Skip to content

Updated: Vegan Kimchi Recipe!

November 14, 2010

Welcome to the Vegan 8 Korean! What better way to start off our blog than with kimchi? If you’re going to eat Korean food, you’ve got to get into kimchi. Koreans eat it with everything, and not only is it yummy, it’s very good for you. Filled with anti-oxidants, Koreans are very proud of their kimchi and tout it for its health benefits.

In order to launch our blog in style, (and at the determined insistence of Sunnie’s parents who firmly argued that it would not taste as good without it) we decided to go out all and purchased a traditional pot to ferment the kimchi in, which Pinch (the tabby) and Puck were highly interested in.


A good reason for vegans to make their own kimchi is that most kimchi has tiny brine shrimp ground up in it, making it non-vegan. There are some vegan kimchi’s available in the grocery stores around here, but they tend to be smaller jars and more expensive. Ultimately, the best argument is that if you make it yourself, you know exactly what is in it!

There are actually many types of kimchi but we’re going with what most people would think of if you mention kimchi, (napa cabbage) baechu kimchi. We bought 4 heads of cabbage, which our third and newest kitty, Mia, felt compelled to check out. She seems quite fond of many veggies but decided to leave these alone.


The basic process here is soak the cabbage in salt water (we cut ours up first but typically the cabbage is only sliced in quarters and cut up only when you are ready to eat it). You then create a paste of garlic, green onions, red pepper powder, ginger. Kimchi making is something of an organic process, meaning you may like more or less salt or pepper powder, for example. Give it a taste as you and adjust as necessary. Also note that the more you rinse the cabbage after salting it, the less salty the resulting kimchi will be (to a degree). Finally, one final wisdom that everyone shares is that, if you make your cabbage in warm temperature, it will not be very good. Always be sure to make it in a cool temperature.


When buying your cabbage, you’ll likely fill a 1 gallon jar with 2 – 2 1/2 heads of cabbage. We made double that since we were filling the clay pot, but the recipe here will be to fill a typical 1 gallon jar.

Classic Vegan Baechu Kimchi Recipe (Makes 1 gallon jar)

4 large heads of napa cabbage (more if smaller)
2-4 cups of coarse sea salt + Water to immerse the cabbage (it has to be sea salt, different salt brands have different level of saltiness so you need to taste it when you make your salt water. The salt water needs to be so salty, that when you taste it, you feel “Eh- that is pretty awful!”)

Sauce Ingredients:
(Feel free to use more or less of any of these ingredients to your liking!)

1) Puree Ingredients
2 1-inch slices of daikon/moo – Korean radish (to puree with the other ingredients)
5 large bulbs of garlic
1 small knob of ginger
2 cups of steamed white/brown rice
half white onion

2) Add to Puree Ingredients
3/4 cup of red pepper powder (kochukaru)
2 big daikon/moo – Korean radish (cut into matchsticks)
3-4 diagonally chopped large green onions (or 4-5 bunches of small green onions)
2 cups of Asian pear or apple ground


  1. Wash the cabbage and cut in quarters lengthwise. (If desired, cut into smaller chunks (appropriate size to grab with your chopsticks). Put cabbage in a very large container and immerse it in salt water. Leave it over night, until you see the cabbage wilted. It should be wilted but still fresh – or it will be too salty.
  2. Puree (we use our food processor) the moo, garlic, ginger, white onion, rice and fruit and then matchsick the daikon. Mix all the sauce ingredients into the pureed ingredients. It shouldn’t be too dry, it should be a bit watery. If too dry, add some of salt water. If too watery, add more pepper powder.
  3. Mix it well with hand. It should getΒ  If you don’t use gloves, you’re going to feel a serious tingle from the pepper powder and be sure to keep those fingers away from your eyes and nose! Taste it and add salt or other ingredients so it tastes good to your palate, it should be salty and spicy enough for you to think it’s tasty. Let it sit and then some water will be coming out from the Korean radish. At the end, the sauce consistency should be a paste with a underlying liquidy sauce.
  4. If the salted cabbage is slightly wilted, take the cabbage and taste it. If it’s not too salty you do not need to rinse it and you can even keep the salted water to add it to your kimchi sauce. The salted water can seriously make the kimchi yummy. However, if the cabbage is too salty, you need to wash it. The more times you rinse it, the less salty the taste will be. Taste a leaf from each quarter. It should be salted enough, but not too salty. Here the wisdom and experience of kimchi making comes in – the newbies are never as good as the old ladies who have been making kimchi forever. SO – obviously, the more salt you add when soaking will also impact how salty the kimchi is as well as the length of time you need to soak it, so you can add more or less based on your taste and time availability. If it’s too salty and you washed your cabbage, make sure to squeeze out the water very well – you might want to let it drain overnight like many Koreans do.
  5. Use your hands to mix the paste in very well with the cabbage. Get to every little section/piece of cabbage! The more paste to cabbage, the spicier/stronger flavor your kimchi will be.
  6. Place your kimchi into your jar and fill close to the top. Really push in the kimchi so it doesn’t have any space in between. You should have the water come up at least up to the middle.

