Nappa Cabbage Water Kimchi

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For those of you who have been wondering about what to make of the napa cabbages in your CSA loot, here is an easy and healthy water kimchi recipe that is also raw, fermented, vegan and gluten-free! There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi and this one is a basic recipe that produces a refreshing and non-spicy water kimchi. Did I say it’s easy?


1 Napa Cabbage, cut into 1 sq inch.

2-4 Carrots, long thin slices cut into 1 inch rectangular pieces

2 stalks of green onion, cut into 2” pieces

½ gallon filtered water


To be blended:

8 cloves of Garlic, minced

1 onion, roughed cubed

2 Tablespoon sea salt

1/2 Tbsp hot pepper powder (found in Korean stores* but can left out)

½ Asian pear, peeled (optional, for sweetness)


*FYI a nearby Korean grocery store is located on Hillsborough, just west of Dale Mabry: Kim Brothers Oriental 4021 W Hillsborough Ave, Tampa, FL 33614 (813) 886-8989



1) Blend garlic, onion, hot pepper powder and sea salt in a blender until smooth. Set this marinade aside.

2) In a big bowl, toss napa cabbage, carrots and green onion.

3) Pour the blended marinade over the cabbage mix.

4) Gently massage the marinade with the cabbage mix. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the indelible onion sting.

5) Cover the bowl and set aside overnight.

6) Next day, you will find water pooled at the bottom, which is a sign of start of fermentation. Stir in approximately ½ gallon of filtered water.

7) Taste the liquid and add more salt or sweetener of your choice, if desired.

8) Your water kimchi is done and you can eat it right away. (You can drink the liquid). Store the rest in the refrigerator. But you can also let it sit on the counter for a few days too allow fermentation and increase bioavailability of its nutrients. Fermenting will produce the sour tangy taste characteristic of fermented food. When fermented to your liking store in the fridge. Try some before and some after fermenting to see which you prefer. Enjoy!

water kimchi from Jane Shim

Source:  Jane Shim – gourmet raw food and pastry chef and instructor, certified from the renowned Living Light Culinary Arts Institute. Also a certified nutrition consultant.


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Veggies in this recipe