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
4.74 from 63 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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My Rating:

  1. Kaity Weber says

    Getting ready to make this for the second time this week and I am so excited! I feel like I learned a couple of things the first time as far as adjustments for this time (like I should cut my cabbage pieces smaller and use less pepper flakes lol.) But in general, this recipe was ridiculously easy for an amateur fermenter like myself and I look forward to doing it again!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad the recipe was helpful, Kaity. Thank you for sharing your experience! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yes! It’s a little sweeter and not as salty, so you can adjust by using more of it and reducing the amount of sugar. Hope that helps!

  2. Saskia says

    Currently needing to eat soy free, and so missing kimchi. Do you think I could replace tamari with coco-aminos? Or something else that is vegan gluten free and soy free?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Saskia, yes, coconut aminos would work! We’d suggest using slightly more of it because it’s not as salty and reducing the amount of sugar because it’s sweeter. Hope that helps!

  3. Renee says

    I really do not like to use sugar in my cooking. Will this recipe work with just the pineapple juice?

  4. Monica says

    This is my favorite recipe of Kimchi! I have tried several recipes, but this one is so well-balanced, without getting too spicy.( I love spicy foods, but have gut issues, and this recipe does not trigger me like others do…..) It has the perfect balance of spice/sour/sweet! Bravo!

  5. A says

    Hi! I love this recipe and it has been my go-to for years. It works great with Napa cabbage and you can scale the recipe up to make huge batches with success! My question is has anyone tried using it to ferment other vegetables besides napa? I want to swap the cabbage for diced daikon radish (kkakdugi)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe! Other readers have reported adding some daikon to the recipe with success, especially in place of the carrots. We’re not sure about using just daikon, but we don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Let us know if you try it!

  6. Sus says

    Love this recipe and my first time making kimchi. So much better than store bought! I ran out of coconut sugar so used brown instead. Will definitely make this again and I love the spice levels….perfect with my bowl of roast veggies and quinoa. Thank you

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe, Sus! And yum – that bowl sounds delicious :) Thank you for the lovely review! xo

  7. sam cha says

    I’m Korean. I have some notes:

    1. Kimchi is not a condiment. Not unless you think dill pickles are a condiment.

    2. FULL BODY CRINGE at the thought of using “standard” red chili pepper flakes. (Whose standard? Not that of the people who invented kimchi, that’s for sure.) They don’t have the right flavor. Nor do they have the right level of heat.

    3. Koreans *already* make vegan kimchi. Instead of using coconut sugar and pineapple–neither of which are things that are made from plants that actually grow in Korea–why not do what actual Koreans do and just skip the faux fish sauce in favor of a little extra salt + some honey + some grated apple or Korean pear?

    4. Leave the garlic and ginger out of the blender–you’re supposed to get little tasty garlic and ginger specks in the kimchi. If that seems like a lot of knifework–well, do it anyway. Your tastebuds will thank you.

    5. Other than that… not bad?

    • Monica says

      Sam Cha – Speaking for the spice-challenged, here: Yes, dill pickles ARE a condiment(, and I could eat half a jar-full in one sitting, as I like to do with Kimchi,) and cannot do with MOST Kimchi recipes…… Fortunately, as this recipe does not have large flecks of garlic or ginger and is not overly-spicy, it does not trigger a full-on IBS attack, like other recipes! I am going to try the authentic Korean spice next time, mildly, thanks for the suggestion, and will see if my gut can handle it. However, I really appreciate the Minimalist Baker recipe’s vegan faux fish sauce, as I do not need the extra sodium from extra salt, per your suggestion, and as any vegan knows, honey is not vegan.

      • Alana says

        I’ll admit Sam Cha’s comment was a bit harsh in tone, but as a Korean vegan who’s been making my own kimchi in the US for years, I, too, find this recipe disappointing and insulting, particularly with its suggestion to use regular pepper flakes. I understand it’s meant to reach more folks who may not have access to Korean red pepper flakes. But perhaps the recipe should’ve been presented with that (I did not get the impression that they tried the recipe with the Korean pepper flakes at all) and note that for those who cannot find it, they can try with regular pepper flakes because they have tested it and was satisfied with the outcome. As you noted, after all, it’s as easy as ordering from Amazon if not from your local Asian grocery store.

