This vibrant, turmeric and ginger-infused napa cabbage kimchi (excerpted from Mississippi Vegan by Timothy Pakron) is crunchy, zesty, and tangy — the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps. It can also be tossed into fried rice or a vegetable stir-fry.
Timothy Pakron, the creator of this recipe, writes:
“To spin it my own way, I add fresh turmeric root, which provides the cabbage with a beautiful yellow glow. I like my kimchi to have a kick, so I throw in some chili peppers, but you can totally leave that out if you’d prefer.
When purchasing the Napa cabbage head, make sure to weigh one that is over 2½ pounds, as you will be removing the green parts. The goal is to be left with 2 pounds for the batch of kimchi.”
Ingredients needed for napa cabbage kimchi
- Napa cabbage (1 large head)
- Onion (1 medium)
- Fresh garlic (5 cloves)
- Fresh turmeric (1 knob)
- Fresh ginger (1 knob)
- Sea salt
- Cayenne pepper (optional)
Reprinted from Mississippi Vegan: Recipes & Stories from a Southern Boy’s Heart by Timothy Pakron. By arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. © 2018.
Mississippi Vegan is available wherever books are sold.
Contributed byTimothy Pakron, a photographer, recipe developer, food stylist, and passionate home cook. Mississippi Vegan is his debut cookbook. Visit him at Mississippi Vegan.
- Here are more recipes featuring kimchi to explore.
- If you like the distinct flavor and brilliant hue of turmeric, you may enjoy this roundup of turmeric beverages.
Sunshine Napa Cabbage Kimchi
This vibrant napa cabbage kimchi is crunchy, zesty, and tangy—the perfect addition to salads, sandwiches, and wraps or thrown into fried rice or a vegetable stir-fry.
- 1 large head Napa cabbage, (a little over 2½ pounds)
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh turmeric
- 1½ tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
- Remove the outer leaves of the cabbage head. Chop off the darker green leaves on top (to keep the bright yellow color of the finished kimchi). Cut the cabbage into 2-inch squares so that you are left with exactly 2 pounds and transfer to a large bowl.
- In a blender, combine ½ cup of filtered water, the onion, garlic, turmeric, ginger, sea salt, and cayenne, if using, and blend into a smooth paste. Pour this mixture over the cabbage.
- Using your hands, deeply massage the cabbage, bruising the pieces and making them soft and pliable.
- Transfer the mixture to a large screw-top jar (I recommend a 1-gallon-size jar; see lagniappe) and press the mixture down so that it is mostly submerged in liquid. Tap the bottom of jar to get rid of any air bubbles.
- Screw on the top of the jar (not too tight) and leave it out to sit in a dark, cool place for 5 days. Remember to burp the jar, opening the lid to release accumulated gases, once or twice a day for the first few days.
- After 5 days, try a small piece. You’ll know it’s done when it tastes tangy and delightfully sour and has a nice crunch. Refrigerate overnight and start enjoying the next day! Keep tightly sealed in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Make sure to leave at least 2 inches of room at the top of the jar so that the kimchi does not overflow while fermenting. If you do cram the kimchi into a smaller jar, just remember that it is going to expand and bubble, and likely overflow all over the counter (it’s happened to me a few times!). If you are using a smaller jar, place it in a bowl just to be safe.
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Mine had almost no liquid, and didn’t ferment. It didn’t rot or anything after several weeks, but stayed preserved. I added water after a couple of weeks, but nothing changed. Any suggestions? Thanks!
Tanya, this is a contributed recipe … let me see if I can get its author to respond to you.