This easy-to-make kimchi will provide your gut with some beneficial natural probiotics. Kimchi will add extra flavour and goodness to any meal, especially stir-fries, eggs, and even toasted cheese sandwiches.
Kimchi is like spicy sauerkraut and is as common in Korea as sauerkraut is in Germany. I have been a fan of sauerkraut ever since my extended stay in Tuebingen, Germany in 1985.
Despite this love for sauerkraut, I had never been brave enough to try Kimchi – only because I thought it would be too fiery hot. That is until I saw an easy Kimchi recipe on the website of Changing Habits and figured I could make my own. This way I could have some control over the level of spiciness.
This was the first fermentation I had ever attempted. I was totally surprised at how easy it was. Like a lot of others, I was a little worried about accidentally creating some unknown biohazard. I read that in order to avoid this, a necessary first step is to start with clean equipment and sterilised storage jars. The good bacteria produced by the fermentation process will actually fight any minor bad bacteria in the jar or in the gut. However, do discard the kimchi if you see mold on the surface or smell or taste anything that is not a clean sour taste.
If you are following a Keto diet and use Kimchi only as a condiment, then this small amount of carrot is allowed.
Ferments are not recommended for a Low FODMAP diet.
Some people, especially children, who are not used to eating a diet rich in probiotics may, at first, find fermented foods difficult to digest. Some even have to start with as little as half a teaspoon or less and build up from there. If there is a consistent problem with digesting fermented food, then please seek medical advice to discover the reason why.
Kimchi Ingredient Shopping
The choice of chillis will determine the heat intensity of the Kimchi. Traditional Kimchi uses gochugaru, a Korean chilli powder. Gochugaru is a milder version of red chilli flakes because it does not include the seeds and membrane of the chilli. The seeds and membrane are where most of the heat is. I prefer using fresh ingredients when I can, so I chose the mild red chillis that I often use and can easily buy at my local fruit and vegetable shop. To help you decide which chillis to use, click here for a guide to some of the types of chillis, what they are best used for, and what their heat factor is.
If you prefer to use the tamari sauce and not the fish sauce, choose an organic variety such as Pure Harvest. This will avoid GMO soybeans that have been sprayed with glyphosate (the active ingredient in zero and roundup).
Pegans (Paleo plus Vegan) can use coconut aminos instead of fish sauce or tamari sauce.
Kimchi Preparation Tips
As mentioned before, start with squeaky clean hands, utensils, and sterilised jars. Click here for three different ways to sterilise the jars before filling them with the Kimchi.
Once the Kimchi is fermenting, some recipes suggest opening the lid daily. The fermentation process produces gas bubbles and opening the lid allows these bubbles to escape and prevent any unwanted explosions of trapped gas. I didn’t open the lids and had no problem, but figured I should warn you of the possibility.
When the Kimchi has reached a level of sourness that is to your liking, store it in the refrigerator with the lid sealed. It will continue to ferment but at a much slower rate.