        There are hundreds of traditional kimchi variations and many modern interpretations/recipes, but none I’ve seen attempted to make one without *the* defining ingredient of this banchan (no, not a condiment, regardless of what people think of dill pickles) unless you are making the white kimchi (baek kimchi) in which case you would leave it out altogether. I would’ve expected many would empathize with our wish for others to enjoy this food that we hold so much cultural importance to in ways we intended. We are long fed up with our geographic neighbors trying to claim it as their own, so we are sensitive. I’ve enjoyed many recipes from this site, but I wish the team would’ve given a bit of thought into the culture that “inspired” this recipe and what may be cultural appropriation. Then maybe this would’ve not been one of the first recipes that came up when I googled “vegan kimchi”. Enjoy the dish you created, but don’t call it kimchi.

        For those searching for vegan kimchi recipes, I recommend ones from Maangchi and Cheap Lazy Vegan. I will also note that kelp powder/granules are a popular substitution to give vegan kimchi the flavor of the sea.

  8. Tracy says

    I absolutely love this recipe, I feel the pineapple juice gives the perfect sweetness and tangy flavour when combined with the other ingredients. I’ve made it a few times now. I usually add daikon radish into it as well. This time I fermented it in a large food grade bucket for a week at room temperature before placing in jars into the fridge.

  9. Johnny says

    Wondering if making this is like making sauerkraut? I don’t see anything in the directions about keeping the kimchi submerged under the brine solution. When I make my sauerkraut, I fold a cabbage leaf so that it fits on top of the kraut (and stays in place) and then cover all that with brine. You don’t want the kraut exposed to air and the cabbage leaf and brine accomplish that.

    Is kimchi different in that regard?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Johnny, there should be enough liquid to cover the cabbage. You can add a little water to cover as needed, but otherwise, just keep pushing down and monitoring! Hope that helps!

  10. Laura says

    Should this kimchi be put into a hot sterilised jar before fermentation or should the jar be cooled down before packing in the kimchi?

  11. Julia says

    can i use regular cabbage? i live in costa rica and its hard to find savoy cabbage, or what other veg I can substitute. thanks a lot

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Julia, regular cabbage has a slightly different texture and we haven’t tried it ourselves, but we think it could work! Let us know how it goes!

  12. Quinn C says

    This is a great recipe! I make this regularly so I always have a few jars in the fridge (kimchi fried rice, yum). I like it really spicy so I add fresh habaneros and do a mix of different dry peppers (gochugaru, thai, red pepper flakes). I usually use half the sugar and omit the carrot, but the green onions are a must for me. I keep it in the cupboard for about a week before moving into the fridge and haven’t ever had a problem (I also live in a cooler climate). I like how flexible the recipe is; I do something different each time and it’s always turned out great.

  13. Ed says

    This is my first try I added too much salt in the first step and had to discard the whole batch. Hope I do better next time.

  14. susanne schulz says

    Thanks for such a perfectly simple and delicious recipe! Have made many times now and we are seriously addicted! So much better than store bought.. I use large heads of cabbage which we rough chop,salt and and stir every half hour for 2h. We usually end up with 2 full quart jars. I’ve run out of coconut sugar and subbed 3 tbsp maple syrup–amazing! Needed to use mango juice once. I’ve subbed leek and another time, red onion, for the green onion. And for this latest batch, I added a few handfuls of kelp shreds. So beautiful sitting on my kitchen counter and I look forward to the daily taste tests lol. Will try daikon strips instead of carrot for the next batch. A half cup is perfect amount of red pepper powder- I use Sempio brand Gochugaru (for Kimchi). xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy the recipe, Susanne! Thank you so much for the lovely review and for sharing all your creative modifications! xo

  15. Danielle Draper says

    I absolutely loved this recipe, I used an extra small half of normal cabbage, a couple of extra spring onions and one extra carrot. I only used three TBS of the Korean chilli powder which was perfect, I also added one ripe pear, and 1 TBS of fish sauce for a bit of funkyness……the best kimchi batch I’ve made….Thankyou 😊

  16. Theresa says

    Waaaaaaaaay 2 spicy. Did less chilli flakes too. Reccomend 1/2 of what the recipe lists. Not enjoyable to eat too spicy.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Theresa, sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy the level of heat! Were you using Korean red chili flakes?

