Easy Vegan Kimchi

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Jar of our tangy spicy homemade vegan kimchi recipe

This post was supposed to be brownies. Allow me to explain…

Maybe I should start by saying that this week is John’s birthday (!!!) and last year around this time, I posted raw brownies – his most despised food on Earth.

Not as in, ‘No, thanks. I’ll pass on the brownie,’ but ‘If you don’t get that brownie away from me, I might get sick.’

This year, I thought I’d post something that he actually liked: Kimchi. While in Korea, we enjoyed eating copious amounts of kimchi as it was served in a wide variety of dishes- one of our favorites being Bibimbap.

Bowls of cabbage and salt for making delicious our easy vegan kimchi recipe

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a fermented, salty, spicy Korean condiment made from cabbage and a variety of seasonings. While traditional kimchi recipes call for fish sauce, we have officially created this delicious vegan version that you will love!

Health Benefits of Kimchi

Because it’s fermented, kimchi provides plenty of microorganisms that promote a healthy gut, can help reduce inflammation, and even improve digestion (just to name a few).

How Is This Recipe Different?

Kimchi is a little complicated if you make it in anywhere close to the traditional way. At minimum, it’s a bit time intensive (depending on how long you ferment).

But I did my best to keep this recipe simple, requiring just 10 basic ingredients that you should have easy access to.

I included more photos than normal to demonstrate the step-by-step process, which hopefully helps when you tackle this recipe yourself!

If you like kimchi, you have to try this vegan version that really is quite easy to master even though it takes longer than most (read: all) of my recipes.

Food processor with onion, garlic, and spices for making our easy vegan kimchi recipe

Adjusting The Spiciness

How spicy do you like your kimchi? That will determine how much red chili flake you put in your sauce.

You can likely find more “authentic” Korean red chili flakes at a Korean or Asian market or on Amazon, but I just went with standard red pepper flakes you can get at most grocery stores and it turned out great!

We’re spice-lovers, so I added an entire 1/2 cup (YES 1/2 cup) to my sauce, but feel free to scale it back if you walk on the milder side.

How to Make Kimchi

It starts with making sure all of your equipment and your hands are clean. This will help prevent introduction of bad bacteria that could disrupt the fermentation process.

Then, the cabbage (I prefer napa or savoy) is quartered, rinsed, dried, and its core removed.

Bowl of napa cabbage for making our easy vegan kimchi recipe

Then comes the primary hands-on part of this recipe in which you salt the cabbage to soften and draw out moisture and flip every 30 minutes for a couple hours while you prep the other ingredients. It’s quite a therapeutic process, which can happen in the background while you do other things.

Food processor with freshly blended spices for making our spicy gluten-free vegan kimchi recipe

The spices are mixed together in a food processor, adjusting to personal flavor/spiciness preference.

It’s mixed with carrots and green onions and set aside to marinate.

Bowl of ingredients for making our easy homemade vegan kimchi recipe

The cabbage is then rinsed and dried and coated with the carrot, green onion, and sauce mixture. Once thoroughly coated, it’s added to sterilized containers and the fermentation process begins!

One warning though? It makes whatever space it’s fermenting in smell like kimchi. You have been warned.

Bowl with ingredients mixed together for our easy vegan kimchi recipe

I hope you guys LOVE this kimchi! It’s:

Super healthy
& Delicious

How to Use Kimchi

If you’re like us, you can find an excuse to put kimchi on anything. Think: Breakfast scrambles, brown rice and sautéed veggie bowls (Bibimbap), or stir-fries. Or even eat it by the spoonful for a spicy food-based probiotic boost!

It also pairs well with our Gochujang Brussels Sprouts, Spicy Korean-Style Cauliflower Wings, Quinoa Fried Rice, and Sesame Eggplant and Almond Butter Tofu Bowls.

If you give this recipe a try, let us know! Leave a comment it, rate it, and be sure to tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram! We’d love to see your kimchi in action. Cheers, friends!

Jar filled with our homemade vegan kimchi recipe

Easy Vegan Kimchi

Easy, 10-ingredient kimchi that’s entirely vegan and packed with spicy, tangy flavor. A spicy, healthy side or snack that’s the perfect addition to any Asian dish.
Author Minimalist Baker
Quart jar filled with homemade Vegan Kimchi
4.70 from 56 votes
Prep Time 1 day 16 hours
Total Time 1 day 16 hours
Servings 15
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Korean-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Weeks (or longer)



  • 1 head napa or savoy cabbage (outermost leaves removed // well rinsed)
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt (plus more as needed)

VEGAN FISH SAUCE (from Vegan Miam)

  • 2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (plus more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (from a can)
  • 1/4 cup warm water


  • 3 Tbsp fresh ginger (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 head garlic (1 head yields ~1/3 cup cloves)
  • 1 small white onion (or sub 1/2 large per 1 small)
  • 1/2 cup Korean red chili flake* (or ground // more or less to taste)


