Okay, I get it'; I’m not Korean. I don’t even have any family from Korea, so many of you might say I’m not exactly the most qualified person to be posting a kimchi recipe. I do, however, LOVE Korean food. Most of it is so easy to veganize too!
Initially when I went vegan, I continued to buy my kimchi from the many Asian grocery stores I’m blessed to have surrounding my residence. There’s at least 3 that I go to regularly for their variety of produce, seasonings and even vegan snacks. It honestly hadn't occurred to me that kimchi might not be vegan. It was just chili sauce and some other seasonings right? Wrong! A lot of traditional recipes call for fish sauce or fermented shrimps and/or the juice they come in. I’m not going to sit here and talk shit about a traditional food that’s been eaten for hundreds of years, but I did want to find or make a version that I could also consume as a vegan. I did find a couple brands of vegan kimchi available at places like Whole Foods or MOM’s, but there was something missing. it just wasn’t the same. I started to look at YouTube videos on how to make your own. I already was fermenting my own kombucha. How hard could it be?
After trial and error and many YouTube tutorials, I have come to a recipe of my own that my personal taste buds really love. I’ve even tested it out on a few friends who don’t really like kimchi and they gave it the seal of approval. I don’t really measure ingredients anymore, so I will do my best to get right amounts for you. The cool thing about this recipe is it’s totally customizable to your own taste buds. You’ll just have to try it out and see for yourself. This particular recipe uses bok choy because I saw some at the store that looked really nice, but you can use almost any greens you want. Napa cabbage is more commonly used and one of my favorites.
Fun fact; There are over 200 different types of kimchi!!!
About 8-10 heads of baby bok choy (or more if you want to make a larger amount)
1/4 cup rice flour
1/2 cup water
coarse sea salt or kosher salt
1/2 cup red chili powder (you can find this at any Asian grocery store)
2-3 tbsp. miso paste
2-3 tbsp. rice vinegar or fire cider
1/2 yellow onion
3-5 cloves of garlic
finger of ginger
2-3 tbsp. soy sauce
optional: daikon radish sliced into match sticks, green onion chopped into 1” pieces and shredded carrot.
wash bok choy well in cool water
slice each head in half and place in large mixing bowl
Generously sprinkle salt all over your bok choy and leave to wilt for 30 minutes. Toss your bok choy to insure all leaves are coated in salt and leave again for another 30 minutes or so. continue with this until all your greens are wilted(shown in photo below).
Rinse your greens well in cool water to rinse all the salt away and drain in colander and set aside
In a small sauce pan, add your water and rice flour and simmer on med/low heat. Mix in your brown sugar until all is incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool some.
In a blender, add the garlic, miso, ginger, vinegar, soy sauce, chili powder and your sweet rice flour water. Blend on high until fairly smooth.
If you chose to add daikon, green onion or carrot to your kimchi, place it in your mixing bowl with your wilted bok choy. Add in your sauce from the blender and mix until everything is coated well in your chili sauce.
place in clean jars and screw on lids loosely so they can breathe. leave out on your counter for 1-2 days, then place in the refrigerator and enjoy whenever! Kimchi is not only great on it’s own with rice and other veggies, but it also makes a great ingredient/condiment in many dishes. Lately, I’ve been obsessed with adding it to vegan mac and cheese(if you love hot sauce on mac and cheese this is a game changer!!!) If you try out this recipe and like it, please tag me in your creations. I’d love to see what you make.