Let’s make Kimchi!

Hello there – how are we all doing in Lockdown 2.0? Like many of the people I speak to at the moment we are finding this one much tougher than Lockdown 1.0. Back in the spring it was all rather new and strange but the sun was shining and we had sour dough and zoom to keep us sane. Now, as winter approaches and we have the prospect of a COVID Christmas ahead (what ever shape that might take), things are seeming pretty gloomy (although at least the orange oaf has been voted out!).

I have a big back-log of recipes that we made over lockdown that have somehow remained “stuck” on my computer, so I have set myself the mission of getting them on the Blog! I have started with kimchi after seeing it featured the last two weeks on the latest Nigella TV series.

We have our daughter Reya to thank for the introduction of kimchi into our kitchen (along with dumplings and noodles with eggs to name just a few things!). She was with us for the whole of lockdown 1.0 as her final second year university term was delivered online so we had the chance to make and sample all sorts of new delights. The first kimchi we tried came in a jar from Sainsburys and it was pretty bland. Then we tried some from a Chinese grocery store which was better but our final jar – this home made version was a game changer! It is hot, spicy, salty, crunchy and totally delicious.

It is worth noting that kimchi is regarded as a superfood and is linked with weight loss, healthy skin and strong digestive health. It is full of good probiotics, vitamin A, B and C, and antioxidants, it’s been named one of the world’s healthiest foods. Supposedly it can even help cure a variety of ailments and prevents heart disease and diabetes.

So if that has tempted you and you have made your kimchi you may be wondering how to eat or serve it. Well here are a few ideas:

  • Use as a topping for a bowl of noodles
  • Add to fried rice
  • Use as a pickle accompaniment for meats and cheeses
  • Add to dumpling fillings
  • Add to soups and stews


A glorious homemade version of this spicy Korean pickle!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Fermenting time 16 days
Total Time 16 days
Course pickle, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 Jars


  • Food processor


  • 1 Chinese cabbage/Chinese leaves
  • 3 tbsp Gochujang Hot Pepper Paste
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 15 Cloves of garlic chopped
  • 3 tbsp Fresh ginger chopped
  • 2 tbsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp Rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Water
  • 1 bunch Spring onions chopped


  • Cut the Chinese leaves into quarters lengthwise and soak in lightly salted water for 1 hour. 
  • Put the Gochujang, chopped onion, garlic, peeled ginger, salt and sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and water into the food processor/blender and blitz until lovely and smooth. 
  • Drain the cabbage and transfer to a rimmed tray/baking sheet, then use a spoon or a brush to thoroughly coat the cabbage layer by layer with the paste. 
  • After each layer is covered, massage the paste all over the cabbage, covering as much as possible with the paste. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage quarters. 
  • Once all the leaves are covered, add the chopped spring onions and place them within each layer of the cabbage.
  • Put some of the paste on the baking sheet and roll the cabbage quarters like a log in the paste and covering completely. 
  • Once the cabbage has been rolled and coated in the paste, cut the cabbage into chunky portions (depending on the size of the jar) and to the exposed areas with the paste. 
  • Carefully layer the pieces of cabbage into the jar making sure the layers of the cabbage stay together. Jam in any remaining pieces of cabbage to the top and then top it with leftover paste. Gentle push everything down to make sure everything is covered and settled.
  • Let it sit at room temperature for 2 days. Be aware that natural gasses build up so you may need to burp the jars each day to release them! After two days put the jars in the fridge for 2 weeks.
Keyword Fermented food, Pickle
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Debbie Harris

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