Mixing the cabbage with the paste.

The finished kimchi in our pot! You need to leave a little bit of space at the top.

There’s a nice line on the pot which serves as a decent guide for how deep to bury it.

The lid seals in the kimchi.

As we have a number of raccoons in the neighborhood, we thought we’d go with an extra layer of protection on the off chance that they might be Korean raccoons, so we added a flower pot to keep them from pulling the lid off.

We also filled a jar, which we’ll eat while the kimchi in the pot ferments outside. You can leave the jar out for around 40 hours if you like or put it right into the fridge. Many Koreans buy these super-fancy kimchi refrigerators that will replicate the outdoor fermentation process by keeping the kimchi at the right temperature.

If you’re using a pot like we did, bury it in the ground but not all the way to the top. You want room to be able to get kimchi out without dirt falling in. You can also eat the kimchi right away, but it will continue to ferment becoming more bitter the longer it sits. Older Koreans tend to like really bitter kimchi. And bitter kimchi tends to be better for use in kimchi jigae (stew) and other cooked kimchi dishes as it makes them more tangy. Do note that if you are making kimchi with a pot, this is to be done in LATE FALL, when the weather is done being hot. You then can eat the kimchi out of the pot until the weather warms.

I’m not going to kid you, making kimchi is hard work. In Korea, they often set aside an entire day where the whole family helps out in making huge amounts of kimchi to last for most of the year. But, it’s rewarding and nothing is more important in Korean cuisine than your kimchi. So if you make it yourself, you can get some serious bragging rights. Plus, it’s going to be way more cost effective than the tiny jars of vegan kimchi that are often the only vegan options in the grocery stores (at least around here). So give it a try and make your own kimchi!

Aja! Aja! (Fighting!)

80 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    November 28, 2010 9:36 am

    Great to see vegan kimchi out there! It is a lot of work, but once you’ve done it a few times it’s not bad at all and so worth it. I hope people will try this recipe to how easy and fun it is to make. I have been making my own vegan kimchi for a few years and it is very similar to yours. I usually make about 10 pounds at a time which lasts me 3-4 months.

    • Bill permalink*
      November 28, 2010 10:38 am

      It’s awesome that you make your own kimchi, Julie. Very impressive! We’re working through our pot at a pretty fast rate and wondering if we shouldn’t have gotten a bigger one! How did you come to be a kimchi fan?

      • Julie permalink
        November 28, 2010 5:46 pm

        I saw my first Korean drama, Rooftop Cats, about 6 years ago and that was just the begining! Being a vegan, I couldn’t find kimchi locally without fish. The Whole Foods Market sold some vegan kimchi, but it is almost an hour away and expensive. I bought a vegetarian Korean cookbook which is where I first learned to make kimchi. Last year I found Maangchi’s site and I veganized her kimchi recipe and this is the one I use now. By the way, I love the photo of your kitties sniffing the kimchi pot.

    • Bill permalink*
      November 28, 2010 11:00 pm

      Ah, I haven’t seen that drama yet; although, Sunnie has and loved it. You’re definitely dedicated to your kdrama’s if it led you to making your own kimchi! We take our kdramas seriously too.
      I will pass on your compliments to the kitties!

  2. Anna permalink
    November 28, 2010 6:30 pm

    I use Korean pear in lieu of flour paste. Still vegan and even healthier for you, I think.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      November 28, 2010 6:46 pm

      Hi Anna! Yes, Korean pears make Kimchi so much yummier because of the refreshing and sweet taste, and yes definitely healthier. We will make sure to try it with the pears next time. They are just so expensive, I wanted to make sure that I tried out a first batch to make sure I knew what I was doing! Thanks for sharing! πŸ˜‰

  3. December 22, 2010 2:28 pm

    Ah fantastic post! I’ve been really enjoying your blog lately. πŸ™‚ I started to make homemade kimchi this year and have made it a couple of times already, it’s so nice to have it in my fridge – always prepared for an ’emergency’ (e.g. no veggies to be found anywhere, shops closed or for those times when you’re too lazy to chop something up). I agree with Julie, it becomes easier after some practice. I actually turned a whooping 13pounds of cabbage into kimchi just last Monday, I don’t think I have ever slept so soundly. It sure does tire you out, ha. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but how much do those traditional pots sell for? We have a large garden, so this would be nice for next fall.. Though I doubt I’ll be able to find a shop that carries them here, mhhh I wonder.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      December 22, 2010 2:59 pm