  17. Ari says

    I love this recipe! I sub real fish sauce these days, but I’ve made this time and time again and it always turns out SO good! I’ve found around day 7 the fermentation is PERFECTION. Thanks for a fabulous recipe, MinimalistBaker!

    To all of you who haven’t made it yet, DO IT!

  18. Alessia says

    Really really tasty, just maybe too much spice. I normally enjoy spicy food, but id recommend going with a bot less chilli :) i used about 1kg of cabbage and 34g of chilli and it was just way too much otherwise i will very much repeat this

  19. Malini says

    Hi. Thanks so much for posting delicious and healthy recipes. I am making the kimchi and noticed some fermenting that some liquid leaks out of the bottle although the lid is tight. Is this normal? Should I place the lid loosely over the jar? Thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Malini! It’s definitely normal for there to be some bubbling and possibly leakage due to fermentation. You could drain a bit of excess liquid if needed, as long as there is just enough to cover the cabbage, and once in the refrigerator it can be helpful to leave the lid slightly loose so there isn’t too much pressure building up! Thanks for the review and the 5 stars! xo

      • Malini says

        Thanks so much for the guidance. I left the lids loose in the fridge and topped off the jars with extra pineapple juice to cover the cabbage. The kimchi is delicious.

  20. Sherri Neil says

    Hey Dana, I don’t have enough chili flakes to make this, do you think I could use sambas oelek chili paste? Believe it or not chili flakes are hard to come by in BCS mexico

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sherri! We aren’t sure how the chili paste would work here, but it should be fine! Maybe start with less as it might be spicier than chili flakes alone. xo

  21. Sandra hodges says

    Okay so i did this. Im super excites. Ive never done this before. I either some super delicious kimchi🤤 OR ive created a ticking time bomb😶 was i supposed to leave a space at the top of the jar ?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      A little room at the top is helpful. If you didn’t leave room, we’d suggest placing a container underneath the jar to prevent any spillover. Let us know how it turns out!

  22. Caleb says

    Most recipes I use that involve kimchi use chopped cabbage, would I be OK to chop the cabbage prior to fermenting?

  23. Aida Krnic says

    I’ve made maangchi’s vegetarian kimchi before, I thought I might try this one as it’s a little different. Can I ask is there a reason why you omit the rice porrige?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Theresa, 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!

  24. Gaby says

    Hello, I am about to try this recipe, however I have red cabbage instead. I wonder if I would have to modify anything on the recipe.

  25. Vel says

    This is my go to kimchi recipe now. Though I am still a little unsure when it is ready. You say it will last months? in the frig? That’s good to know since I am the only one in my wigwam who eats it.
    (wigwam being the word my text editor on phone suggested which I thought was silly/cute)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Ha- love the wigwam edit! It should smell and taste tangy when it’s done. but it’s up to personal preference how tangy you like it. Yes, it will last months in the fridge.

  26. Angie says

    My daughter made 4 quart jars of this and they have been in the cabinet for 2 weeks. Ready to transfer to fridge. We used fermenting lids and glass weights to push down the kimchi. My question is now that we want to transfer, do we change over to regular lids or keep the fermenting lids on? Also, I want to store the other 3 jars to eat later, so should we use canning lids and boil jars as I would with jams, to give them longer shelf life? Or do they have to be kept in the fridge?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      I’d change over to regular lids that seal really well. I’ve not tried canning this but I think it would work! But in my experience it’s best to refrigerate.

    • Sophie says

      Just to note, if you canned you would destroy the beneficial bacteria – which only matters if that’s an element of homemade kimchi you were interested in! (I like to have some live foods everyday, so I store in the fridge and make medium batches regularly ) 😊

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Janine, we haven’t tried with this modification, but another reader mentioned replacing the gochugaru with gochujang and then adding some chili for heat. Let us know if you try it!