  • 2 whole carrots (finely chopped or grated into matchsticks)
  • 6 green onions (roughly chopped)


  • Make sure that you are using clean surfaces and utensils and are washing your hands throughout the process of preparing your kimchi in order to prevent introducing bad bacteria and disrupting the fermentation process. The photos provide step-by-step instructions, so if you get lost, refer back to those.
  • Start by quartering your well-rinsed and dried cabbage (savoy or napa) and carefully removing the bottom core (hard white section) with a sharp knife. Discard.
  • Next place your cabbage in a large mixing bowl and begin packing a generous amount of sea salt in between each of the leaves. Do so by lifting each individual leaf and sprinkling with sea salt. Repeat until all leaves have been salted. Then press down and let rest for 30 minutes. This softens and breaks down the cabbage, drawing out moisture, priming it to be coated in the sauce.
  • While your cabbage rests, prepare your vegan fish sauce by adding all ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Set aside.
  • Next, prepare your chili sauce by adding fresh ginger, garlic, onion and red chili flake to a food processor or blender. I started with 1/2 cup chili flake and found it to be quite spicy (as I prefer). So if you desire less heat, start at 3-4 Tbsp and work your way up (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Taste and adjust flavor as needed.
  • Add vegan fish sauce to this mixture and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  • At this time, your cabbage should be ready to flip. Wash your hands and turn each section of cabbage over so it’s facing the opposite direction. Then pack down with hands to compress. You’ll repeat this process 3 more times (for a total of 4 times), waiting 30 minutes in between, and washing hands before touching cabbage.
  • In the meantime, add your chopped carrots and green onion (optional) to a medium mixing bowl, along with the sauce. Stir to combine, then cover and set aside.
  • While waiting, this is a good time to sterilize your storage containers. Bring a pot of water to a boil and place your containers (I used 1 large mason jar, and 1 small glass container // as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size), in a clean sink and pour the boiling water over top. Let containers cool slightly, then dry with a clean towel and set aside.
  • Once you have flipped your cabbage 4 times (it should be tender and shrunken down quite a bit), it’s time to rinse. In very cold water, rinse each section of cabbage to remove excess salt, then place on 2-3 absorbent clean towels and pat dry. Also separate the cabbage leaves at this time, so they’re easier to work with.
  • Rinse and dry the mixing bowl the cabbage was in, then return the dried cabbage to the bowl. Get your sauce with carrots and green onions and begin coating each leaf with the sauce. If you have gloves (disposable or rubber), use them at this time as the sauce can irritate sensitive hands (I didn’t, but thought it was worth mentioning).
  • Be generous when coating, but also keep in mind you need enough sauce to coat all of the cabbage. Once the cabbage is thoroughly coated with sauce, wash hands and get your sterilized storage container(s).
  • With clean hands, begin placing the coated cabbage leaves in the container, packing down to ensure there is as little air as possible between leaves. Continue until all cabbage is packed in, then press down very firmly to remove air. Top with clean, sterilized lid, and set in a cool dark place (such as a cabinet, not the refrigerator) to ferment.
  • How long to ferment is up to you. The resource I used suggested 36 hours minimum, then transfer to the refrigerator for 1 week to ferment longer. I fermented mine for about 48 hours, but next time I think I’ll do 1 week for softer cabbage and a more intense fermented flavor.
  • The longer you ferment the kimchi, the tangier and intense the flavor will be, and the more tender the cabbage will become. From what I’ve read, I wouldn’t ferment for more than 21 days.
  • Each day it ferments, open up and press down with a clean utensil, such as a spoon, to press out air bubbles and ensure the kimchi is immersed in liquid. A good sign of proper fermentation is seeing little bubbles in the sauce when you press down.
  • A good indicator of when it’s done fermenting is the smell. If it smells pleasant to the nose and tangy, like the kimchi you’re used to trying, it’s probably ready to transfer to the refrigerator.
  • Kimchi will keep in the refrigerator for at least 3-4 weeks, and even months. You’ll know it’s gone bad if mold has formed or the smell is sour or unpleasant.
  • How to enjoy kimchi?! This makes a great addition or side to any Asian dish, such as Easy Vegan Fried Rice, Vietnamese Spring Rolls, or General Tso’s Tofu Stir Fry.


*Prep time does not include fermenting for longer than 36 hours.
*If you can’t find Korean chili flakes you can use red pepper flakes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with 1 tsp sea salt (since some gets washed off) and without optional ingredients.
*I learned everything I know about kimchi from eating copious amounts of kimchi in Korea, and studying this helpful resource from Maangchi – an oasis for Korean cooking.

