Vegetarian Kimchi (No onion or garlic)

Take a tablespoon each day to improve your digestive system! The following recipe was adapted from Maangchi’s Tongbaechu-kimchi as my husband doesn’t take onion or garlic and thus never had a good experience with kimchi.



Cabbage Marinate

3.5 kg Napa Cabbage (大白菜)(I had 3 heads of them here)
1/2 cup of salt
Kimchi paste

470ml  water
2 Tbsp Glutinous rice flour (Aka Sweet/Sticky Rice Flour)
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce2 inch knob of Ginger, minced
1 bunch  Minari Aka Chinese Celery, diced
2 cups  White Radish or Daikon, julienned
1 cup  Carrot, julienned
1 cup Korean pepper flakes



Cabbage Marinate

  1. Cut the cabbages into quarters lengthwise, leaving the bottom intact so that the leaves are still attached to each other. Rinse under running water, this ensures better adhesion of the salt in step 2.
  2. Rub salt on each piece of leaf, taking care to put more on the hard stem than the leaves.
  3. Place it in a bowl / tub / pot.
  4. Set a timer to turn the cabbages every 30 mins so that they are properly salted. You will see water at the bottom of the tub. Leave them there as you turn the cabbages.
  5. At the end of 2 hours (or until properly salted, I tear a piece of cabbage to try) rinse the salt off each leaf of the cabbage under running water. (I wash them in a total of 3 times, again tearing a piece of the leaf to see if it’s too salty).

Kimchi paste

  1. Mix water and the flour together. Pour into a saucepan at medium heat. Taking care to stir constantly.
  2. When it started to boil, add the brown sugar (white sugar also works) and cook for around 1 minute. The mixture will turn glossy and smooth.
  3. Leave the mixture to cool.
  4. Prepare white radish, carrot, ginger and chinese celery at this point while mixture cools.
  5. When the flour-water has cooled down, add all ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.

Making Kimchi

  1. Smear the paste on each leaf of cabbage, ensuring all surfaces are coated.
  2. Put them in a food-safe plastic container or glass container ensuring that there’re around 1 inch of space from top of container.
  3. Press the cabbage down before closing so that all the air at the bottom has escape. Leave the container outside for 1-2 days to let it ferment.
  4. Once fermented, it can be stored in the refrigerator for around 2-3 months depending on how you use it.
You can tell when fermentation has started when you press the cabbage down on and there’re bubbles in the liquid. Always press the cabbage down when you take some kimchi out so that it is always submerged in the juice. This will prevent mould from forming on its surface.

I used only Ginger and Chinese Celery. The original recipe used garlic and onion and fish sauce.