White Man’s Kimchi

Although my partner grumbles and complains to high heaven about the smell while I am making kimchi, he usually eats it up and wants more. I have taken out the chilis for this recipe of kimchi and added in burdock root, so it isn’t by any means an authentic Korean kimchi, but we like it. It also makes a quick salad when added to steamed broccoli and sunflower seeds, then tossed in olive oil (Recipe).

Makes about 2 quart jars (depending on size of cabbage)


  • 1 litre filtered water
  • 4 T himalayan or sea salt


  • 1 medium napa cabbage, shredded
  • 6 medium organic carrots, grated
  • 1 large daikon radish, julienned
  • 3 medium burdock roots, julienned


  • 1 bulb garlic, pounded
  • 2-3 ” nob ginger, peeled and well pounded
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1-2 anchovies, mashed (optional-best not to use in the summer)
  • dash honey

Mix up the brine. I use a litre bottle and add in the salt and give it a good shake until it is all dissolved. Cut up or grate the vegetables and pour the brine over them. Push them down and keep them weighed down with a plate, allow to soak for 6-8 hours.

Drain off the liquid (you can reserve it and use it to add salt to soups, at the last minute). Add the pounded and sliced herbs and anchovies and mix, press down into glass jars with plastic lids and set in a cool, dark corner of your kitchen for about a week. In the summer three days may be plenty. Check your ferment daily and taste it. Once you get to know what you like you will know when to move it to the fridge.

This can be kept in the fridge for several months after making it, but usually it won’t last that long. Kimchi makes a great addition to any meal, is great in salads, soups and sandwiches.

I was just speaking to the Korean owner of the laundromat the last time I was doing laundry, and this is indeed white-man’s kimchi. He told me that I should only cut the cabbage into 4 to 8 pieces length-wise, sprinkle it with salt directly and leave it for about 4 hours and then wash the salt off (taste it) then add in the garlic and spices between the leaves of the cabbage and let it sit. He says it has a much better taste. He also said he didn’t eat spicy kimchi, in fact non-spicy kimchi is called ‘white kimchi.’

By the way kimchi is very high in micro-organisms and vitamins, and is great for the digestive tract and the immune system.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Jenny

    This was really delicious and the first thing I ever pickled! I ate an entire jar in a week– no problem. The veggies on top turned brown– I wonder if these means the plastic lids I got don’t seal well enough? Thank you for this recipe! Hooray for Burdock Root!

    1. hellaD

      Wow that is really cool! So happy to get you fermenting. I have to make some more myself. Sometimes I just make it with julienned carrots and diakon, I guess you can mix it up however you feel or according to whatever ingredients you have on hand. Bean sprouts is a good addition too.

      If the veggies on top turn brown it might be good to make sure there is enough liquid covering them. I know the levels of liquid change during the process , but I wouldn’t worry too much. You can still eat them, but if that happens to me I usually just take off the first layer. It is good if it doesn’t seal too well and there is a little breathing ability too. Yeah burdock root rocks! For some reason my partner doesn’t like it too much in soup etc so that’s why I started disguising it in pickles :)

  2. Marie

    Oh yeah. That’s what I’m talking about!
    A Kimchee Addict

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