      Hi, Julia! It’s so wonderful to hear that you’ve been enjoying our blog, thanks so much! πŸ˜‰ It looks like you have a really cool blog as well – we just checked out your yummy ddeukbokki! You have really pretty pictures, we’ll be visiting often. πŸ™‚ I know, I personally really like using kimchi when I feel lazy… I just stir fry some kimchi and eat it with sliced warm tofu (a dish called “Tofu Kimchi”), and it is just so yummy.

      It really has been great to just have a big pot full of kimchi in the backyard. The pot comes in a variety of sizes from really small ones to very big ones. The tiny ones start from$ 20-30, and the largest kinds I think go for $150. If you’re making less than 6 cabbages, I think a pot around $50 (that is how much we paid for ours) would be big enough. I don’t know much about the Korean community in Germany, but if you have a local Korean (or Asian) grocery store, you should ask them, and they would probably able to order it for you from their suppliers. Hope you end up burying a kimchi pot in your backyard Julia – good luck!! πŸ˜‰

  4. February 27, 2011 2:04 pm

    I love your blog. I love your kimchi pot. I am going to buy one of those pots and make my kimchi the traditional way next year. Our winters can be very cold with lots of changes in temperature. For example this morning there was snow on the ground, now it’s melting, they’re calling for freezing rain and then rain tonight and tomorrow it will go back down to below zero again. Won’t the jar crack.

    I have loved everything Korean since watching Jang Geum (I know I’m such a stereotype).

    Keep up the great work!

    • Bill permalink*
      February 27, 2011 5:34 pm

      Hi, Alice! Thanks for the kind words. I really don’t think you have to worry at all about the jar cracking. We had a winter of lots and lots of snow, but also freezing rain, sleet, and so on. In fact, at one point I meant to take a picture of our kimchi pot because it was underneath about 8 inches of solid ice from the freezing rain. You could literally ice skate across our lawn. The pot is still absolutely fine (I did have to wait for the ice to melt at one point before I could get more kimchi out!). Koreans have been using these pots for thousands of years, and they traditionally leave it outside throughout the winter, so there should be no problem.

      Good luck with the kimchi making, and there’s nothing wrong with being roped into all things Korean by Dae Jang Geum! It happens to the best of us! πŸ˜‰

  5. Jenn permalink
    May 2, 2011 1:34 pm

    Hey there– I’m currently living in Mexico and have no hope of finding vegan kimchi locally, so I’m going to make my own! A few questions:

    Would regular red pepper flakes work ok?
    What do you mean by “ground pear”? Can I use a ripe local pear and grind it in the blender?
    What, if anything, can I use instead of kelp powder?


    • Sunnie permalink*
      May 3, 2011 7:46 am

      Hi, Jenn! Thanks for visiting from Mexico!! It’s great that you’re going to make your vegan kimchi. You could just try using a little bit of soy sauce boiled with shitake mushrooms, kombu or kelp instead of kelp powder. If you can’t find shitake, kombu or kelp, just soy sauce will do as well. By ground pear I mean, Asian pears ground in a blender. If you can’t find Asian pears, local pears will be okay I think. It’ll still add some nice sweetness to it. Regular red pepper flakes will not work – this is very important, everything else can be substituted but pepper flakes have to be the Korean red pepper flakes, in order to taste like kimchi. I’ve had people try kimchi with regular or other pepper flakes, but they said it didn’t taste anything like kimchi! πŸ˜›

      • Dominica permalink
        January 17, 2012 1:00 pm

        Dear Sunnie and Bill, I am not able to find kelp powder but I can see that you recommend boiling soya with kombu, shitake mushrooms or kelp to substitute the powder. How much of this mix should I use? Thanks. PS. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing your recipes.

      • Bill permalink*
        January 17, 2012 3:18 pm

        Hi, Dominica. Thanks for finding us and for your kind words. As Sunnie mentions, it’s very much by tasting as you go and using your own preferences. You could get away with leaving the kelp powder out completely, or you could try soaking the mushrooms and kombu overnight, and then boiling it until the liquid thickens considerably, and then using 1 Tablespoon of the resulting liquid along with 1/2 a Tablespoon of soy sauce. Make sure the resulting liquid has a strong flavor. This will give a more complex and stronger taste to the kimchi. But honestly, we like a fresher taste, so we would just skip it entirely, particularly the soy sauce. If you don’t have kelp powder, you might lose a little of the complexity, but that doesn’t mean the kimchi won’t still taste good!