  27. John & Jon says

    This is our go-to recipe and have enjoyed the slight differences each time. We usually ferment on the counter for at least a week, less if it’s really hot out.
    BIG difference between using crushed red pepper flakes compared to Korean chili flakes. The best by our experience is a blend. Use more red pepper flakes for heat or more Korean for sweet.
    For newbies to kimchi, if you wind up with a batch that is too hot to simply shovel into your mouth as I tend to do with the tangy sweet, don’t worry, it’s surprizing how much it gets tamer when added to rice or eggs or as a condiment to anything you like ; )

  28. Pierre Flasse says

    I don’t know if this is a silly question, but once it’s in the fridge, how does the fermentation “stop”?

    Do you drain the liquid out of it once you are happy with the flavour? Just made a huge batch and you were right about the gloves, my sensitive skin is on fire!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Pierre, it’s the change in temperature that causes fermentation to slow. No, you don’t drain the liquid.

  29. sam says

    I made this recipe but I’m afraid I didn’t care for it as, for me anyway, it had way too much ginger; that’s all I could taste. If I try it again, I’ll cut the ginger to a Tbsp or even less.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Sorry to hear it wasn’t for you, Sam! Is is possible you used a smaller head of cabbage? Either way, let us know how it goes next time!

  30. Helena á Rógvu Hansen says

    I made this today, but I’m looking at the pictures and I definitely don’t have as much ‘liquid’ as you, I used a Savoy, is it bigger than the Napa?
    Do I need to do something or should I just leave it as is?

    I’m excited to try it in a week 😊

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, when in doubt you can either keep massaging and add a bit more salt to extract the liquid, or add a touch of water! Good luck!

  31. Alexandra_Lea says

    Let me start by saying my daughter and I LOVE kimchi… My husband not so much. LOL This was my very first fermenting project. I know go big or go home. Right? I should have started with ketchup. All jokes aside I made a few first time errors, but all in all the end product is really amazing. I fermented the first jar 3 days and the second 7 days to see which one i like the best. Just put jar 2 in fridge. I think I like the softness of the second jar and the fermented flavor is amazing. Will definitely be making this again. (Much to my husbands horror) Thanks for the great recipe!!

    • Dan says

      This recipe was WAY to sweet. With the sugar and the pineapple juice it was a but much. I’m going to let it ferment a while longer and hopefully the bacteria eats more of the sugars.

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Hi Dan, let us know how it goes after fermenting! It should become much more tangy and balanced.

  32. Sherry Lowe says

    I am on a keto diet and wondering about low sugar/carb substitutions for carrots and pineapple juice?

    Also, is store bought minced garlic ok to substitute?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Minced garlic is OK. Not sure what you can have on keto? Perhaps stevia? You can skip the carrots and do more cabbage. Let us know how it goes!

      • Zak says

        Doesn’t the bacteria feed on the sugars though? I’m not sure stevia would work all that well….

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Zak, It’s more for flavor here. Sauerkraut (also fermented similarly) is made without sugar, so we wouldn’t think it would be necessary for kimchi either.

  33. Mia P. says

    I love this recipe! I made it a couple months back (I actually forgot about it in the cupboard while it was fermenting for two weeks) and it is SO tangy. I used red chili paste from the jar in lieu of making my own, and it still turned out wonderful. I’m gearing up now to make another huge batch of this to send to some loved ones

  34. Rachel Arenstein says

    Hi! I’ve never made kimchi before, but I’m excited to try this. What size jar should I get?



    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rachel, it will vary slightly based on the size of your cabbage. But we used a quart size mason jar and a ~2 cup jar.

  35. Blk Girl Wellness says

    This recipe is time intensive but sooooo worth it!! I used the garlic chili sauce that comes in a jar instead of making my own and my kimchi turned out just fine. I’m still fermenting for a couple more days but a piece accidentally made it onto my spoon when I pushed the air bubbles out last night. Let’s just say I’m gonna put this ish on everything. I documented the process on IG @blkgirlwellness.

