Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe
Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe with napa cabbage and crunchy carrots fermented in sweet apple and pear sauce. This gluten-free and Whole30 Paleo Kimchi recipe has spicy, non-spicy, AIP, and vegan kimchi versions. It’s quick, easy, and crunchy delicious !
Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe
I’ve always been a kimchi lover. In Taiwan, you can find white kimchi (a non-spicy version) more often than the red kimchi (slightly spicier version). Kimchi is often served (at least in Taiwan) as a side dish to go with beef noodle soup, stir-fry dishes, or savory meat sauce over a bowl of rice. It balances any main dishes and gives a refreshing touch to any savory meal.
I absolutely adore both spicy and non-spicy versions but personally I have a slightly stronger preference for the red kimchi (i.e. regular kinds). To be honest, I never felt that kimchi is spicy – although it’s made with Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru) – a good jar of fermented kimchi is well-balanced between fruity, tart, salty, and a hint of sweet and spicy taste.
How to make easy kimchi
While it might sound intimidating to make kimchi at home, check out the ingredients below and you’ll see how easy it is to make homemade kimchi that’s free of gluten, rice, and soy.
- 1 whole napa cabbage
- Apple (prefer Fuji Apple)
- Pear (prefer Korean or Asian pear but Bosc pear will do)
- Fresh ginger root, garlic cloves, yellow onion, and scallions
- Korean red pepper powder – gochugaru (skip for non-spicy kimchi)
- Red Boat fish sauce (skip for vegan kimchi)
Check out the video below on how to make Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe !
Gently rub coarse salt into the cabbage and set aside for 3-4 hours to allow the salt to pull water out of the cabbage. The process is similar to my Korean Chilled Zucchini Slices.
Blend all the yummy fruit – apple and pear – with aromatics in a food processor or mini blender until smooth. This will be your kimchi marinade ingredients.
Gently rub and marinade onto each leaves and pack them relatively tight into large mason jars with 1-inch gap at the top so that it gives the kimchi some room to ferment without spilling over.
The weather and the temperature of your house will play a role in how fast and slow your cabbage ferments. If it’s really hot and humid, I recommend storing the kimchi jars in the fridge after 2 days of fermentation at room temperature. If it’s cold and dry out, store the jars in the fridge after 3 to 4 days fermentation at room temperature.
You want to make sure that the cabbages are submerged under the brine so it won’t turn moldy. I use a clean spoon gently press the cabbage down once per day until it ripens to my liking (about 3 days later).
If you aren’t sure how many days to ferment your kimchi, give it a taste test. It should be well-balanced between fruity, tart, a little bit salty, sweet and spicy. YUM !!!
I’ll be sharing different ways to use Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe in the coming weeks. The possibilities are endless. So be sure to check back here often for more crunchy yummy probiotic goodness !
So my friends this Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe is –
Hint of salty and spicy
Paleo, Whole30, Gluten-free
& can be made Vegan, AIP + non-spicy
If you give this Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe a try, let me know ! Leave a comment and rate the recipe. And don’t forget to take a picture and tag it #IHeartUmami on Instagram. I’d love to see what you come up with. XOXO !
Paleo Easy Kimchi Recipe
.Ferment ~ 3 days. More info below..
Makes about three 32 oz (1 liter) jars of kimchi
- 1 whole napa cabbage, , about 3.7 lbs
- 1 to 1.5 cups matchstick thin sliced carrots
- 3 tbsp coarse sea salt
- ¾ cup diced yellow onion
- 1 bosc pear, or half 1 whole Asian pear, cored, and skin removed
- Half 1 whole red apple, (gala, fuji, cored and sin removed)
- 6-7 large garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp roughly sliced ginger root
- 1 tbsp Red Boat fish sauce*
- 1 to 1.5 tbsp Korean red pepper powder, Gochugaru (or 1/2 to 1 tbsp cayenne pepper. See notes)
- 1.25 cups diced scallions
Good tool to have:
- Cabbage & Carrots: Quarter the cabbage then dice to about 2-inch sections. Julienne carrots to matchstick thin. Rinse well and set aside to drain.
- Salt: In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle 3 tbsp salt over cabbage and carrots and gently use your hands to rub the salt-in. Let them sit for 3 to 4 hours in a shady and cool area until the leaves are wilted. Rinse under cold water. Use your hands to gently squeeze out the liquid. Set them aside in an extra large bowl.
- Kimchi marinade: Blend items under “kimchi sauce” from onion to pepper powder in a food processor until smooth. Combine cabbage, carrots, and scallions with the marinade. Mix and coat well (you can either use your hands with a glove or two wooden spoons to toss).
- Pack: Place kimchi in glass jars with lid. Try to pack them down to close air pockets. Leave 1 inch at the top for air and gases. This will prevent it from spilling during fermentation process. Make sure the vegetables are covered with marinade on top. You can also place a large tray underneath to hold the jars and to prevent it from spilling.
- Ferment: Seal the containers and store in a nice, shady, and cool area at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. After 24 hours, open the jar and pack it down with a clean spoon. Do this once per day until you are happy with the taste. You may notice some bubbling and this is perfectly normal. The longer you ferment, the stronger the flavor will develop. Once you move them to the fridge it will slow down the fermentation process. Best finish in 1 month.
I can’t have fruit right now, can I make the white kimchi without it?
You’ll need to add a little sweetness to make it work though…
Hi Chiyu! Excited to try this. I made it yesterday but I was a little short on fresh garlic (I had 4 large cloves and 2 small). I wasn’t sure if making this with jarred, minced garlic would mess it up or not, so I didn’t supplement. If I’m making this in the future and ran out of fresh garlic cloves, could I use the jarred minced garlic (ingredients: garlic, citric acid, and xanthan gum) ??
Hi Casey, the garlic add flavor to the kimchi. I haven’t tried the dish with jarred minced garlic. The flavor might be milder but I think it should be fine.
Hi Chihyu, can’t find Napa cabbage where I live. What is the best substitute?
Hi Janice! Great to hear from you. This recipe is particularly for Napa cabbage though. There are many other kimchi recipes use daikon radish or even cucumbers. I plan on writing a cucumber version soon so that I can share it with everyone here!
Can gochujang Korean chili sauce be used if powder cannot be found?
Hi Kate, I haven’t tried that and no sure if it’ll affect the fermentation process though.
Hello! I do not have gluten/sugar free fish sauce where I live (Doha). Is there an alternative? Coconut aminos?
Hi Emily, I would use coconut aminos with coarse sea salt. Fish sauce is made with anchovies and coarse salt. You can skip it and make vegan kimchi. :))
Mmm, I used to make kimchi all of the time! I need to make it again. I love that you blended so many of the ingredients together, I think that if I followed your method, that I would make it more often if I didn’t have to do so much chopping!
Thanks so much, Katie ! I totally hear you and that’s why I love this simple easy kimchi version !
My husband cant live without kimchi, i like it too. Its time to let my kids to try it!
That’s so lovely to hear ! Yay !