Lacto-Fermented Kimchi Recipe | Nourish Real Food | Sara Bradford

Lacto-Fermented Kimchi

Making my own lacto-fermented kimchi was NOT something I ever thought I’d bother doing. Every recipe I ever looked at made it feel so COMPLICATED. And I’d hear stories from people telling me not to bother making it when I could just buy it.


Well…that is total baloney. The only thing daunting about preparing kimchi is finding the weird ingredients. And the only thing to do about finding elusive ingredients is substituting with something that ISN’T hard to find. (At least sometimes.)

This kimchi tastes as AUTHENTIC as can be. It’s awesome, actually. I think it’s my favourite version I’VE EVER made. And now I want you to make it.

If you’d like the step-by-step version, with photos, head HERE: Easy Lacto-Fermented Kimchi Step-By-Step

Otherwise, stick around and head to the recipe below. You can print it and everything. xo

Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of steps. That doesn’t mean it’s difficult. Once you do it you’ll feel so much better.

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  • 1. Cut cabbage in half, lengthwise. Submerge in a bowl or a sink filled with cold water and remove as much dirt as you can. Shake as much water off as you can, then place on a cutting board.
  • 2. Generously sprinkle salt all the over the cabbage leaves, separating the leaves to salt in between the crevices -- especially on the thicker, tougher part of the leaves near the core.
  • 3. Cover with a clean dishtowel and leave for at least 3 hours, up to 10. (I left this last batch for about 5 hours.)
  • 4. After the salted cabbage has rested at least 3 hours, rinse it really well and remove all the salt. Cut the halves into quarters, remove the core, separate leaves and let them drain completely in a colander, until dry.
  • 5. Combine 2 cups of water with the rice flour, whisking it together. Bring to a simmer and remove from the heat. Whisk in the sugar, transfer the mixture to a bowl, and let it cool completely.
  • 6. In a food processor, place the garlic, ginger, onion, and chilies (if they are whole). Blitz a few times, until they are minced. Add this and the fish sauce to the rice flour mixture. Stir together.
  • 7. Place the dry nappa leaves into a large bowl. Add the remaining veggies and the rice flour chili mixture. Mix really well, making sure all the leaves are covered in the yummy goo.
  • 8. Transfer the cabbage leaves to the crock or mason jar. Push the veggies down so they are submerged in the liquid.
  • 9. Lightly apply a lid to the mason jar (if using), but do not close it tightly. Or use the Mortier Pilon lid system. Place the jar or crock in a bowl or on a tray to catch any water that may spill over. Place the jar or crock in a cupboard of an inner wall.
  • 10. Ferment your kimchi at room temperature for 4 to 5 days before serving. Once fermented to your liking, close the lid on tightly (or transfer from your crock to a sterilized jar) and refrigerate. This will halt or slow the fermenting process.

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