This kimchi recipe uses a normal head of green cabbage and a much easier-to-find list of ingredients. It’s quick, easy, light and refreshing with the same crunchy taste and goodness.
If you are like me and love kimchi but find it difficult to get hold of the ingredients, especially the traditional napa cabbage, this Kimchi Recipe is for you!
Green cabbage is called yangbaechu in Korean which actually translates to western cabbage. The good thing about this easier-to-find cabbage is that it doesn’t need too much salting time, actually, a few hours are sufficient for this green cabbage to soften and absorb the flavours.
What are the Health Benefits of Kimchi?
According to nutritionists prebiotics and probiotics are crucial to gut health and weight loss. And Kimchi is rich in both. Ingredients such as garlic, onion and cabbage are all rich in prebiotics, and this kimchi recipe includes all three. Kimchi is also packed with probiotics, as the main fermenters are lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus).
Prebiotics are indigestible fibre. Probiotics are “good bacteria” living in our intestines. As the prebiotics are eaten by the probiotics, the latter creates a gas that helps move the remains of our meals through our digestive system.
Cabbage fights inflammation, keeps you strong, improves digestion, protects your heart, lowers your blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, maintains bone health and healthy blood clotting and keeps cancer at bay. Source: health.clevelandclinic.org
Probiotic- and prebiotic-rich diets help your stomach feel full, when you feel full you are more likely to eat less, which encourages moderation.
Traditional Kimchi vs Green Cabbage Kimchi
Kimchi is a collective term for vegetable dishes that have been salted, seasoned, and fermented. Authentic Korean Kimchi is called baechu kimchi and traditionally uses napa cabbage. It is usually fermented kept intact from the head and cut up to a suitable size before use. It is used in so many recipes or eaten as a side dish along with other mains. It uses Korean red chilli pepper flakes, and salted seafood such as salted shrimp or anchovies fish sauce is traditionally added for the flavour as well as to aid the fermentation process. The salting time is much more with baechu kimchi and some recipes actually use some broth in place of normal water and it’s not so easy to find all the traditional ingredients.
This green cabbage kimchi is called yangbaechu kimchi in Korean which translates to western cabbage kimchi. It doesn’t require as much salting or fermentation time and is much more lenient with the ingredients used. Because it is lightly seasoned there are so many variations, therefore not as strict with its flavours and spices. All Korean kimchi will advise using their traditional course sea salt.
Vegan Kimchi & How We Like It!
If you are vegan, vegetarian or just don’t like fish or shrimp, this recipe is perfect for you. My husband and I are both not very big fans of shrimp, anchovies or fish sauce. So, we don’t use these sauces and replace the flavour with soy sauce instead. This is why you may have to add a bit more salt to the sauce mix when mixing together all the ingredients.
My kids love this kimchi too, so I don’t use the chilli red pepper flakes, I use the sweet pepper flakes and sweet paprika pepper paste that is commonly available here in Turkey. It still gives a little zing but not too much for them to not be able to eat it 😉
Kimchi is a big part of Uzbek cuisine too. Because there were many Korean immigrants living in Uzbekistan, they introduced this to them by frequently selling their kimchi in Uzbek marketplaces. My husband grew up regularly eating kimchi, he describes the taste as not too chilli and not including any fish sauce. it was a common part of his daily diet. And now, it is part of all of ours too!
- 1 large air tight jar/container
- 1 large bowl for salting
- 1 1742g Whole head of green cabbage
- 4 tbsp Coarse Sea Salt
- 2 Cups Water for salting the cabbage
- 2 Carrots
- 3 Green onions/spring onions
- 3 cloves Garlic
- 2 tbsp Fish Sauce or Soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 1 tbsp Red Pepper Paste
- 1 tbsp Honey
- 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
- ½ cup Water for mixing the seasoning
- 1 cup Water for preservation
- Remove any tough or discoloured outer leaves from the green cabbage and lightly rinse with cold water
- Place the cabbage core side down and cut the cabbage in half and then in half again. When you have 4 ¼ you can remove the core easily from the cabbage.
- Cut the cabbage into bite-size chunks and rinse again and drain. Then dissolve the salt in 2 cups of water, and toss and turn the cabbage well to coat it evenly.
- Leave it for at least 1-2 hours for the cabbage to soften, tossing and turning the cabbage in the salt water every 30 minutes. I place mine in a covered dough container
- While the cabbage is salting, you can mix the red pepper flakes, red pepper paste, grated garlic and ginger in ½ cup of cold water and then add the honey and soy sauce. Then set aside.
- Wash the green onions, nip off the roots and remove any unwanted layers. Then slice them diagonally. It's better if they are not too small so that they can be seen and tasted.
- Peel the carrots, nip off the ends and julienne or grate them.
- When the cabbage is soft and ready, rinse the salted cabbage once, and drain to remove excess water.
- If you are not using fish sauce you will need to add more salt to dissolve in 1 cup of cold water, 1 tbsp is usually enough for me, you can adjust this to your taste. Fish sauce is already salty so you don't need any more salt if you are using it.
- Add the red pepper mixture to the cabbage alongside the prepared onion, carrots and 1 cup water. Then give it all a really good mix. Make sure all the cabbage is smothered generously in the spiced sauce.
- Place the mixed cabbage in an airtight container or a jar, pressing down hard to remove any air pockets. Leave it out at room temperature for at least a day or overnight. Then you can store it in the refrigerator.