When most people think of fermented foods they often think of sauerkraut. But there is another fermented cabbage dish that is just as tasty and versatile. Kimchi is a Korean staple first created as long ago as the first century BC. It is a pungent, sour, and spicy dish that makes its way onto most Korean tables. But kimchi is becoming a favorite outside of Korea as well. And, it’s not only good, kimchi is good for you, too. Here are some homemade kimchi recipes that are easy to make.
7 Delicious Homemade Kimchi Recipes to Satisfy
This basic kimchi recipe is perfect for beginners since it has a lot less heat than traditional kimchi. But if you love the hot and spicy taste of kimchi, feel free to add hot peppers to boost the bite! For those who are new to kimchi or spicy food in general, make this recipe as is and slowly add in hot peppers as you like (and can handle it!).
- Napa cabbage
- Sea salt
- Daikon radish
- Green onions
Curtido, known by many as kimchi’s Central American cousin, is a fermented food often used as a condiment or side dish. It’s made from cabbage, onions, carrots, and hot peppers that are fermented for a few days or up to 12 weeks, depending on how fermented you prefer your curtido. This tasty fermented dish is often found on traditional Central American tables but in the U.S. it’s most commonly associated with pupusas. These are made by stuffing tortilla dough with a meat mixture before cooking and then served with red salsa and curtido.
- Choice of Hot Peppers to Taste
- Lime juice
- 1-2 T Oregano
- Cumin Seeds
If you’re looking for something new, give homemade kimchi stuffed steamed buns a try. Ever thought about steaming your bread instead of baking it? Ovens are not a common kitchen appliance in China, so baking bread is rare. Instead, they use steam to make delicious bread buns. They aren’t crusty like baked bread, but they’re delicious in their own right. The combination of yeast and baking powder along with a medium gluten flour makes this recipe the perfect balance of cakey and bready textures.
- Canola oil
- Baking powder
- All-purpose flour
- Kimchi for stuffing
Traditional kimchi is made with cabbage, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be mixed up a bit! Cucumber kimchi is a fun variation that’s perfect for summer when cucumbers are plentiful in the garden or at the farmer’s market. This cucumber kimchi recipe is a quick version that doesn’t need to be fermented. However, you can take the base recipe (minus the vinegar) and ferment it the same way you ferment other vegetables.
- Sliced cucumbers
- Granulated white sugar
- Olive oil
- Sesame seeds
- Hot red pepper flakes
- Cayenne pepper
Traditionally, the ingredients for kimchi include cabbage as the main vegetable, but there are other variations of kimchi that are just as delicious. Radish kimchi is one example! Radishes offer an additional bite (beyond the hot peppers) and are a great way to use excess garden produce. This recipe shows you how to ferment your radish kimchi quickly, but you can let it ferment longer if you wish.
- Korean radish
- Korean coarse sea salt
- Sweet rice flour
- Korean red chili powder
- Korean fermented anchovy sauce or fish sauce
Fermented Brussels Sprouts Kimchi
If you’re a gardener or someone who likes to use in-season produce from the farmer’s market or grocery store, you’ll love this recipe! Traditional kimchi is made with cabbage, but this Brussels sprout variation is a great way to use extra Brussels sprouts in your kitchen. This recipe includes the sprouts alongside traditional ingredients for a new twist on this old favorite. Brussels sprouts are full of nutrition, including vitamins K, C, and A, as well as some protein.
- Brussels sprouts
- Thai Fish Sauce
- Red pepper powder, chili paste or hot sauce
- Red pepper flakes
While ingredients in kimchi often include salt, some people need to avoid eating added salt. That’s why we created this no-salt kimchi recipe. Salt slows the fermentation process, so to make kimchi without salt, you need to slow fermentation in another way. Fermenting in cooler temperatures is one way to do this. This recipe also uses dulse which is a seaweed that contains natural salts. This offers enough sodium for the fermentation without adding salt.
- Suey choy (Chinese cabbage)
- Hot peppers
- Daikon radish
- Juice from a successful batch of fermented vegetables
If you’re interested in learning more, here are a few articles about the health benefits of kimchi:
Fermentools’ fermentation lids for Mason jars are made in North America of surgical stainless steel to last a lifetime. Add to them our affordable glass weights, gasket, and airlock and you have the perfect kit for all your fermenting needs. Visit our store today!
Mindy Wood is a writer, wife, mother, and homesteader, living in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She writes at PurposefullySimple.com where she shows people how to live more self-reliant and healthy lives by growing their own food and learning other homesteading skills.