Nutrition (1 of 15 servings)

Serving: 1 servings Calories: 38 Carbohydrates: 7.6 g Protein: 1.8 g Fat: 0.6 g Saturated Fat: 0 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.06 g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 348 mg Potassium: 272 mg Fiber: 1.7 g Sugar: 3.2 g Vitamin A: 200 IU Vitamin C: 23.1 mg Calcium: 40 mg Iron: 0.9 mg
Using chopsticks to grab a bite of our delicious vegan kimchi

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  1. John & Jon says

    Wondering how fermentation occurs since he salt is rinsed off and none added to the mix after? Also why do some use rice flour and water and you choose not to?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Rice flour and water helps thicken the sauce, but we didn’t find it necessary. And fermentation doesn’t rely on salt. Find more information here.

  2. Chris W says

    I was skeptical at first as I wanted to make it authentic as I could. I doubled the recipe and followed your instructions to a T. I tried it after it was made and was worried in wouldn’t turn out as it seemed to lack salt. I fermented 3 days and saw a lot of activity in the jars and had to push down the kimchi to get air bubbles out as it was over flowing. I tasted it and was amazed. Worried for 3 days for nothing. I am refrigerating one jar and experimenting with the other two jars by letting them ferment a little longer. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Chris. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

      • Kat says

        Hi, it didn’t say about putting the liquid in when putting in the cabbage in the instructions! So I have left it over night, should in throw it away or can I add the liquid now? Thanks kat

  3. Chris Lassaline says

    I make this on a regular basis, I do two heads of Napa cabbage at a time. A couple of differences:
    I salt the cabbage and let sit overnight, up to 24 hours before rinsing
    I do not use the coconut sugar or pineapple juice but instead use a couple of persimmons when available or peaches for the sauce. Also I use two sheets of Nori in the sauce.
    Two other small things, i use julienne daikon in equal amounts to the carrot.
    When making the sauce I put all the ingredients for the fish sauce and the sauce in the food processor together.
    This is a great recipe, my friends ask me to make it for them also and even my Korean friends love it.

  4. Bec says

    I really want to try making this kimchi because the best tasting vegan kimchi I have tried is super expensive and hard to find!! I recently bought some vegan fish sauce and I was wondering if that would work instead or would the flavour be too strong? It smells and tastes very very intense but I don’t remember what real fish sauce is like. It’s not sweet either like I feel like your alternative would be

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Traditional kimchi has fish sauce or at least dried shrimp. We haven’t tried it with anything other than what this recipe calls for. But if you give it a try let us know how it goes!

  5. Dale says

    I’ve started fermenting and wanted to try kimchi again. I can’t stand fish sauce! So, I looked for a vegan recipe and I have to say I really like this recipe! I changed a couple things, I didn’t have chili flakes on hand, so I used sriracha instead and let one jar ferment a full week and just tried it and love the flavor. I’ve got two more large jars that I’ll continue to ferment another week or so. Thanks so much, I’ll be making this again for sure!

  6. Zoe says

    I just made my first batch of kimchi and I’m so excited to try it. I did a have a quick question regarding fermentation. When you are stuffing your jars with kimchi does it have to be all the way to the top? I have one jar that is only half full. Is that going to affect the taste? I’m new to fermentation.


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      It doesn’t have to be all the way to the top, but it is ideal. In that instance just be sure that you lay a leaf of cabbage on top so there’s not much air getting directly to the kimchi. If possible though, use a smaller jar/container so it reaches the top!

  7. Vimala says

    The recipe is excellent! Made my first batch and will be making another pretty soon. Thank you very much for sharing all you wonderful recipes!

  8. mariann metzer says

    This recipe has fish sauce in it. Therefore it’s not vegan. I left it out and the pineapple juice.
    Great flavor!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      The “fish sauce” in this recipe is actually a vegan take on fish sauce – that’s where the pineapple juice comes in (for the tang).

    • Chari says

      VEGAN FISH SAUCE (from Vegan Miam)

      2 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce if not gluten-free)
      2 Tbsp coconut sugar (plus more to taste)
      1/4 cup pineapple juice (from a can)
      1/4 cup warm water

  9. Suse says

    Easy to follow, absolutely delicious and addictive. Found your website because I started fermenting. I haven’t had heard if kimchi before and now I spread the word (and jars) to everybody.
    Best greeting from the west of Poland, Susanna

  10. Sandri says

    Hi Dana,

    I made your kimchi recipe. It looks delicious! But I didn’t use pineapple juice, will that still be ok??

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sandri, we haven’t tried this without pineapple juice and aren’t sure whether it works! Our guess is that it won’t have the same flavor, but might still be okay. Let us know how it goes!

  11. Celine says

    Hi Dana,

    Have been trying to look for a good kimchi vegan recipe to try so I’m happy to have come across yours! Thanks for this! I have a question though, instead of using soy sauce or tamari for the fish sauce, since I can’t have soy, do you think I can use coco aminos?

    Thanks a lot!


  12. Naomi says

    Hi there…just trying this recipe for the first time. I have it fermenting in a larger jar to leave space so it doesn’t explode when opening. My question is if it doesn’t appear to have enough liquid and looks a little dry and pasty should I add a little salt water or something? I began the ferment a day and a half ago and pressing down daily but it doesn’t look quite like your photos. Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can add a little water to cover, but otherwise, just keep pushing down and monitoring!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Brittny, we haven’t tried that and aren’t sure how it would turn out. But if you give it a try, we would love to hear how it goes!

