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
3ļæ½ 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 ½ piece ginger
½ 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.


Sonia M
Sonia M4 months ago

Thanks for sharing

Wendi M.
Wendi Mabout a year ago

Going to the Grocery Store now ;)

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

Feather W.
Feather Wabout a year ago


Michelle Hall
Michelle Lee Hallabout a year ago

Thanks for offering these recipes, but your Kimchi recipe is a bit broken. The ingredient list doesn't clearly say how much ginger, and tho you give instructions in the recipe for honey and vinegar, you did not list them in the ingredients list. I hope you update this with a correction for us to be able to use this recipe.

Joe Le Gris
Joe Legrisabout a year ago

Bit too complicated for me. Oh what a simpleton. tyfs

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

Elaine W.
Past Member about a year ago

Thanks for the recipes.

Caroline B.
Caroline B2 years 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.