Fermenting Vegetables at Home

Last week I wrote about the benefits of including fermented foods in your daily diet. You can serve a small amount of pickle, sauerkraut, or Kimchi with each meal and that little bit goes a long way in supporting the digestive process. If it is difficult to find live, cultured vegetables in your local foods market you can easily make them at home. This allows you the peace of mind knowing that the ingredients you use are the best, plus making your own cultured vegetables keeps your costs way down.

Here are two easy recipes to try for both the beginner and the experienced chef. Kimchi is a standard Korean dish, traditionally made with Chinese Napa cabbage. It can be made mild or spicy as you prefer. The quick pickles ferment for 24 hours before serving, but last in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Kimchi (Kim Chee)
1 lb Chinese or regular cabbage
1 large carrot
1/4 lb white radishes
2 scallions, thinly sliced or 1 leek, cut into half moons
2 Tbs. sea salt
1/2 cup water
3� piece ginger, minced
2 clove garlic
2 to 4 hot red peppers, dried, 2 inches long, split or
1 Tbs. chili powder

1. Slice the cabbage lengthwise into quarters. Remove the tough core and
then slice the quarters into 1 to 2 inch-long pieces.
2. Slice the carrot and radishes lengthwise and then into 2 inch-long
sections. Slice the sections into very thin strips.
3. Toss cabbage, carrot and radishes with the scallions, salt and
water. Cover loosely and let stand overnight.
4. Drain liquid from the vegetables into a bowl. Add honey and vinegar to
the liquid and stir well until honey is dissolved.
5. Add ginger, garlic and peppers to the vegetables and pack them into
sterilized jars. Pour liquid into the jars. If more liquid is needed to
cover vegetables, add water.
6. Cover loosely with a lid and let sit at room temperature for 3 to 5 days
to ferment. (Longer winter, shorter summer) The liquid will bubble and the flavor will become sour.
7. Refrigerate the Kimchi for 3 to 4 days. The cabbage will become
translucent and will be ready to serve.

Yields 1 quart

24-Hour Pickles
1 carrot
2 radish
2 turnips
2 piece ginger
cup Ume Plum vinegar (see note)
2 Tbs. Mirin rice wine

1. Wash the vegetables, slice in half lengthwise, then slice into thin half moon pieces.
Place in a large bowl and set aside.
2. Whisk together the vinegar and Mirin. Pour over the vegetables making sure to cover them well and add water if necessary.
3. Place vegetables and any liquid in a pickle press or if using a bowl, cover with a plate and place a heavy object on top of the vegetables to press them down.
4. Let them sit out on the counter for 24 hours.
5. Remove the weight and plate and place pickles in a sterile glass container. Cover and refrigerate. Serve pickles with meals.

NOTE: If the Ume Plum vinegar is not available locally order it on-line and use to add a delicious salty seasoning to salad dressings and other recipes.

Makes 2 cups

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.

Love This? Never Miss Another Story.


Caroline B.
Caroline B.2 months ago

For the Kimchi I think the garlic is 3.5 TBSP, but I cannot see how much honey and vinegar to add, although I suspect non pasteurized honey a live apple cider vinegar might be best.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen1 years ago

Thank you :)

Agnes Faller
Agnes Faller2 years ago

Hi Delia,
I am anew member, my question: how many pieces of ginger? the recipes was not so clear. see 3 pieces?

Agnes Faller
Agnes Faller2 years ago

Hi Delia,
I am a new member , this recipes are amazing. my question: how many pieces of ginger root?
the recipe is not so clear seems 3?

Jo Zee
Jo Zimny3 years ago

Anyone know where I can get weights for a 5 liter fermentation pot? I heard the ones offered on the net, the round ones aren't heavy enough, maybe I'd have to get two of these weights to suffice, any advice would be appreciated.

Richelle R.
Richelle R.4 years ago

Thank you. I love kimchi!

Paulette Andrews
Paulette Andrews4 years ago

I am definitely going to try some of the Kimchi. I love sourkraut and I'm sure this will be as tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

Miguel D.
Past Member 5 years ago



Donna B.
Donna B.5 years ago


poepiesnoepie k.
Past Member 5 years ago

this is interesting.. healthy as well...