  13. josh says

    i toned mine down with less red pepper and WOW its still so spicy and tangy! i fermented mine for a week so it could achieve full flavor and it VERY sour. it’s not so good as a stand alone, but i’m sure its amazing on some eggs or rice. looking forward to experimenting with flavors!

  14. Fong says

    Made kimchi for the first ever with your recipe. Turn our very tasty except that it was a tat too sour but that cos i substituted the pineapple juice with a dash of lemon. Learnt my lesson. Never use lemon lol. But it was great for cooking!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      ha, glad you enjoyed it otherwise! Next time would you mind adding a rating to your review? It’s super helpful to us and other readers! xxoo

  15. Ronna says

    I’ve made lots of kimchi and never seem to get the perfect combination like the ones I buy at the store.. until now! This is by far my very favorite kimchi recipe yet. I will be only making my own from now on. Thank you for sharing this. I think the vegan “fish sauce” is what made all the difference.

  16. Bill Simms says

    I have made this recipe several times now and it is always great! I thought I’d share some of my experiences.
    First off, don’t seal the container as I first did! When I first checked the kimchi, the lid flew up to the ceiling and cabbage shot out of the jar! Since this, I have left my lid loose and only filled 3/4 or so to the top of the container which works much better. I tried to ferment one batch in a mixing bowl with a pot cover on it but it didn’t turn out as nice where the cabbage wasn’t fully submerged in liquid. A big jar or two works much better.
    I find this amount of red pepper a lot even though I LOVE spicy foods so I have found 6 or 7 Tbsp of red pepper to work better for me. In my most recent batch I didn’t have coconut sugar so I used maple syrup and WOW it is tasting great!
    Finally, I have found it best to refrigerate this slightly BEFORE it’s as sour as you like. I had one batch that tasted perfect on the counter but then after continuing to slowly ferment in the fridge it ended up a little too sour for my taste.
    Thanks Dana!

  17. Charlesvincent says

    Great recipe for a vegan kimchi!
    I failed to push down the cabbage everyday and was wondering why juice was dripping down from the jar….when it was the final day I opened it and yea it went everywhere. Nevertheless a lesson learned! The only thing I 6sis different was instead of pineapple juice I ended up using chunks of fresh pineapple (juice wasn’t working at the time). Turned out great.

  18. Susan says

    This is my go-to recipe! Easy to make with every day ingredients, good directions and excellent end product!
    I make larger batches b/c my grown kids LOVE this stuff! :)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  19. Rhys Palfrey says

    Hey there,
    I was wondering if I did step 10 correctly. I poured away the salt water residue that was remaining in the bowl and just mixed the dried cabbage leaves with the chilli sauce. Is that correct? I didn’t need to keep the salt water and add that in too?
    Many thanks

  20. Marisa K. says

    We just made our second batch of this stuff in a week! Love the vibrant flavors and simplicity! The 1/2 cup of chili flake as you said was a bit spicy for us so we went down to 1/3 cup this time. Wondering if there is an advantage to leaving the cabbage as a whole head before adding the salt as you do and then separating them later on as opposed to separating the leaves in the beginning before salting them?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So glad you enjoy this recipe, Marisa! Thanks for the lovely review! We find that it makes the process of rinsing off the excess salt more streamlined, but either way should work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Either of those options would be fine! We prefer to use coconut sugar for the added nutrients. Hope that helps!

    • Mary says

      Just make sure, if your’re vegan and don’t already know this, that if you use conventional “white” table sugar, you choose sugar made from sugar beets, not sugar from cane. Part of the purification process with cane sugar uses bone ash.

  21. Leonor E Teague-Rosas says

    Do you have to use the red pepper flakes ? Can you take it out ? I can’t really eat spicy things .

  22. Dani says

    i just made this recipe and have it fermenting in my cupboard. i have never tried kimchi, but need more fermented foods in my diet, and your site is my go-to for new ideas! i hate buying something when i can easily make it myself. i just wanted to say that my batch made 1 3 cup, 2 2 cup, and 1 1cup mason jar full of kimchi. i rolled each leaf before i put it in, and squished it down. i ended up using the whole batch of sauce on my huge cabbage, and there was already lots of liquid in each jar before i was done bottling. i can’t wait to eat it on my buddha bowls!! thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      So glad you enjoyed it, Dani! Thanks so much for the lovely review! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers! xo

  23. Johanna says

    My ‘sugar’ in my kimchi is just apples, but I am looking forward to trying it with pineapple and a little coconut sugar. I also add miso.

  24. Krista says

    Is red pepper flakes the same as red chili flakes? I love spice but a half cup of the McCormick red pepper flakes I have at home might stop my heart or give me an ulcer. Please help! I am ready to make this but am scared for my body! Haha.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Krista, you can certainly use less if you are concerned! Red pepper flakes are the same as red chili flakes, yes.

