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October 14, 2015


Extract from Veggienomics by Nicola Graimes

This popular spicy Korean pickle is the classic accompaniment to the rice dish Bibimbap, but a spoonful will lift any Asian rice or noodle dish. The Asian radish, daikon or mooli is traditional but I find turnip is just as good, easier to find and more economical to buy.

Makes: 750ml/26fl oz/3 cups
Preparation time: 2½ days

165g/5 ¾oz/ ¾ cup salt, plus extra for sprinkling
750g/1lb 10oz Chinese leaves, halved crossways and cut into 4 wedges, tough stalk removed
375g/13oz turnip, peeled and coarsely grated
3 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tsp mild Korean red pepper powder, Aleppo
chilli flakes or mild cayenne pepper
2 tbsp gochujang (Korean hot chilli paste) or other hot chilli paste
2.5cm/1in piece of root ginger, grated (no need to peel)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
4 spring onions, sliced
1 tsp sesame oil


  • Dissolve the salt in 2l/70fl oz/8 cups water in a large bowl. Sprinkle extra salt between the leaves
    of the cabbage. Put the cabbage in the salty water and put a weighted plate on top to keep it
    submerged. Leave to soak for 3 hours, or until the cabbage leaves are pliable and do not break
    when bent.
  • Using a slotted spoon, scoop the cabbage out of the water into a large colander and add the turnip
    to the salted water. Rinse the cabbage well under cold running water (this is important or it will be
    too salty) and leave to drain for 30 minutes while the turnip is soaking.
  • Mix together the soy sauce, red pepper powder, chilli paste, ginger, garlic, sugar, sesame seeds,
    spring onions and sesame oil in a large bowl.
  • Squeeze the cabbage to remove any excess water and pat dry with a clean tea towel. Slice the
    cabbage crossways into large, bite-sized pieces and add to the bowl with the flavourings. Drain and
    rinse the turnip well, drain again and pat dry in a clean tea towel. Add to the bowl with the cabbage
    and stir until everything is combined. Spoon the kimchi into a sterilized Mason jar (see page 11) and
    press down with the back of the spoon. Put the lid on and leave in a cool, dark place for 2 days before
    eating to allow the flavours to develop, then transfer to a fridge. It will keep for several months in
    the fridge.

Nicola Graimes
Veggienomics: Thrifty Vegetarian Cooking
£14.99, Available from nourish Books



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