Oh do I love kimchi. Traditional kimchi is a bright red, spicy fermented cabbage that often includes other vegetables. Fermented veggies (for most) are really good for a healthy gut. The fermentation creates good bacteria. Being paleo, we are all about the kraut, kombucha, and kimchi. However, I have recently discovered a terrible sensitivity to nightshades. Plants such as peppers, tomatoes, and white potatoes are big no-no’s. Maangchi on YouTube showed me how to do a white kimchi. I love her version as is and have made it before. I’ll leave the link below for you to check out. But…I went out on a limb and decided to do what I do best….Yep….Made it up…Are you guys surprised?
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Young Bok Choy, or Nappa Cabbage (I used the baby bok choy fresh from my Asian Market.)
- Green Onions (I like onions…Feel free to leave out or choose one or the other.)
- Daikon Radish
- Medjool Dates, Pitted, and Softened till Sticky (Soak about 10 minutes in warm water.)
- Sunflower Seeds (Leave out for AIP Friendly version. I have successfully reintroduced these so far.)
- 2-3 Bosc Pears or 1 Large Korean Pear
- 2-5 Garlic Cloves (Depending on size and your love of garlic.)
- 1 inch Ginger, Minced/Grated
- Pink Himalayan Salt
- 3 Cups of Water
- Jars for storage
- Cloth, Cheesecloth, Nut Milk Bag
This may take some time to accomplish, but your patience is greatly rewarded. First, prep all of your vegetables. I cut mine into bite size pieces. I bought some spicy kimchi a while back that they had packed down into a container. It was so nice to be able to fit a piece in my mouth and not have to pull out and cut it up. Less mess.
Salt your vegetables. Mix and turn them every hour and a half. You can leave this in the fridge overnight if need be. (I started mine a little late.) Pour out the water when you are done. You really only need to let them sit salted for up to 2 to 3 hours.
Mix all of your vegetables together in 1 large bowl. Add the chopped up dates and sunflower seeds and mix. Set aside.
To make the brine add 3 cups of water to a very large bowl. Add the pears, garlic, half an onion, and ginger into a food processor. Process into a paste. Add to nut milk bag or cloth. You can see mine below. I happened to do this at Easter…I thought it was so cute that it looked like a wee rabbit. Allow the water to soak up the lovely flavor for about an hour. Press the little pouch to let all the good flavor seep through.
Add your vegetables to a container. I used glass mason jars because I try to avoid plastic as much as I can. Do not fill it completely full. Leave a little room. Add the brine and make sure the vegetables are covered. Some people do put a weight on top to keep the kimchi below the surface of the brine.
Let this sit on your counter 1 to 2 day to ferment, then place in your fridge. Feel free to taste as it sits. When it’s the desired flavor you like throw it in the fridge and eat away. What does this go good with? Many Asian dishes including the Grilled Asian Pork Chops that I posted a few days ago. Fermenting vegetables can seem really scary at first, but it is rather easy once you learn and practice.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. To check out Maanchi’s version you can follow this link: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXtZz4_7yIw). I have one more, really awesome Paleo Recipe to share with you for a very veggie and fruity Sweet and Sour sauce that goes great on just about everything and is AIP Friendly! I hope you’ll come back next time and check it out. I’m sending good gut health from my Common Sense Kitchen to yours.
-Ami M. Lee, Vegetable Fermenting, Asian Food Lover, Common Sense Cook