  25. Kathy says

    What would be a good substitute for the pineapple juice? Wondering if it’s the acidity that’s important?
    Maybe regular apple with lemon juice?
    Totally want to make this, just need to be able to eat it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm I’m not sure. We’ve only used pineapple juice and can’t say for sure, but if you experiment with this recipe, report back on how it goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried other types, but let us know if you give it a try! The flavor/texture might be a little different, but it should still be good!

  26. Amy says

    I made this over the weekend and let it ferment on the counter for 4 days – I was planning on a week but literally couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve already eaten 1/3 of it! Planning on making a bigger batch next time and putting it in multiple jars so I can taste the difference with a longer ferment. This is my second time ever making kimchi, and this recipe is FAR superior to what I used before. I love the addition of carrots instead of radish, and the sweetness from the pineapple juice. Perfect!

  27. amyex says

    I made this last week and it’s delicious. Tastes exactly like the Kimchi i usually get in restaurants or from the supermarket. Completely addicted and almost finished the whole jar already. Gonna be another regular recipe to add to my repertoire. Thank you.

  28. Trenee says

    What’s a good sub for the pineapple juice? I tend to avoid canned products and I don’t really buy fresh pineapple as I rarely eat it

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm I’m not sure. We’ve only used pineapple juice and can’t say for sure, but if you experiment with this recipe, report back on how it goes!

  29. Amy says

    I’ve just made this (its looks delicious) but the kimchee doesn’t reach the top of the jar – there’s about 8cm space above. Will this still work, or is there something I can fill this space with?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rena! While we do recommend using a sugar, you can use normal granulated sugar instead of coconut sugar!

  30. Jonna appleby says

    I modified this recipe using miso paste red and red chili garlic sauce I do feel the amount of ginger is overpowering was looking for the tang it tasted so hot I added pineapple juice let’s see how it comes but doesn’t have the red juice and looks kinda dry Ish let’s see in three days how it looks .. I’m excited to experiment ty again minimalist baker again ur recipes never fail me

  31. Ashley landwehr says

    I made this for my boyfriend who’s a huge fan of kimchi. He hasn’t found a good vegan one in stores…he said this was better than the traditonal!

  32. Yeongseon says

    Thank you for the recipe. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve always wanted to make vegan kimchi with soy sauce. As a Korean, I eat kimchi every day. I’m excited to try vegan kimchi.

  33. Peggy says

    Just made this. Smells amazing and looks excellent. Now waiting for the fermentation. Thanks for the recipe.

  34. Iam says

    Hai Dana, can I use Tropicana pineapple juice instead of canned pineapple juice? Can you please help me with this

  35. Rachel says

    This is so delicious! I’ve finally opened the first jar after a week in the basement and then another week in the fridge. It tastes perfect! I’m having it with my breakfast, on top of porridge with sautéed garlic, spinach & mushrooms. (If you haven’t discovered Savory porridge your life is not complete.) My only comment for this recipe is that I wish I’d cut up the leaves before putting them in the jar. With the big quartered pieces, it’s hard to scoop out just a bit from the jar at a time and I ended up slicing it up before putting it on my dish. Other than that – perfection! Thanks for another gem :)

  36. Cheyenne L says

    She clearly stated this was not traditional Kimche, but a simplified vegan version. This site is for vegans, and it is free. There is absolutely no reason to be rude.

  37. HL Kitz says

    Question…. why are you using carrots instead of Daikon? (Korean Radishes)

    I made your recipe with the exception of the carrots… they seem like they would completely change the flavor of the Kimchee… other than that, you recipe was very good! ?

  38. Deb says

    I just found you while surfing, looking for new plant based recipes! So excited to try more of your recipes. I made this kimchi the other day and when it overflows I drink the liquid! It is so good I have to stop myself from eating the whole jar. This recipe is a keeper and I will make this again!

  39. Jacquie says

    Hello there, I made your kimchi this week, but for the 48 hour check in/press down as well as the next day (today), the kimchi liquid has bubbled (fermented) out of the jars and made a huge mess! I’m confused. Does that mean it’s done? I left about a 1 inch headspace and used sterile jars/lids.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jacquie, it sounds like yours was extra active! A good indicator of when it’s done fermenting is the smell. If it smells pleasant to the nose and tangy, it’s probably ready to transfer to the refrigerator.

  40. Mabelle says

    I made this and it’s was delicious! Making my second batch now :-) I packed it with too much salt last time so this time I will not make the same mistake :-) thanks Dana!