  6. Madison Lee permalink
    June 20, 2011 8:51 pm

    Hi there. Thank you for sharing this recipe. My biggest question is this… It’s summer now and I want to make kimchi. I do have a fermenting crock but where do I let the kimchi sit during summer?

    • Bill permalink*
      June 20, 2011 9:02 pm

      Hi, Madison! In the summer, it’s really too hot for you to leave the kimchi pot outdoors, so you pretty much have to just refrigerate your kimchi right after you make it. You could let it sit for a day, but beyond that will be problematic. So unless you have a big fridge, you likely will have to wait to use your crock in the fall!

  7. Kate permalink
    July 14, 2011 12:36 pm

    Oh, I hope you get this today. I made a mish mash of your kim chi recipe and another one. My kim chi has been fermenting for two days now and ready to go in the refrigerator; however, the cabbage is not covered with liquid. Is this critical? Do I need to add water to it before I put it in the fridge? Toss the cabbage out? I don’t see any mold (I have not opened it yet). There is liquid, just about half way up the jar.

    Thank you!

    • Sunnie permalink*
      July 14, 2011 12:43 pm

      Hello Kate! Thanks for visiting our blog!! We’re so glad you made your own kimchi! It’s normal to not have the cabbage covered with liquid. But usually we see about 1/4 to 3/4 water in the kimchi jar. It depends how strongly you salted the cabbage in the beginning. But having too much water is worse than having less. Now, after you put it inside the fridge, fermentation keeps going, so you could see a bit more water coming out in the next week or so. I hope it works out well, let us know if you have any more questions and if you succeeded with your kimchi! πŸ™‚

  8. Kate permalink
    July 27, 2011 3:16 am

    Thank you. I added a bit of water as I decided that it probably was too salty already. After 4 days out of the frig and one week in we finally ate it and my husband and I are still alive. I was really impressed that I could make such a thank. I used the Korean Chili powder past as I didn’t have the flakes and I think it altered the flavor a bit, but definitely still edible and definitely spicy since I didn’t alter the flavor. I am going to peruse your site now for some cucumber recipes.

    Keep the great recipes and stories coming!


    • Sunnie permalink*
      July 30, 2011 10:57 am

      Hi Kate! Ah, I see. Glad to hear that. Hopefully next time you can use pepper flakes, it makes a huge difference! πŸ˜‰ We will add some cucumber recipes very soon!

  9. Lee permalink
    October 14, 2011 7:27 pm

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I am making my first batch now. I must say that the napa cabbage that I bought are so large that I am having to use several large bowls. A friend turned me on to Korean food several years ago and I loved it so much that I forced her to walk me isle by isle at a local Korean market so I could understand what everything was and how to cook my own Korean food. I can’t wait foe my kimchi to become sour enough to make kimchi stew! I will let you know how my first batch of kimchi turns out. Love your blog btw. Cheers!

    • Bill permalink*
      October 14, 2011 8:01 pm

      Hi, Lee! Looking forward to bitter kimchi for kimchi jigae is a true sign of the purity of your Korean obsession! πŸ™‚ I know what you mean about the size of the napa cabbage. Our local Korean market sells some enormous bowls for making kimchi that makes it a little easier. We’ve been making some smaller batches ourselves lately in preparation for when it gets a little colder and we can put our kimchi pot into the ground! Thanks for your kind comments and do let us know how it turns out!

  10. niki permalink
    February 21, 2012 10:48 pm

    thanks so much for the recipe! It was my first venture into making my own kimchi and you weren’t kidding when you said it’s a lot of work! I didn’t have a gallon size jar so I just did a few quart sized jars. I left them out overnight and then put them in the fridge this AM. I didn’t have really any liquid in them so we added about a 1/2 to 1 cup water (hope that’s ok?). So now I am wondering how long we should wait to start eating them and how long they will keep?
    btw- adorable kitties!

    • Bill permalink*
      February 21, 2012 11:17 pm

      Hi, Niki. First of all congrats on your first batch of kimchi! Sunnie says adding water is fine but not necessary, but usually you’ll want to do that in the beginning before you set it out if you do want to add it. You can start eating your kimchi right away if you’d like, but for fermentation to occur, leave it out for a couple of days. It should keep in your fridge for months and months; although it will get more bitter. But bitter kimchi is preferred by older Koreans and great for kimchi jigae. Enjoy!

