I have posted several cabbage kimchi recipes with different approaches. The most authentic way of making winter cabbage kimchi, spring cabbage kimchi, easy and simple method kimchi, and the fastest 30 miniute kimchi are some of them. They all use napa cabbages that we can find very easily in many stores these days. Of course there are non-cabbage kimchi recipes posted on my site as well.
Kimchi is closed to a vegetarian dish since there is no meat involved, but it uses a little fish (anchovy) sauce to bring the flavor. Therefore it is NOT a vegan.
I know there are quite a number of people who are vegans or who can not have seafood due to an allergy issue. So I gave some thoughts on making kimchi to be a complete vegan and fish free. And behold, the Vegan Kimchi is born!!! There is no animal product used in this recipe. All from vegetable source.
Also I always use a kind of fruit to sweeten the kimchi a little. I have shown you using a pear, apple and even banana in the kimchi recipes. Today, I will throw another fruit.
Curious? You shall see.
You can pour salt water (1 cup salt dissolved in 8 cup water) and pour over. Let the cabbage soak for 2-3 hours. Make sure you turn them around so the bottom side of cabbages go to the top halfway through.
If you don’t have that 2-3 hours time, you can sprinkle about 1/4 cup of salt directly over to the cabbage and let them sit for 45-60 minute turning once like I did in spring cabbage kimchi.
If, I mean if, you are in a rush and don’t even have the 1 hour, then see my 30 minute kimchi post to get an idea how you can salt the cabbage very quickly.
(If the white stem part is a little stiff, that is okay. Even you can’t bend your back like that after the first free trial yoga class, right? They will eventually bend during the fermentation process. And your back will too, after 3 month course classes. Maybe? or maybe not.)
Put pumpkin chunks, shiitake mushroom, and a piece of dried sea kelp (if you can’t have sea kelp, omit it) in a pan and pour some water just to barely cover them. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Don’t skip the stock! Since we are not using any fish sauce to make this kimchi, you will need an extra something to flavor.
Now I bet you are wondering what the yellow thingy is in this photo. It is a potato. I microwaved to cook a small piece of potato.
In kimchi making, you will need a some sort of starch to help fermentation. I have introduced using rice glue or leftover cooked white rice as a starch component. This time I will use a little bit of cooked potato. You will only need about 3 tablespoonful.
If you go to a big Korean groceries, you will find them easily these days. If you can’t get the persimmon, substitute with an apple or a pear.
Persimmon is a very sweet and meaty fruit, which is perfect to be mingled in kimchi. No need to add sugar. You will love the flavor of kimchi with persimmon in it. Just peel and core the seed and dice into chunks.
I like to add fresh red chilies in my kimchi. It brings kimchi more refreshing taste. You can certainly omit if you don’t want to.
Since it brings the pungent flavor, Koreans use it to season soups or stews, and many salad side dishes. I use it quite often in my recipes.
I think you can even substitute the fish sauce with this in many other dishes if you want to avoid fish but retain the slight pungent flavor.
BTW we call it chosun ganjang (조선간장) or gook ganjang (국간장). It should be marked as “soy sauce for soup” and you should be able to find it in many Korean groceries.
I always start with about 2/3 of the filling first, then I add more if I need to.
Taste! Adjust seasoning by adding a little more soy sauce for soup if needed.
I like to eat freshly made kimchi on the same day I made with a bowl of rice and doenjang jjige. That is a more of genuine Korean taste bud.
I will tell you what it tastes like. It tastes like a real kimchi made with fish sauce and salted shrimps. I am quite pleased with the result and very proud that I created something that everyone can enjoy the goodness of kimchi regardless of their diet restriction.
So how do you think? Did I bring a good news to you? If yes, let’s hooray!!!
Hope you get to try this recipe whether you are a vegan or not. This kimchi will surely please everybody.
- 2 lb Napa cabbage
- 1 cup Korean coarse sea salt
- 8 cup water
- 3/4 lb pumpkin, any kind, sliced into 2-3 chunks
- 3 dried shiitake mushroom
- 1 large piece dried sea kelp
- 2 tablespoon plain mashed potatoes
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 persimmon, peeled and cored (or 1/2 sweet apple or Asian pear)
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2" piece ginger, peeled
- 3-4 fresh rec chilies, diced, optional
- 4 tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 4-5 tablespoon Korean soy sauce for soup
- 4 green onion cut into 2" slices
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Cut off the end part of the cabbage stem and cut the cabbage into 2" slices.
- In a mixing bowl dissolve salt in the water. Scatter the cabbage slices in a shallow bowl and pour the salted water over and toss. Let the cabbage soak for 1 hour. turn the cabbages over and continue to soak for another 1-1.5hr. When done, the stem part of cabbage slice should be bendable without breaking. Rinse the cabbages 3 times and let them drain well. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, place pumpkin, mushroom, and sea kelp in a medium sauce pot and pour water just to barely cover them. Bring them to boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Cool and discard the vegetables reserving the liquid stock. Reserve 1/2 cup of stock to use, and freeze the rest of stock for later use.
- In a blender put potatoes, onion, persimmon, garlic, ginger and pour in the 1/2 cup of stock. Process them until smooth. Add diced fresh red chilies and pulse to chop them into small pieces.
- Pour the onion persimmon puree in to a small mixing bowl, add the Korean chili flakes and 4 tablespoon of Korean soy sauce for soup. Mix well.
- In a large shallow bowl (or use jelly roll pan) combine cabbages and green onion, add 2/3 of chili filling and sesame seeds. Wear disposable gloves on your hand and toss everything with your hand to make sure everything gets incorporated with chili filling. Add more filling if needed.
- Taste a piece and add more Korean soy sauce for soup to adjust seasoning. It should be slightly saltier that you hoped for.
- Transfer your kimchi in a airtight container and let it sit in the room temperature for 1-2 days, then store in the fridge after that. Enjoy your labor of love!