Kimchi 2.0

try it!

This easy vegan kimchi recipe is gluten-free and can be made as spicy or as mild as you like!

The benefits of eating kimchi are endless!
It’s not only full of living, natural, gut-healing bacteria that supports your microbiome, boost immunity, energize your body and boosts your mood – kimchi [ and all fermented foods for that matter ] also aid digestion, is a great source of many minerals, regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, contain strong antioxidants that are preventing the aging of the body and reducing the risk of cancer …can you imagine a better superfood?!

Personally, I love pickling and fermenting foods. It’s fun, easy and I always end up with some delicious, healthy treats to snack on or to serve with other dishes. Over the years I’ve experimented with different varieties of kimchi but this version has a special place in my heart! Using a miso paste was a real game changer! It adds depth, flavor and even more probiotics. This kimchi is spicy, very garlicky and super delicious! I like to prepare two versions when I’m already on it – with beetroot and without – all though, that first one is my absolute favorite.

vegan kimchi recipe

What does it taste like?

I’m always joking that kimchi is a cilantro of fermented foods – I know those who love it and those who can’t even stand the smell of it.
Kimchi has a very specific taste – it’s pungent, sour [ thanks to the fermentation process ], tangy, salty and spicy at the same time.
Store bought versions are usually quite spicy. One of the many benefits of making it yourself is that it allows you to control the amount of heat.

What to serve it with?

Kimchi is a huge flavor booster! Obviously, it makes a perfect side dish but you can also add it to soups, sandwitches, wraps, burgers…

vegan kimchi

What you’ll need to make this recipe:

This easy kimchi recipe makes enough to fill two 1 liter jars [ about 3½ cups each ] This recipe is just to show you the basics – you can simply replace added veggies to your liking
  • 1 head of napa cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons of salt
  • 4 large cloves of garlic
  • thumb size piece of ginger
  • 1 tbsp of any miso paste, I used shiro miso
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of cane sugar
  • 1 tbsp of chili flakes [ you can adjust the heat to your liking ]
  • a handful of roughly chopped green onions
  • 2 beets
  • any hard vegetable you like: cauliflower, radishes, green beans, carrots …
    + 2 sterilized 1 liter jars and a pair of gloves [ optional, but useful ]

    You don’t need to use Korean chili, regular chili is enough! In this recipe I use the mild one because my kimchi is quite garlicky in flavor. If you’re worried about the spiciness, don’t risk it – use a tiny amount or skip it.

    Kimchi 2.0

    This easy kimchi recipe makes enough to fill two 1 litre jars [ about 3½ cups each ]
    Prep Time 20 mins
    Fermenting time 14 d
    Total Time 14 d 20 mins


    • 2 sterilized 1 liter jars


    • 1 head napa cabbage
    • 1 handful green onions roughly chopped
    • 1 thumb size fresh ginger finely grated
    • 4 cloves garlic minced or finely grated
    • 1 tbsp miso paste
    • 1 tbsp cane sugar
    • ¼ cup sea salt
    • 4 tbsp tamari sauce [ it's gluten free ] or regular soy sauce
    • 1 tbsp chili flakes or more/less to taste

    vegetables I used

    • 1 carrot peeled and cut into matchsticks
    • 1 cup cauliflower divided into tiny florets
    • 2 beets peeled and cut into matchsticks


    • Cut napa cabbage roughly into 1-inch cubes
    • Place in a large [ non metal ] bowl and toss with salt
    • Cover with a large plate and set aside for
    • Fill the bowl with cold water, stir, place plate over the cabbage to keep it submerged and set aside - soak cabbage for 2-3 hours
    • Prepare your kimchi paste in the mean time :
      combine miso paste, with tamari/soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger and chili flakes - set aside
    • After 2-3 hours, drain the cabbage [ save the brine! ] and rinse very well, squeezing and pressing the liquid out
    • Place the cabbage in the large bowl
    • Add beets, carrots, scallions and cauliflower - toss to combine
    • Add prepared earlier kimchi paste and [ using the gloves ] combine all the ingredients, massaging with your hands
    • Divide kimchi into jars and press well, squeezing all the air out - make super to leave good 2 inches of space at the top to catch the liquid that will release -otherwise your fermenting kimchi may "walk out" of the jar
    • Pour a little of the brine into the jar, just to enough to cover the cabbage
    • Cover with a lid [ do not screw on tight ] and [ just to be sure ] place in a pan or bowl, to collect any possible overflow
    • Set the jars somewhere cool and dark for 3 - 5 days [ kitchen cabinet away from the stove is perfectly fine ].
      In the winter, when there's not much of sunlight I simply leave it on the kitchen counter
    • Open the jars once a day and press the cabbage to the bottom to get rid of the gasses produced during fermentation
    • After 3 - 5 days transfer to the fridge
    Course: Side Dish
    Keyword: beetroot, chili, healthy, miso paste, napa cabbage, probiotics

    What is a perfect temperature to ferment kimchi?

    It’s simple – the cooler your kitchen is, the slower it will take to ferment the ingredients – the warmer, the faster! Just keep it between 12 – 18°C [ 55 -65 F ].

    How long does it actually take to ferment the kimchi?

    That depends on how tangy and crunchy you like your kimchi to be. The shorter the fermentation process – the crunchier the ingredients and tangier the taste. What I love about kimchi is that I can eat it fresh after 3 days but also store it in the fridge where kimchi will keep fermenting [ only slower ] and develop even more flavor and complexity.

    How to store your kimchi?

    Keep fermented kimchi in a jar with the lid on, just remember to p ress it down the brine every time you use it.
    It will keep for months only getting better with time!

    If you have never tried homemade kimchi, enjoy making your first batch!
    I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I do!

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @vitobites on Instagram and hashtag it #vitobites.
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    Cooked with by Magdalena Wrona.
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