  11. September 14, 2012 2:03 am

    Coolness… I made kimchi with round head cabbages (green and red mix) in place of napa cabbages. In fact, there’s a video for it called “yangbaechu kimchi.” Check it out if you don’t know what it is.

  12. yipyip permalink
    October 4, 2012 12:38 am

    Ever since making my own vegan kimchi, my mum keeps buying chinese cabbage whenever they’re on sale and what happens?! I get stuck in the kitchen for the rest of the day! LOL. It is now a staple of my meals!

    • Bill permalink*
      October 4, 2012 10:13 am

      That’s fantastic! We do have to have kimchi around all the time or serious withdrawal sets in! Your mom’s lucky to have her own kimchi-maker on staff. πŸ™‚

  13. November 1, 2012 11:25 pm

    Thank you so much for publishing a vegan recipe for kimchi! I’ve been dying for some ever since I watched Gourmet (I’m watching Jewel in the Palace now) but I can only find kimchi that has fish in it in my area.

    I want to make sure that I understand what you’ve written correctly … since I (sadly) do not own a kimchi refrigerator and am unable to bury the earthen pots (I can’t even find them!), I should leave the kimchi I prepare in an airtight container on my countertop for no more than 40 hours to ferment and then put it back in the refrigerator. Is that correct? Thanks in advance for your help!

    BTW, I love the picture of the kitties. I can see my kitty doing that, too!

    • Bill permalink*
      November 4, 2012 5:32 pm

      Yes, 1-2 days outside on your countertop in an airtight container and then put it in the fridge! Sunnie and I sometimes like our kimchi fresh, so we don’t even leave it out and put it straight into the fridge. So it all really depends on your taste.

      Thanks for the compliments on our kitties and enjoy Dae Jang Geum; it’s one of our favorites! You might check out Kimchi Family too if you want some more inspiration! It came out at the beginning of this year and instantly entered our top 5 all time dramas list!

      • November 4, 2012 9:11 pm

        Thank you for your reply! I can’t wait to try making my own as well as trying some of your other recipes. You guys should really consider writing a cookbook. There are so few vegetarian Korean cookbooks available and those that are seem to only contain side dishes. You’d be doing the vegetarian/vegan community a huge favor! I know I’d be first in line to buy your cookbook. πŸ™‚

        I can’t believe I forgot Kimchi Family! I watched it when it was first came out on DramaFever. The cinematography around the kimchi making was stunning. They could have made the entire drama on that and I would have been mesmerized. I enjoyed Le Grand Chef 2: Kimchi Battle, too, which I guess is the 2-hour version of Gourmet (or Gourmet is the 30 hour version of it!). I do wish Netflix would get the first one in the Joseon period. I’d love to see it.

        Thanks again for your help! And please do consider writing a cookbook.

  14. Jessica permalink
    December 9, 2012 4:39 pm

    I’m so happy to find a vegan kimchi recipe! I just had a question about the fermentation process… I’m planning on making my first batch in many smaller jars, so that I can give them out to friends. I remember my mom used to always take her jar of kimchi and leave it in the sink with the lid just sitting on the top (not sealed) so that the kimchi could “breath” for about a day. Do I need to do this, or should I just seal the jars completely? Do mason jars work okay?

    • Bill permalink*
      December 9, 2012 6:40 pm

      Hi, Jessica. Sunnie says that if you don’t seal the jars, the kimchi will ferment so it is more sour or bitter, so it’s up to the taste you prefer. And any jar would be fine! Good luck and thanks for finding us!

  15. Rebecca permalink
    January 1, 2013 6:46 am

    Have you checked out Lauryn Chun’s The Kimchi Cookbook that was published at the end of last November? I noticed that she offers vegetarian/vegan alternatives to fish sauce and salted shrimp. Seven of the thirty-one kimchi recipes in her cookbook are vegan and she mentioned that nearly all of the rest are adjustable. (I think the “nearly” was in reference to the twenty-nine recipes that incorporate kimchi and not the kimchi recipes themselves.) I’d be curious to hear your take on her suggestions and recipes. Would you consider reviewing her book in your blog at some point? You can probably get it from the library, if not locally then through interlibrary loan. Too bad you don’t live closer or I’d loan you mine. πŸ™‚

    NB: I’m not associated with the author or Ten Speed Press in any way. I’m just a vegetarian kimchi lover!

    • Bill permalink*
      January 2, 2013 9:43 pm

      Hi, Rebecca. We have not heard of that cookbook yet. We might do a review at some point, but likely not anytime soon as we just are so busy right now, which I’ll be posting about as soon as I get the time! πŸ™‚

      Do let us know if you try it out yourself and what you think!