  36. Amanda says

    When do we add the coconut sugar, I read three times but seem to be missing this step? I made my kimchi but no sweetener and would like to add some, can I add after the fermentation is complete?

  37. Annie says

    How much kimchi does this recipe yield? Trying to collect materials and need to know what size mason jars to get. Not sure what “one large/one small” means in ounces.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Annie, it will vary slightly based on the size of your cabbage. But we used a quart size mason jar and a ~2 cup jar.

    • Amanda L Roth says

      I just saw it’s in the vegan fish sauce! My apology… to sweeten it up more after fermented, can I add more sweetener?

  38. Janelle Kessler says

    I made this for a Korean friend at the start of the pandemic. I performed all of the steps and put it in the closet for 2 days and then into the refrigerator it went where it stayed for 3 months. My friend said the texture was very strange and there had been no fermentation whatsoever. Indeed, the veggies all seemed very fresh and crunchy. One would think that they would have spoiled, but they didn’t. So, if it didn’t ferment, then how did it stay so preserved? Needless to say, it wasn’t kimchi in her mind, but it was super hot so she ate it.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      OK interesting. It sounds like your fermentation didn’t get off to a good start either because the mixture was dry (the cabbage didn’t release enough liquid) or our environment wasn’t warm enough.

  39. Vanessa says

    I had never made anything fermented…. ever! But I had been craving Kimchi for a while. I had been always hesitant because I thought it was too complicated however I found this recipe so decided to give it a try.

    After 2 1/2 days fermenting I have transferred the jars to the refrigerator. I have not tried it yet but it smells AMAZING!!

    I will report back as soon as I taste it. My only question is: should I wait another week while kimchi is in the fridge or is it ready to eat?

    Thank you!

        • Hedy Harris says

          Didn’t have the Korean Red Chili paste. I used the Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste I happened to have in the fridge. Hot enough without putting my mouth on fire. Used I heaping tablespoon. I left the Kimchi out for a week and then refrigerated. As the week went on, the bitterness dissipated and became more fermented. Delicious. Thank you

  40. Jeanie Marinella says

    Hi! To clarify, you let it ferment for about a week in the fridge after two days in the cupboard? Just want to make sure I put it in the fridge now that it’s been in the cupboard for the last two days. Soooo excited, tried a tiny bit and it’s already quite tasty. :)

  41. Jeanie Marinella says

    Hi! About to make this recipe even though I’m without pineapple juice… but it seems like rice vinegar will do in it’s place? Was just reading through the reviews. I’ve got orange juice and whole pears as well that I could possibly squeeze the juice out of, if needed. What do you recommend the most? Not trying to go to the store right now, ha. :)


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jeanie, we haven’t experimented with any of those, so we’re not sure! Let us know how it goes!

  42. HyeMi Jung says

    I woke up super early like 3 am today and just going though some recipes online and found yours kimchi one and it def caught my eyes because I am from Korea, and I looked at the all the ingredients and I wasn’t really sure about it so i decided to make it because I really cant get a lot of things here in Italy to make Kimchi

    So there are 3 types of people in korea when it comes to kimchi
    1. people only eat freshly made one
    2. people only eat fermented one.
    3. people eat any kinds!

    I am #2 so I will def report back & rate couple of days later! ( I always forgot to rate here i won’t forget when I come back! )

    Thank you so much! I appreciate so much to people like you who share the korean recipes!!

    Thank you, Stay safe , sending you lots of love from Italy!

  43. Carly says

    Hello! Trying this out for the first time, I made sauerkraut once years ago but that was my only fermentation experiment. I am a little confused about the liquid. Do I save the liquid from the cabbage and top off the jars with it?

    • Carly says

      Also, is there a possibility of the jars exploding? Some recipes say not to close jars tightly while it is in the early stages of fermentation, others say close tightly. I’m confused!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        If you leave some room (~1 inch) at the top, there shouldn’t be an issue. We recommend loosely covering.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Carly, The sauce should provide enough liquid to cover the cabbage. But if it doesn’t, you can save the liquid from the cabbage and top off the jars. Hope that helps!