  41. Ratna Bhusal says

    Thanks for this recipe. Can’t wait to try. I just watched Maangchi’s video on how to make kimchi and was just thinking that your recipe is very similar (means it’s traditional!) but I’m glad that you’ve given managable portion size as supposed to 10 pounds of cabbage like in her video! Anyway, you mentioned that you don’t want to over ferment it. How do you ‘stop’ the fermentation process? Does it stop fermenting once you put it in the fridge? Last question, is there any way to tell if the kimchi we’ve made has bad bacteria in it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ratna, A good indicator of when it’s done fermenting is the smell. If it smells pleasant to the nose and tangy, like the kimchi you’re used to trying, it’s probably ready to transfer to the refrigerator. That will ‘stop’ the fermentation process.

  42. Nastasya says

    Hi Dana! We just made our first batch with this recipe last night and it is currently fermenting in the cupboard. Can’t wait to try it! One question, when you say “I fermented mine for about 48 hours, but next time I think I’ll do 1 week for softer cabbage and a more intense fermented flavor.” Are you referring to the stage when you ferment in the cupboard or fridge? I love old, tangy kimchi so I want to make sure I get the most out of my fermentation. Thanks in advance and thank you for sharing this recipe with us!

  43. Debbie says

    How much is a ‘generous’ amount of sea salt? Many comments mentioned they over salted there Kimchi. Could you estimate the sea salt in teaspoon or tablespoon amounts please? Thankyou

  44. Stacey says

    Hello! I acquired some gochugaru and I was hoping you could tell me how to use it in this recipe. Thank you! ??

  45. gdavies says

    Oh my gosh. So first two caveats….
    1) I hate kimchi with a passion. After recovering from a severe parasite and only being able to keep down broth and rice gruel for a month, I open my fridge to discover my roomate’s “present”. He worked in the school cafeteria and had brought home a literal vat of kimchi…uncovered…in my fridge… I was already queasy, so the story tells itself.
    2) I have a sensitive digestion tract (gasp) and am currently on the GAPS diet after a very terribly scary awful event. So far I’m not on full/past stage 6 so I’m limited in what I can eat but fermented foods are advised.
    …So I gave kimchi a try, since I had the ingredients. But my podunk town lacked fish sauce and fish sauce creeps me out.

    So I found your recipe and made it.

    My aunt likes Kimchi and had two helpings of mine. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I sneak a forkful. It resembles nothing of the moldy-sock-diaper-turpentine-chili pepper kimchi I found in the fridge that one time, or similar store bought versions. Nope, this stuff is deeee-lish. It’s a great mini-snack and no one else likes it so I keep it all to myself :)

  46. Leigh-Ann Draheim says

    Made it up and its ready to put in jars! Instead of pineapple juice I put a few chunks of fresh pineapple. I put all of the sauce and “fake fish sauce” ingredients in the blender. I didn’t have carrots so using daikon and carrots. Even fresh it tastes amazing! We are excited about this one.

  47. Natalia says

    I’m so glad I found it! I made it, it smells delicious. As my glass was already full I used the rest to marinate my Tempeh & chickpeas & roasted it in the oven , while I made a quick vegetable soup with coriander & added the Tempeh & Chickpea mix to the soup when I served it. Thank you for the inspiration!

  48. amanda fimiani says

    I made this last night but used fish sauce and about 2 – 3 tbsp and i think because of this it didn’t make enough kimchi paste to cover my whole cabbage. Just a heads up! It’s delicious though I can;t wait to eat all of it and do it again :D x

  49. Teddy says

    I’ve made this and it smells very nice just like store bought kimchi. But the kimchi i made was too salty. Is it because i used too much salt? And i didnt use sea salt like the recipe said. Any ideas on how to save my kimchi?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Teddy! The reason that your kimchi turned out too salty is very likely because you did not use sea salt. This is a pretty common problem. I don’t have any ideas on how to fix it but next time, be sure to use sea salt!

  50. Chae Yeon says

    My father is Korean, while my mom is Jamaican. For my siblings and I that meant awesome fusion dishes with plenty of, you guessed it, kimchi. I made this with my paternal grandmother, and she says it’s pretty good(basically a Korean stamp of approval). For the people who are reading the comments for tips, keep in mind that this recipe isn’t ideal for fermentation, as a matter of fact, it’s best to eat this within 10 days. This is mainly because it lacks a strong starch like potato or rice, an essential ingredient for kimchi fermentation. Also, I recommend using fine KOREAN chilli flakes(usually labeled “chilli powder” at local Asian markets). It’s made with peppers that have a softer and milder spice, and impacts kimchi flavor greatly. This Geotjeori kimchi recipe is great for a quick snack, though. It really keeps that fresh kimchi flavor nicely.

  51. Don says

    Love this. Keeps in the fridge a long time. Making it again today. It’s become my “go to” for kimchee. Thanks!

  52. Racheal says

    I have made this now a handful of times. My husband who is vegan and loves spice requests this monthly. This time I’ve tried saving smaller glass jars to put it in so that he doesn’t have to eat the whole 4 cups in one day. Not sure he’ll appreciate that or not. Lol.

  53. Lucy says

    Thinking about making this. I’ve made Saukraut before but it was waaay too salty for me. How much salt approximately do you think we need to use in this recipe?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I don’t think this was too salty at all! Follow the recipe as instructed and you should be good. It’s also a “to taste” sauce so you’ll be able to tell there!

