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Small Batch Vegan Kimchi
5 from 1 vote
Author: Lisa Lin

Small Batch Vegan Kimchi

This vegan kimchi recipe yields just under a liter of kimchi. I used an Asian pear in this recipe because I like how sweet and juicy they are, and they help make a nice seasoning paste. If Asian pears are not readily available, feel free to use a sweet apple, such as fuji apples. 
Total Time21 hrs 21 mins



  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds napa cabbage, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • water, about 8 cups

Seasoning Paste

  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice flour, or glutinous rice flour
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup gochugaru, Korean chili pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 4 scallions, light green and white portions, sliced
  • 1 Asian pear, shinko, diced into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce, use tamari if gluten free
  • 1 tablespoon porcini mushroom powder, optional


  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1/2 cup julienned daikon, Japanese turnip
  • 4 scallions, dark green part, sliced into 2-inch chunks


Brine the Napa Cabbage

  • Rinse the napa cabbage thoroughly and remove any discolored leaves. Slice the napa cabbage into 2 halves, and slice each portion in half again, so you have 4 quarters.
  • In a large bowl, stir the kosher salt with 8 cups of water, until the salt dissolves. Carefully place the cabbage into the brine. If it doesn't look like there is enough water to fully submerge the cabbage, top off the bowl with more water. Place a plate over the cabbage to keep the vegetables submerged under water.
  • Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature overnight. Drain and rinse the cabbage.
  • Take each section of the cabbage and slice it in half to get 2 long strips. Slice the strips into 1 1/2 to 2-inch pieces.

Prepare the Seasoning

  • Mix the rice flour with 2/3 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring the water to boil over medium heat. Stir the mixture constantly to break up the clumps of rice flour. The mixture should start to thicken in 1 to 2 minutes. Let the mixture simmer for 1 minute and turn off the heat. You should have a thick mixture that looks like pudding. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stick it into the fridge to cool.
  • Once the rice mixture has cooled to about room temperature, transfer it to a food processor. Add the gochugaru, garlic, ginger, light green and white portions of the scallions, asian pear, salt, soy sauce, and porcini mushroom powder. Blend everything until you get a smooth mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
  • Transfer the napa cabbage pieces to a large bowl. Add the carrots, daikon, and dark green parts of the scallions. Stir to combine the vegetables.
  • Pour the seasoning mixture over the vegetables. Wearing gloves, thoroughly rub the seasoning into the vegetables. You want to wear gloves because seasoning stains and the spice from the peppers can be too much for your hands. If you don't have gloves, you can also stick your hands into plastic produce bags.


  • Carefully transfer the kimchi to a sterilized canning or mason jar. Pack the kimchi and seal the jar. Let it sit at room temperature in a cool, dark place for 3 to 4 days. DO NOT open the jar during this initial fermentation period. This will expose the kimchi to oxygen and can lead to mold. If you notice juice and bubbles forming in the vegetables, don't worry. That's exactly what you want to see.
  • Transfer the jar to the back of your fridge and let it sit there for another 3 to 4 days.
  • Taste the kimchi. If you prefer more sour kimchi, leave it in the fridge for a few more days. The kimchi will continue to ferment over time. Otherwise, serve it with your favorite foods!


NUTRITION INFORMATION: Amount per serving (about 1/2 cup): Calories: 59, Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 999mg, Total Carbohydrate: 12.1g, Dietary Fiber: 3.3g, Sugar: 4.3g, Protein 2.8g
I sterilize my jars by running very hot water inside the jars and letting them air dry before canning.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or leave a star rating and comment on the blog!