Can you make kimchi out of ANYTHING?

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  EvilGrin 1 month, 1 week ago.

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    So I came home after being away for the Easter break, and had my usual shock-horror response when I saw the contents of my refrigerator crisper, which I’d totally forgotten about before I left. Even though I’ve never made kimchi before, I decided to make it out of the things that most desperately needed using: a bag of discounted coleslaw mix I’d bought on impulse, a bunch of bok choy whose outer leaves were beginning to wilt, carrots, and a couple of bunches of spring (green) onions that were papery on the outside but still had sweet and tender centres. I followed Maangchi’s instructions for the Emergency Kimchi (and using up these vegetables was an emergency!) and a short time later, kimchi! OK, so obviously, this is not a purist’s kimchi, but it’s good. Although it’s not yet fermented, this is like a million plus a million times better than any kimchi I’ve ever had in a restaurant or out of a purchased box. The salting process totally removed the bitterness from the bok choy, and the flavours are rounded and full.

    So I started thinking: can you make kimchi out of anything? I’m not thinking delicate, frail vegetables like lettuce, obviously, but what about other vegetables? I’d love to experiment with, say, pumpkin, or broccoli stalks, or anything that will stand up to the salting and fermentation process.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts (and yes, I will make a proper, traditional kimchi very soon)!



    You can make kimchi out of all of the veggies you mention even lettuce. But the lettuce ones gets made just before serving.

    Remember kimchi is just a way of pickling vegetables. And traditionally it did not contain any kind of hot pepper. Hot peppers are not native to Korea.

    You can make pumpkin kimchi but normally pumpkin gets ground up or grated into kimchi.



    Thanks for your reply, Powerplantop. This is really good to hear. After my cheat’s kimchi I’ll make a straightforward napa cabbage one, and then start experimenting! Can’t wait. I’ve been doing a little research and seen some beautiful kimchis I want to try.

    I realise that any cuisine outside of the Americas adopted chilies and peppers, but since I’m still relatively new to Korean cuisine, I tend to associate kimchi with chilies. I’ve seen white and water kimchis that look amazing and I will eventually try, but something red and spicy is more my speed right now.



    I have been making fermented vegetables for about a year now and love them. I have been looking for a good kimchi recipe and I found it last day..cannot wait to try it.Rx Pharmacy Online



    I currently have about four different kinds of kimchi and just love it. It’s gone from being a curio to an essential ingredient in a very short time. My favourite at the moment is a very crunchy one with cubed beets. I call it pinkchi because of the colour! I’ve made it with a pear puree and left it unfermented, and it’s quite delicious.



    I would say yes. When my friend and I visited a Korean restaurant in Atlanta, we were asked to be “guinea pigs” for some kimchee variations the owner was trying out that she thought might appeal a bit more to the western palate. One of the most unusual ones was celery kimchee. Young, not fermented, and with a slight drizzle of sesame oil. It really was delicious.

    When I was little, and it was near impossible to get Korean veggies in our little South Georgia town, my mother use to make kimchee from watermelon rinds. It was delicious too. Tasted sort of like radish kimchee but a slight bit sweeter.



    Oh, wow – thank you so much for this reply! I have been wondering about celery and an unfermented one with sesame oil sounds very, very good indeed. As does the watermelon rind one! I love watermelon pickle but it can be quite sweet – this would be awesome.

    I feel confident to start experimenting more and more now. Kimchi is not just delicious, but a wonderful way to preserve perfect vegetables without altering their texture. A few days ago at the market I saw this bunch of rainbow radish and wanted to make a water kimchi out of it straight away! I will, soon. :)


    John in Baton Rouge

    Love love love the idea of watermelon rind kimchi! When I was a child my grandmother made watermelon rind pickles, which i never ate. Never sounded appetizing. It was not fermented, just pickled like an american cucumber pickle. But making a good fermented kimchi with it sounds awesome. And it uses up the whole watermelon. Why throw the rind away? I’m making some this summer. Thank you soooo much for the idea! :) Love the description “similar to radish kimchi but sweeter”… radish kimchi happens to be one of my favorites, and I love my radish kimchi on the sweet side. I double the sugar Maangchi calls for (I use 4 TBSP, not 2). And I use brown sugar not white.



    Kohlrabi makes great kimchi too. I mix it with radish when making kkaktugi.

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