill pickles, carrotszucchini relish, and fermented cranberries

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An easy homemade kimchi recipe that is delicious, healthy, and probiotic. Perfect for paleo, whole 30, AIP, and GAPS diet. Kimchi recipe ideas healthy, easy, Korean, traditional, best. #foodanddrink #healthyrecipes #fermented

Quick kimchi recipe

There are so many different versions of kimchi out there. I love how fast and easy this recipe is! It’s also so delicious and has quickly become my favorite way to eat fermented vegetables. My kids love it, too!

What is kimchi? How is kimchi made? Historically, kimchi is the Korean version of sauerkraut. It’s a lacto fermentated napa cabbage dish that includes other vegetables and ingredients that are salted and fermented. 

Kimchi goes back to ancient times and is such healthy probiotic food.  By fermenting the various ingredients, the nutrients are more abundant and available, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and more (source).

Healthy kimchi recipe

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Kimchi recipe notes

Do you need any special tools to make kimchi? No, just a knife, cutting board, and a mason jar! You can use a grater to grate the ginger if you have one, and use fancy fermentation lids and fermentation weights, but they aren’t necessary. 

When buying the napa cabbage and other vegetables for kimchi ingredients, I recommend looking for organic produce. It will be better nutritionally and will be less likely to mold. 

When choosing a salt for making kimchi, I recommend using a high quality mineral salt, like Baja Gold or Celtic Sea Salt. This will add important minerals to the finished ferment. 

You’ll definitely want to use pure filtered water when making fermented vegetables. Tap water contains things like chlorine that won’t allow fermentation to happen correctly. 

Finding a clean fish sauce is important for anybody avoiding additives and sugar, such as anyone on the GAPS diet. I found this Red Boat fish sauce that contains only anchovies and water, and it works perfectly for kimchi. 

For seasonings, I like to keep things simple and stick with korean red pepper flakes and fresh ginger. You can adjust the amount of red pepper to make a spicy kimchi recipe, or one that is more mild.

Of course, the possibilities are endless for variations, but this basic recipe is a great place to start. 

How to make kimchi healthy

How to make a homemade kimchi recipe

Adapted from the kimchi recipe in GAPS Stage by Stage with Recipes by Becky Plotner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head napa cabbage
  • 2 daikon radishes
  • 10 green onions
  • 5 carrots
  • 3 TBSP fresh ginger root
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Korean chili flakes
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP mineral salt
  • Filtered water

Instructions:

  1. Chop all vegetables into desired sizes. I like to cut the cabbage and radishes larger and the green onions and carrots smaller. 
  2. Grate or mince ginger and finely chop garlic.
  3. Mix vegetables and chili flakes with fish sauce and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Put mixture into 1/2 gallon mason jars.
  5. Cover with water until everything is submerged. Use fermentation weights if needed.
  6. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 12 days, then move to the refrigerator. 

How to make kimchi easy

What temperature to ferment kimchi

A temperature around 65ºF is best, but a little warmer will still be okay. You don’t want it too much warmer, though, because having temperatures that are too warm will not make kimchi with the best flavor. 

The room temperature will affect the time it takes to fully ferment. Warmer temperatures cause fermentation to happen faster, and slower at cooler temperatures. 

How long does kimchi take to ferment?

At around 65ºF, I like to let my kimchi ferment for 12 days. After 12 days, I move the kimchi to the refrigerator. 

How do you know if kimchi is fermenting?

After 3 days, check the jar and notice how it looks. Tap the side of the jar and watch for bubbles to rise. If everything looks good, it’s probably fermenting just fine. 

I don’t typically recommend opening jars while they’re fermenting, but if you’re really unsure, you can open the jar and take a look, a smell, and a taste.

If everything looks good, with no mold or anything weird, take a smell. If it smells good, take a taste. You’re looking for a pleasant, tangy smell and taste. If everything looks, smells, and tastes good, you can be confident that the fermentation is happening as it should. 

If you’re ever unsure of anything when it comes to homemade fermented foods, err on the side of caution and don’t eat it. Failed ferments make great additions to the compost pile. Thankfully, I’ve never had a batch of kimchi go bad or not turn out. 

What causes kimchi to ferment?

The different raw ingredients used to make kimchi have various microorganisms in and on them. These microorganisms carry out the fermentation.

Lactic acid bacteria is a main player, and there are so many others. These are the friendly bacteria that are so helpful for digestion. 

How to make kimchi

How to store kimchi

Once the kimchi is done fermenting at room temperature, I store it in the fridge. 

How long does kimchi last? Since fermentation is a traditional food preservation method, kimchi lasts a long time in the refrigerator, several months or much longer. 

What to serve kimchi with

I love kimchi with so many different meat dishes and salads. Of course, it is amazing with any Asian inspired meal. Here are some ideas:

  • Stir it into fried rice
  • Use it to top soup
  • Mix it into any type of meat and vegetable bowl 
  • Eat it on it’s own as a side dish, drizzled with sesame oil and sesame seeds

Is kimchi good or bad for you?

When it’s traditionally fermented and made with clean ingredients, kimchi is one of the best probiotic super foods out there. Eating fermented foods on a regular basis can really help with healthy digestion (source). 

Kimchi recipe

More fermented foods

Crisp dill pickles

Carrots

Beets

Sauerkraut

Zucchini relish

What is your favorite fermented food?

What do you like to eat it with? Share in the comments!

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Red Boat fish sauce

Baja Gold salt

Celtic Sea salt

Fermentation weights 

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Yield: 1 gallon

Kimchi Recipe that is So Easy

Kimchi recipe easy

This fast and easy homemade kimchi recipe is full of healthy probiotics and is so delicious. You can easily make it at home.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 12 days
Total Time 12 days 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 head napa cabbage 
  • 2 daikon radishes 
  • 10 green onions 
  • 5 carrots 
  • 3 TBSP fresh ginger root 
  • 6 garlic cloves 
  • 1 tsp Korean chili flakes 
  • 1/2 cup fish sauce 
  • 2 TBSP mineral salt 
  • Filtered water

Instructions

  1. Chop all vegetables into desired sizes. I like to cut the cabbage and radishes larger and the green onions and carrots smaller.
  2. Grate or mince ginger and finely chop garlic.
  3. Mix vegetables and chili flakes with fish sauce and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Put mixture into 1/2 gallon mason jars.
  5. Cover with water until everything is submerged. Use fermentation weights if needed.
  6. Allow to ferment at room temperature for 12 days, then move to the refrigerator. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 15Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1064mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 1g

 

 

 

 

 

 

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