  54. Monica says

    I actually canned this (like sealing it in the water bath & everyting), because I’m a western girl & am scared to ferment my own things in my own home. I’ve just opened one of the jars (let it sit for a week) and it’s really good! I’m hoping it gets better in the fridge…maybe next time I’ll be brave and let it ferment on the counter!
    I’ll definitely be making this again! It’s the kind of recipe that once you make it the first time, you’ll get faster & better the next few times!

  55. Steffi says

    I don’t like super sour kimchi. When it gets to that stage, I make soup out of it by mixing it with some stock and adding more veggies. For non-vegetarians, adding pork makes a really delicious soup. Putting it into soup takes away the sourness while retaining all the flavor.

  56. Miwa says

    I see from the picture… and whenever I’ve bought kimchi that it’s really packed into the jar.
    I followed this recipe and put my kimchi in a jar, but it didn’t fill all the way to the top… so curious what to do in that case?

    I could put something in this jar, and place a weight to push down, and get the liquid above the weight to make it anaerobic (like how i make sauerkraut)

    Is that recommended?

    • Monica says

      Yeah, me too! I was thinking that next time I would make 1 & 1/2 times the sauce (or even double the sauce). Or, let it ferment for 1-2 days, then go about the canning process (to preserve it for when I REALLY want kimchi, but don’t feel like making it)! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Miwa, it sounds like maybe your cabbage was on the smaller end? You can try topping the kimchi with a whole cabbage leaf to help with keeping it down!

  57. bernie says


    probably breaking the 10 ingredient rule but 1 level dessert spoon red miso and dulse flakes give great umami……

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hmm we’re not sure. We’ve only used pineapple juice and don’t have another recommendation, but if you experiment with this recipe, report back on how it goes!

  58. Jake says

    I just made a batch, and am wondering if I messed it up. Are you supposed to add additional salt each time you flip the cabbage, or only salt for the first coating?

    I salted each time I flipped, and the cabbage seems extremely salty, even after excessive rinsing.

    I’m worried that I just ruined the batch. :/

    The sauce turned out great though, best vegan kimchi recipe I’ve seen!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jake, the salting is just the initial time. Next time, try that and it should help with the saltiness!

  59. Julia says

    Yum, yum! I am curious about the salting, waiting, and flipping process of the cabbage. What would happen if I sprinkled salt all over the cabbage and gently massaged it for a few minutes (like making kraut) until it wilts/softens? Does that have the same effect? Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      You need to let the salt work its magic for that long and soften the cabbage. I wouldn’t recommend skipping this step!

  60. Azza says

    Dana, this recipe is amazing! I live in Cairo, Egypt where there are about 4-5 Korean restaurants and absolutely no Korean specialty stores, so finding a recipe that uses ingredients I can easily find at the vegetable market/grocery store is so convenient! I was also a little wary of how hard it can be to pack any preserved food properly in a sterilized jar and I was always scared of attempting it, but thanks to your easy explanation I am more excited to take it on. Thank you!

  61. Kiera says

    I just want to comment here that it’s really important when fermenting vegetables to make sure that the veggies are submerged in your brine. Basically you need to create an anaerobic environment so that the good bacteria you want can go to work, and bad bacteria doesn’t have a chance to grow.

    Also, I’m not sure that your recipe has enough salt for you to safely ferment for longer than a day or two. Normally the brine ratio is 1 TBS of salt for every 1 1/2 lbs of vegetables. The fact that you rinse the salt off in your recipe might mean that the brine is not salty enough to safely ferment.

    I don’t want to discourage people from fermenting food – I just think it’s important to do it safely and not poison yourself. A good resource on fermentation is the author Sandor Katz.

    • Joan says

      Salt is meeely a flavour enhancer and does not provide any safety for your ferment. As long as the veg are submerged, they should be fine. Look up Sandor Katz for further info.
      I safely ferment fruit and veg in straight water, wild ferments, no mould or negative microbes.

      • Dave says

        For many fermentation recipes, especially those using grains and vegetables, salt is a critical ingredient. Salt, when used in the right proportions, creates an environment within which we are able to better control the growth of microorganisms and have a happier ferment. It will also keep your vegetables more crisp.

        Some fermentations such as yoghurt and other beverages which don’t use salt require a strenuously sterile environment if everything is to come out well. While the first defense is always cleanliness (I always scrub my hands thoroughly, wash the fermenting vessel well and clean my work surface prior to getting to work), salt gives a fermentation project extra level of protection, creating an environment where harmful microorganisms have a difficult time thriving while not hindering the growth of the bacteria and or yeast which is beneficial to the fermentation and your health.