  16. April 1, 2013 12:32 pm

    Sunnie, may I ask your kimchi advice even though I didn’t use your recipe? I don’t know why I didn’t think to use yours in the first place, but I was trying out recipes from Ani Phyo’s raw Asian cookbook this weekend, and, well, it just kind of happened….

    Anyway, it’s a mat kimchi recipe that calls for you to cut up the cabbage in small pieces and salt it and basically do as in your step #4. But at that point, it says to reserve the water you squeeze out after the cabbage is wilted and rinsed, then put it into the container with the seasoning mix. That’s where I went wrong; I didn’t reserve the water, and so when I went to put my kimchi (all mixed up with the seasonings) into the container to ferment, it had almost no liquid in it.

    A few hours later, I checked on it and noticed it still seemed really dry, so I re-read the recipe I was using and realized my mistake. I didn’t want my cabbage to rot or mold, so I added some water…. then some more salt and gochugaru for good measure, because it looked diluted.

    What do you think– Did I ruin my kimchi and the fermentation process? I guess I’ll know in a few days, but I would love some expert thoughts. Thanks so much.

    • Sunnie permalink*
      April 2, 2013 10:47 am

      Hi Lu! I hope things turned out ok, even if was very dry and you didn’t put water in, it always leaks out more water during the fermentation process. So it shouldn’t have been a bug problem. Let me know how it turned out. Hope it looks good!

      • April 2, 2013 3:36 pm

        Hi, Sunnie, and thank you for the response. πŸ™‚ I’m not optimistic today on Day 2/3 of the fermentation process. It hasn’t given out much more water, so I pushed it all down as flat as it would go so it would at least stay moist. I think I wilted it with the salt for too long, so when I squeezed out the water, I lost a lot more that would have otherwise come out during fermentation.

        It doesn’t really smell that “active,” if you know what I mean. Kind of like when you try to make bread with expired yeast; if you’ve ever made that mistake, you’d know that dead and lifeless feeling. But I’ll give it another day and see!

        At least I got one good experience out if this–I invented a new panchan, LOL. It’s “half-done kimchi”: when I added the pepper and garlic and other seasonings to the cabbage, I thought I had too much cabbage and took some out with only a tiny bit of seasoning mix clinging to it. Then, when I needed a vegetable to eat, I added some fresh bean sprouts, tamari, sesame seeds, and sesame oil. Delicious salad! πŸ˜‰

  17. April 6, 2013 9:59 pm

    I was right–le kimchi est mort. 😦 It never got that “fermenting” smell, and it almost smelled like it was going bad by the time I gave up. But I have a batch of dongchimi brewing, another first, and it seems to be getting along fine, with some bubbles on the surface. I’ve never eaten in, let alone made it, so this is a blind leap for me. πŸ™‚

    • Sunnie permalink*
      April 10, 2013 7:12 am

      Aww, too bad! Hope you like the dongchimi! πŸ™‚

    • April 20, 2013 6:12 pm

      Lu, I had problems when I first started making kimchi, too, but then I started using a Fido jar and they went away. The fermentation is perfect now. I put kelp on top of the kimchi with a weight on top of that and close the lid. The seal lets out just enough gas so the jar doesn’t explode. You can probably get away without using the weight, too, but I haven’t tried it. In case you want to give this a try, the cheapest place I’ve found to purchase Fido jars is Crate & Barrel. Best of luck to you and happy fermenting! πŸ™‚

      • Bill permalink*
        April 21, 2013 11:47 am

        Thanks for the suggestion, Rebecca!

  18. Mona permalink
    May 13, 2013 3:49 pm

    Hi there,

    I currently live in southern AZ where temperatures are extremely high (currently it is 91 degrees and will only increase in the past few weeks). I am worried that by burying it outside, it will bake instead of ferment. What are your thoughts? I guess I could just do a pot for the fridge..



    • Bill permalink*
      May 13, 2013 9:24 pm

      Hi, Mona. Yeah, way too hot. Even in Korea, they ferment kimchi during the winter, so you’ll definitely want to use the fridge instead! Good luck!

  19. Rene Dalusong permalink
    May 17, 2013 2:15 pm

    Thank you for the recipe! It turned great!

    • Bill permalink*
      May 18, 2013 11:25 am

      Awesome to hear, thanks!

  20. Ragtag permalink
    May 22, 2013 11:24 pm

    Yay! I made my first batch of kimchi!!! So proud of myself!
    I’m from Sydney, and the labelling of Kimchi ingredients there is suspicious. I’m pretty sure there’s something fishy about it. There’s a smell….

