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Home Food Waste Turn soft veggies into homemade kimchi with this spicy recipe

Turn soft veggies into homemade kimchi with this spicy recipe

Published on May 05 2021

Got veggies on the softer side? Turn them into kimchi!

Kimchi is a popular fermented Asian condiment known for being the hot and funky sidekick to many Korean-inspired dishes such as sizzling bibimbaps, toasty fried rice and, of course, melt-in-your-mouth Korean barbecue. 

While traditional recipes often include nappa cabbage, you can use virtually any leafy greens you want to make your own at home. Best of all, it’s a great way to quickly get rid of those limp, lifeless veggies that are still hanging out in your fridge without having to throw them in the trash.

While fermenting your own foods at home can seem a little intimidating at first, you’ll quickly realize that it’s super easy and fun. So much so, that you’ll pretty much want to ferment everything after trying this zero-waste kimchi recipe.

But why should I eat kimchi in the first place?

Glad you asked! Like many fermented foods, Kimchi is full of healthy bacteria like probiotics that are said to be good for your gut and your immune system. It’s also nutritious and contains antioxidants that protect your cells against free radicals. Talk about a powerhouse food! 

Ready to turn those sad-looking veggies into the best homemade kimchi ever? Follow our lead…

How to make top-notch kimchi at home

How to make top-notch kimchi at home


  • 5 tbsp sugar (divided)
  • 3 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 lb of mixed vegetables*, roughly chopped
  • 1 red apple, peeled & grated 
  • ¼ cup gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) OR gochujang (fermented Korean chili paste)
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

*The beauty of kimchi is you can use any vegetables you have on hand. They can be either fresh or on the softer side. Here are some of our favourites: nappa cabbage, carrots, green onions, cauliflower and bok choy.


  1. In a large bowl, add chopped vegetables and apple, then toss in 3 tbsp salt and 3 tbsp sugar. Let produce sit for at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours at room temp, mixing every 15 minutes or so. This is to allow the juices to release.
  2. Make the paste by blending 2 tbsp sugar, gochugaru, fish sauce, ginger and garlic until it becomes a thick paste. 
  3. Drain and squeeze out water from vegetables and set brine (salty leftover liquid) aside. 
  4. Using gloves or tongs, toss veggies with kimchi paste until evenly coated.
  5. Divide kimchi evenly between jars and add a little of the leftover brine to just cover the vegetables, being careful to leave 1-2 inches of headspace at the top. 
  6. Close the lid and let ferment at room temperature for 3-5 days depending on how deep you want the flavours to be. Important! Make sure you let the jar breath regularly by unscrewing the lid to let accumulated air escape and then closing it up again.
  7. Once you see bubbles beginning to form (usually after 3 days), store in the fridge so it can continue to ferment another 2 weeks or so where it’ll develop the deep, complex flavours kimchi is known for. Don’t forget to occasionally unscrew the lid to let the air out!

When it’s ready to serve, add a spoonful to your rice bowls, burritos, and more!


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