In a previous post, I talked about the principles behind reducing salt in your ferments to meet the needs of someone on a low-salt diet. Making ferments is part science and part art. Typically, if a few principles are adhered to, the amount of salt in a recipe, like this one for no salt kimchi, can successfully be reduced.
Since salt inhibits the speed of the ferment, without salt you’ll need to inhibit the speed of the fermentation process through other means. So, by fermenting your reduced-salt vegetables in a cooler environment you can mechanically slow down the speed of fermentation, thereby reducing the need for salt in the ferment.
Try this recipe for a spicy kimchi-style relish. And, if you like it hotter, add a few more jalapeños, keeping in mind that the strength of the capsaicin decreases with long fermentation.
How to Make No Salt Kimchi
A No Salt Kimchi Recipe
Makes 1 quart, or 8 ½-cup servings
- 2 cups of suey Choy (Chinese Cabbage), finely sliced
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 5 stalks of celery, finely chopped
- 5 carrots, peeled, and coarsely grated
- 2-inch piece of raw ginger, peeled, and grated
- 2 hot peppers, seeded, finely chopped
- 4-inch piece of daikon radish, peeled, grated
- 1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup dulse, dried (about 11 grams)
- ½ cup juice from a successful batch of fermented vegetables
- Prepare vegetables according to instructions. Then, combine all ingredients in a bowl to mix completely, pressing vegetables with a kraut pounder to release as much juice as possible.
- Next, prepare a wide-mouth mason jar by thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing. Also, sanitize the Fermentools fermentation lock, glass weight, and lid.
- Put vegetables in the mason jar and top up with filtered water, if necessary, to fully cover the vegetables. Remember, allow a 1-inch headspace for expansion inside the jar.
- Next, place the glass weight to fully submerge the vegetables under the liquid. Then, set the fermentation lock in place.
- Without the additional salt to inhibit the fermentation, the shift between bacterial cultures that naturally occurs as the contents become more acidic will be sped up. Your ferment can be ready in as little as five days, depending on ambient temperatures. If it seems to be going too fast, move the jar to a cooler environment.
- Finally, refrigerate the finished ferment. The flavors will become more acidic over time. The hot, spicy flavors will lessen.
This may be kept refrigerated for up to a year, without loss of quality.
Disclaimer: This is for information and educational purposes only. If you have a medical condition that requires a low-salt diet please talk to your doctor before trying this recipe.
Chris is a teacher, author, gardener, and herbalist with 30+ years’ of growing herbs and formulating herbal remedies, skin care products, soaps, and candles. She teaches workshops and writes extensively about gardening, crafts, scratch cooking, fermentation, medicinal herbs, and traditional skills on her blog at JoybileeFarm.com. Chris is the author of The Beginner’s Book of Essential Oils, Learning to Use Your First 10 Essential Oils with Confidence and Homegrown Healing, from Seed to Apothecary. Her newest book is “The Beeswax Workshop, How to Make Your Own Natural Candles, Cosmetics, Cleaners, Soaps, Healing Balms and More” with Ulysses Press (2017). Chris is a contributing writer to The Biblical Herbal Magazine, The Fermentools Blog, and the Attainable Sustainable blog. Her books are available on Amazon. Chris lives with her husband Robin in the mountains of British Columbia on a 140-acre ranch where they raise lamb. They have 3 adult children and 3 granddaughters.