  62. Sol says

    This posting excited me to see how Kimchi can be interpreted into Vegan recipe:) I learned to make Kimchi from my Korean mom for the first time in the last summer. I want to let you know that there are various kinds of Kimchi such as Raddish, cucumber and even “white”(no red pepper paste) Kimchies! If youre one of those passionate spicy food lovers, I think givng some time to research will inspire you:)

  63. Amy says

    Actually sour Kim Chi is quite good. When I was in Korean, they made Kim Chi in the fall and made enough for the whole year. By the time summer came around, the Kim Chi was quite sour. It was good. They used to put it on the BBQ and cook it. Yum!

  64. Jodie says

    Hallelujah! I have been looking for a great vegan kimchi recipe for a while now!
    Thank you so much, I can’t wait to check it out, I’ve got some “make your own tempeh” on my site if your interested, it’s really good.
    Absolutely love your site, you and John have been a huge inspiration to me, I don’t know how you do it Dana, every recipe you make trumps the previous one! John’s video tutorials are ACE and It would have taken me forever with out them. Thanks Guys x x

  65. Alexa [fooduzzi.com] says

    YAY! I’m so thrilled this worked out, Dana! I’ve been secretly stalking your site since I saw you making this on Snapchat a few weeks ago :) MUST try!

  66. Sam says

    You say to put it in the fridge to keep it fermenting for up to a week, but doesn’t putting it in the fridge stop fermentation? I’m new to this so just clarifying :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sam! From what I understand it continues fermenting, but not as rapidly. So for a quicker, more active fermentation, leave it at room temp for up to 21 days (see notes)!

  67. Susan Pantle says

    Happy Birthday to John!! We share b-days!!

    Kimchi is a brave endeavor – not a fan!! But not meant to dampen your accomplishment!!

  68. Joanna says

    Love this! I hope you use Korean chili flakes next time. The Korean chili flakes definitely makes the taste more prominent and authentic than just regularl ones.

  69. Jess says

    Hi Dana,

    This may be sacrilege, but if I was to use actual fish sauce rather than the vegan recipe substitute, how much should I use? I like the ease and simplicity of your recipe, looking forward to trying it! :)

  70. Puja Darshan says

    I have never heard of this recipe. So this is something very new to me, I think this is something very much similar to pickle.
    Trying it this weekend!!!

  71. Krista says

    I’ve been known to grab a fork and eat directly out of those big bulk size Kimchi jars from Costco. That’s how much I love kimchi. I’ve always wanted to make it myself but I’m a bit intimidated by the lengthy process. Your homemade version looks to be right up my alley. Can’t wait to try it!

    • HL Kitz says

      I do the same thing with my jars of Kimchee!!! I could eat this stuff every day… oh wait, I do! Except when I run out and have to wait for my husband to drive me over to my favorite little hole in the wall Korean store to buy a giant gallon sized pickle jar of authentic homemade Kimchee by Mrs. Sun Joo Kim!!!! And if I forget to bring my pickle jar back with me, I get a stern tongue lashing and have to pay full price for my LITTLE jar of Kimchee ? I haven’t forgotten my jar since! Those giant jars are hard to come by… so, if you bring them back, she will knock $3.00 off the price… if you don’t bring it back then she won’t let you buy a big jar of it until you do! She is so funny… a super sweet lady… she has a full refrigerated section filled with NOTHING BUT KIMCHEE!!!

    • Marlene Renz says

      I can’t wait to try this. After visiting my daughter in Hawaii 2 years ago, I’ve been buying jarred Kimchi in a local store. I do my own canning every year of pickles, sauerkraut, tomato sauce etc. so this can’t be much different. I also love Chow chow, which sounds similar to this. It’s from a very old Pennsylvania Dutch church recipe book.

  72. Sarah says

    Hot dang! I have been wanting to try this. Any recipe of yours I’ve EVER tried is fabulous so I am going to give this a go! PS. I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t want to eat fermented fish??? ;P

  73. Mel @ The Refreshanista says

    I made kimchi once before but I did not have a replacement for fish sauce. I definitely have to try this one, it’s such a fun process to make your own!

  74. Eileen says

    I was still digesting the wonderfulness of Snickers Cheesecake.
    And now you throw this at me? I don’t have to bury it/add fishy parts to it?

    All Hail the Minimalist Baker.
    And many happy returns of the day to John.

  75. Celeste | The Whole Serving says

    It has been a vert long time since I’ve had kimchi, I will definitely be giving this a try.

  76. Georgie says

    This looks so good, have had some excellent Kimchi since living in the US, but never thought about trying to make it myself!

    • Tom ~ Raise Your Garden says

      Same here. Of course, there’s lot of food I’ve never considered making myself when ordering take-out. But…..this kimchi sounds stellar. I really like spice in my life (gimme some good ole Frank’s Red Hot sauce produced in my hometown here!!) Red pepper flakes. Can’t get enough of them. Ok, this is going on my nag-myself-to-do list.

  77. dixya @ food, pleasure, and health says

    i love kimchi in general but i have never thought about making it at home..your version looks simple for me to give it a try soon. happy birthday to john :)