Deliciously preserved: kimchi

This is a staple food in Korea.

Laura Edwards

Makes about 750g

1 litre filtered water
40g sea salt
750g Chinese leaf lettuce (Napa cabbage)
250g mooli or daikon radish
500g carrots
1 banana shallot, finely diced

1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled
5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
3 tbsp Korean gochugaru powder/paste or cayenne pepper

  1. Boil 100ml of the water and add the salt, stirring to dissolve. Allow to cool then add the remaining water.
  2. Cut the cabbage into chunky slices about 5cm-6cm wide for the top part and 1cm-2cm wide for the base part. Ribbon the mooli and carrots into long, thin, wide strips using a vegetable peeler.
  3. In a big container, mix the cabbage, mooli and carrots with your hands. Cover the vegetables with the brine (make up more if needed). Weight the vegetables under the brine with a plate or weights, cover and leave at room temperature for up to 8 hours.
  4. Drain the brine, reserving 600ml. Mix the shallot through the veg. To make the spice paste, add 100ml of the brine to a processor with the onion, garlic, ginger and gochugaru. Blend until smooth. Mix through the cabbage.
  5. With gloved hands, pack handfuls of the mixture into a clean or sterilised 1 litre jar with a wide neck (see here). Cover with the reserved brine. The vegetables must be submerged to prevent oxidation and moulding. You can weigh them down using a sterilised glass weight or a plate with a weight on top. A piece of parchment pushed and wedged firmly down into the jar will work too.
  6. Clean the sides of the jar and cover the top with muslin secured with an elastic band. Leave in a cupboard at room temperature for between 3 days and 4 weeks. Once you’re happy with the taste, remove the weight, clean the sides of the jar and keep up to six weeks in the fridge.

Now buy the book

The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen
Our recipes are from The Modern Preserver’s Kitchen by Kylee Newton, which will be published on 30 September by Quadrille, price £22. To preorder a copy for £18.70 until 3 October, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.