    Now I moved to San Diego and found 1 brand of vegan kimchi at Wholefoods, and it was so good, but not really spicy. It also didn’t last long. What to do? Zion Market on the weekend! I bought 1 napa cabbage, just to start small, in case it turned out bad. I also got plain rice flour instead of glutinous rice powder by mistake. In any case, also left out the onion, radish and green onions. Accidentally tipped too much gochukaru in! So it ended up waaaaaay to spicy. Luckily, I had some white kimchi which was mixed in to dilute the gochukaru, and it tastes so good! I brought some in for my veggie friend to try at work and they thought it was authentic! The kimchee is running out faster than expected. A good problem to have.

    One thing that is weird: did you ever use your bathtub to make kimchi? I only used 1 cabbage and I had to use a bucket to salt it and mix it. Nothing else would fit it all comfortably. If making a batch with any more than 3 cabbages I can’t imagine what is big enough to contain all the pieces.

    • Bill permalink*
      May 24, 2013 10:02 am

      Sounds like quite the process! Congrats on your first batch – a huge accomplishment! Now you’re ready for full on kimchi adventure!

      We actually buy huge plastic bowls from the Korean grocery store that are typically used for kimchi making. They’re not too pricy and most stored carry them.

      So glad your first batch was a success!

  21. Mary permalink
    August 21, 2013 10:57 am

    Hi! Just wanted to say that I love your blog and was so excited when I found it!
    Also, I have a question about your kimchi pot. I have an old one, but I’m trying to find a new one because one just isn’t enough! I would love if you could recommend the best brand to get, and maybe some suggestions on where to find it.
    Thanks so much!

    • Bill permalink*
      August 25, 2013 10:25 am

      Hi, Mary! Glad you like the blog. Honestly, on the Midwest, we are pretty limited in terms of what kimchi pots are available, do what our local Korean grocery carries is all we are able to get our hands on! Good luck with your kimchi crop! πŸ™‚

  22. Kristina permalink
    September 20, 2013 11:48 am

    Yay I made my first batch of Kimchi yesterday!!! I wasn’t able to find Kelp powder or vegan oyster mushroom sauce.. I did use a splash of soy sauce tho.. It is delicious. I’ve only eaten Kimchi cold… but I just put the kimchi on my taco (potato, onion, kimchi, spinach on a corn tortilla) and heated up in microwave.. Yumm.. the kimchi has a totally different flavor when heated up. It was delicious!! It makes me excited to try dishes where the kimchi is heated up. Thanks so much for this recipe!!! I think I’m officially obsessed with Korean food now… πŸ™‚

    • Bill permalink*
      September 25, 2013 4:42 pm

      That’s awesome, Kristina! Congrats! Yes, cooking with kimchi is fantastic. We often will do a quick stir fry of it and have it with tofu. Delicious! Hope you’ll try some of the other recipes and continue your exploration of Korean cuisine. Thanks for letting us know how it turned out!

  23. Wendyt permalink
    October 22, 2013 11:42 pm

    Hi there, I’m a vegan too, and I like Korean food especially Kimchi!! Love your blog, so informative and many recipes that I like! The thing is that I can’t take onion and ginger so just wondering if we can make this recipe without those 2 ingredients?

    • Bill permalink*
      October 28, 2013 3:15 pm

      Yes, if you can’t eat those, you can just make it without!

  24. April 22, 2014 5:55 pm

    Good article
    Thanks for the recipe

    • Bill permalink*
      June 20, 2014 9:21 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting!

  25. July 31, 2014 8:48 am

    I just finished jarring my first batch of vegan kimchi. it looks amazing! Thank you for the recipe. I was so heartbroken when I found out kimchi wasn’t vegetarian. Now I can eat it again. There is no vegetarian kimchi around my city. I checked. 😦 It is going to be so hard to wait. I will let you know how it turns out. I don’t have the hands of an older, experienced Korean lady, so I’m not sure if I got the feel of it right, but we’ll see. πŸ™‚

    • Bill permalink*
      August 1, 2014 7:52 am

      Awesome! Congrats! We are always tweaking and trying different things so the experience will come! Keep in mind, you can just eat a little if you can’t wait and eating some while you make it is part of the fun!

  26. Jillian permalink
    October 20, 2014 6:53 am

    Hi! Totally want to try out your recipe. Looks delish and I love that there’s no shrimp! A question though…I see a lot of mentioniong of kelp powder in the comments but don’t actually see it in the recipe?! I actually do have some so I’m wondering if I should include it (and how much?) Thanks!!

