I had never had kimchi until a few weeks ago.
I discovered a jar sitting on the shelf at the supermarket and had to try it…one bite later I was hooked!
I loved the soft crunchy texture, the perfect mix of salt and sour, the spicy kick and the fantastic flavors…
…and getting a healthy dose of probiotics to go along with that, that definitely makes kimchi a real winner!

After that first experience I knew I just had to make my own, and I’m glad I did!
First of all, I have control over what goes in it. I don’t have to rely on store availability of them little jars since all ingredients are commonly available everywhere and it also makes the addiction (sorry, -the consumption) much, much cheaper…the huge batch I made probably did not cost more than that first little jar I bought.
And while it does require a bit of patience, it’s actually really easy to make!

Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented cabbage side dish that serves as the country’s national dish.
And that for a good reason…here’s how to make your own and you’ll know why:



Prep time30 minutes
Cook time216 hours
Total time216 hours, 30 minutes
Compliance Paleo, Primal, Whole30
Meal type Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish
Main ingredient Vegetables
Miscellaneous Fermented
Delicious traditional Korean, spicy, fermented cabbage.

What you need:


    • 1 pear (minced)
    • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (minced)
    • 3 tablespoons fresh garlic (minced)
    • 9oz daikon (julienned)
    • 3 scallions (sliced)
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
    • 1 tablespoon chili flakes
    • 3 tablespoons chili powder

    For soaking

    • 0.4 cup (1 dl) salt (iodine free)
    • water

    The cabbage

    • 1 head napa cabbage (about 2.2 lb (1 kg))

    What to do:

    Day 1
    1Split the cabbage in two, lengthwise.
    2Sprinkle salt evenly between each leaf and around the halves, then place them in a large bowl with the cut surface facing up.
    3Cover with water and place a plate with a weight on on top of the cabbage to keep it submerged.
    4Let stand in room temperature for about 24 hours (minimum overnight).
    Day 2
    5Rinse the cabbage carefully to remove any excess salt, and let them drain in a colander.
    6Put all ingredients for the seasoning in a bowl and mix them well.
    7Spread the seasoning evenly between the leaves and the outside of the cabbage halves, then "twist and fold" the tip end of the leaves over the cut surface of each half and put them in a 2 quart Fido jar.
    8Gently press down on the cabbage to make air trapped in between escape, then close the lid.
    9Let stand in room temperature for 24 hours.
    Day 3-9
    10Transfer the jar to the fridge and let stand for 7 days.
    Day 9
    11After a week, open the jar and take out the cabbage halves. cut them in half right across to separate the softer tip part of the leaves to the thicker root part.
    Remove the stem, then put the cabbage back into the jar (try to alternate tip end pieces and root end pieces so you get a little bit of both each time you dig in).
    Day 9 and forward


    For your Whole30, make sure the fish sauce is free from added sugar or other additives. (Red Boat is a compliant brand.)

    Tip: I used my crock pot insert bowl for soaking, it was the only large enough bowl I could find...



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    1. Pingback: Kimchi | Paleo Digest

    2. Hello Peter,

      lovely as always. I am very happy that you enjoy this Korean superfood.

      I was doing it bit differently, but frankly, your recipe brought me to re-think it for next time. I was giving coconut sugar (around 1 tbsp for this amount) as ‘fuel’ for the probiotics and I am quite sure they will eat it out all before the fermentation process is finished. I was quite aware that Nashi pear is usually used in plenty of variations of this national dish. So next time, I will use pear as the ‘fuel’ and it will be more Whole30 complaint than my version.

      Firstly I was bit affraid, as my first experience was extremely gingery and quite over-fermented, so had real hard scent of .. well .. we call it, too long time worn socks. Simply disguisting. But when I mad my own, it was so nice, that I don’t even know where has the whole 3 liter batch gone.

      So thank you for making me re-think and try next time bit differently.
      And I will be looking forward to see some fancy recipe here on your site, utilizing kimchi as much as possible. (There are some lovely salads and soups I have tasted with it, apart from the fact it can be used with any kind of food as side).

      Cheers from Czech republic,
      your devoted follower Mirek aka Metla.

      PS: I love the ‘new’ look of your web, this is exactly how I would want to have it as well. Although I will be feeling like I am stealing the concept from you :-)

      • Strictly Paleo...ish!

        Hi Metla,

        Hope everything is well and fine! :)
        Pear works like a charm, so don’t hesitate to go for it for the next batch.

        Glad to hear I made you hungry for making some kimchi again…I agree, it’s a pretty awesome dish!
        (Oh, and about the smell…I’m pretty sure Linda’s words about mine were something like what you wrote too, haha! I don’t think it was that bad though) ;)

        No worries Metla, you should create your site any way you like!
        (And if I can be some kind of inspiration it’s just a proof that I must be doing something right…) :)

        Take care Mirek, great to hear from you!

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