  44. Meryl says

    I’ve made kimchi several times before, but due to health reasons, I had to look for a low-sodium kimchi recipe and I found this. I was hesitant at first because I could not imagine using pineapple juice in my kimchi sauce… but oh my gosh, the vegan fish sauce is so good. Thank you for this brilliant recipe!
    I tweaked the recipe a little by adding onion leeks, korean radish and rice porridge/paste as I prefer a thicker kimchi sauce.

  45. Tammy says

    Making a second batch as we speak and had to leave a review! This was my first time making kimchi at home and it was so much easier than I thought. Instructions and photos were super helpful. And on top of that, it came out absolutely delicious! I left the jar fermenting in the cupboard for 3 days and it was just perfect! Only change I made for this second batch was at the end of turning the cabbage leaves, I cut them in half as I found the leaves to be pretty big the first time around and I like to be able to take small piece of kimchi at once rather than an entire leaf. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!!

  46. Joanne Harvey says

    Hi there… I realize this is a vegan recipe but if I wanted to use fish sauce instead of the vegan version what would be the quantity I would need.


    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for sharing, Mark. 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

  47. Kailin says

    Hi, I’ve been making kimchii for a while now, but my latest effort was not a pretty red color like in the photos of recipes.

    What makes it red, and how can I best keep the bright color? Is it all about the red pepper itself?

    Also, can I add in other veggies, such as daikon, or kohlrabi, or other firm or root veggies?

    I will certainly use this recipe for my next batch! Converting, gradually, from a dedicated meat eater to vegan, and this recipe sounds excellent.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kailin, the chili flakes provide the red color. Feel free to add in other veggies! Let us know how it goes!

  48. Cara says

    I made this last weekend; it is incredible, thank you! I am intrigued by this vegan fish sauce. I would like to make drunken noodles vegan but recipes I see call for fish sauce and oyster sauce; also not vegan.

    In any case; I would love to suggest a vegan drunken noodles recipe if you are interested! I’d love to see your take. Thanks for all of the great recipes!

  49. Heidi says

    Thank you for the recipe! I read the recipe (not the pics) a few times and it was unclear if I should salt the cabbage every 30 mins.. so I just pressed and turned.. and followed the rest of the recipe. Now they are all in jars now. Anything I can do to save them..?

  50. winston says

    wanted to ask
    is it mandatory to use ginger for the paste? or is it okay if i leave it. i already have all the ingredients except ginger apparrently

    Thanks !

  51. Stephanie says

    Such an amazing recipe!! I didn’t have any pineapple juice on hand so I used rice vinegar instead. For the paste, I doubled the amount of ginger and garlic, and I used some Asian pear. I chopped up some daikon as well. Couldn’t find Korean pepper flakes so I just used regular pepper flakes. Fermented for 4 days and wow, so flavorful! 100% better than what you get at restaurants.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Stephanie. We are so glad you enjoy 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

      • Konstantin says

        Hey! I made this about 3 days ago. I was trying to keep it local, which is why I subbed napa cabbage for regular cabbage instead. I also couldn’t find any gochugaru (it’s also pretty pricy), so I used Gochujang paste as a replacement and added some Kashmere chilly to tweak the colour and make it spicier.

        Kimchi turned out super well! It’s been just over 48 hours, but we’re already loving the taste. This recipe is going to be a regular. Thank you!

  52. Honey says

    Hi, is it possible to substitute demerara brown sugar instead of the coconut sugar? And I don’t have mason jars on hand. Is it ok to use glass sealable containers in lieu of? I’m excited to try this! Thanks!

  53. Talya says

    Hi Dana. I made this amazing recipe 4 days ago. I haven’t opened the jar for a few days, and have noticed that there’s a lot of pressure in there! Any advice for safely opening it? I’m a tad worried about exploding kimchi!

    • Amelia says

      Thanks for the recipe! I made it using pink napa cabbage and piri piri chillies and it’s worked really well. I left it for 3 days in a cupboard and by then I could smell it in the outside hallway! It has more of a cheesy taste than any vegan cheese I’ve tried too.

  54. Chris W says

    I am making my second batch today! It got better and better the longer it was kept in the fridge. Thank you so much again. (I rated it this time)