    • Bill permalink*
      October 21, 2014 9:49 am

      Hi, Jillian! We used to use it but updated the recipe as we didn’t really think it was necessary. If you would a bit of the fishy taste, you can add it to the paste at the beginning – I’d say a teaspoon. Hope you enjoy!

      • Jillian permalink
        November 5, 2014 4:27 am

        Thanks so much!! Good to know πŸ™‚

  27. March 27, 2015 4:05 pm

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I’ve made it about a dozen times now, and I still love it πŸ™‚

    • Bill permalink*
      March 27, 2015 8:30 pm

      That’s so awesome to hear, Maryam! We just finished making a big batch ourselves! πŸ™‚

  28. April 22, 2015 5:50 pm

    Thank you! Thank You! Thank You! for the vegan KimChi recipe. I have been looking for some direction for a while.

    Couple of questions:
    A lot of mention is made about temperature. i live in Los Angeles where it is warm pretty much all the time. Some say to leave the kimchi out some not? I’m confused.

    I have seen many recipes say to leave the container cap loose to allow pressure to escape but you say to cap air-tight. just need a clarification on that. Certainly do not want my first attempt to explode πŸ™‚

    I wanted to give jars of homemade kim chi as Christmas presents last year but could not get it together. Maybe with your help this year I will get it done. Thanks, Calen

    • Bill permalink*
      April 25, 2015 7:52 pm

      Hi, Calen! Kimchi making season is in late fall traditionally, so if it’s pretty warm, you might want to just store it in a refrigerator instead. Unless you fill the jar to near overflowing, you shouldn’t have to keep the cap loose. But leaving it loose can also let some air in which can speed up fermentation. So if you’re nervous, just keep it loose! I hope that helps.

  29. Wendy Yat permalink
    November 10, 2015 4:36 pm

    Hi Guys! LOVE your blog!!!! My daughters and I TOTALLY OBSESSED with the Korean culture. We watched “Moon Embracing Sun” and we were HOOKED! lol My daughter will be bringing 2 Korean girls home with her from college over the Christmas break. We are totally going to be using the recipes off your blog! We want to try to make Kimchi, since it’s a staple of the Korean diet.

    I’m not sure about the whole fermenting process. I want to put the jar in the fridge instead of outside but how long should the kimchi stay refrigerated until the fermentation process is done?

    Wish you would blog more!!!

    Kamsahamida πŸ˜€

    • Bill permalink*
      November 11, 2015 7:07 am

      Hi, glad you enjoy the blog! I know, we’ve become so busy with our little guy that the blogging has slipped. I have a backlog of posts I haven’t managed to push out, but I shall strive to do better! Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for more content (albeit, shared, not our own). Twitter tends to be more animal rights focused, while Facebook has more of the general stuff.

      Anyway, you can start eating the kimchi right away. You don’t have to wait for it to ferment. But it’ll take 1-2 weeks for the fermentation to occur in the refrigerator. As we shared on our Facebook page, we recently ran across a major Korean brand of kimchi in our little local store labeled “Vegan” right on the front, and were so excited! Thanks for the kind thoughts and good luck with the kimchi! We are finishing up “She Was Pretty” right now and looking forward to checking out “Reply Back, 1988”! πŸ™‚

  30. AliceM permalink
    April 6, 2018 10:39 am

    I have made this kimchi many times since I discovered your method. Soon I’m leaving for the grocery store to pick up ingredients. πŸ™‚ Thank you! It’s one of my favourite foods on the planet.

    • Bill permalink*
      April 6, 2018 10:39 am

      That’s awesome to hear. Thanks for letting us know!


  1. Kimjang Season Is Back Again! « The Vegan 8 Korean
  2. Vegan Jjin-Mandu (Korean Steamed Dumplings) Recipe « The Vegan 8 Korean
  3. Vegan Kimchi Recipe! « 60spunk
  4. Homemade Fermented Goodness | Up in the Clouds
  5. Feeding Your Probiotic Microbes « Humane Living
  6. How to Make Vegan Kimchi | The Clean Eating Vegan
  7. Goodbye, 2012: 10 most viewed posts of the year « The Vegan 8 Korean
  8. Penn Vegan Society » Blog Archive » Eating vegan at home- in pictures
  9. My Kimchi Story - Vegan Peasant Catering
  10. Product Review: Granny Chloe’s Kimchi | The Vegan 8 Korean
  11. Product Review: Granny Choe’s Kimchi | The Vegan 8 Korean
  12. Getting Vegan Food While Travelling through South Korea Part 2: Smaller Cities | S.K. in S.K.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: