Monthly Recipe / Skye’s Kimchi

Skye Gyngell’s Kimchi

Hot, sour and gloriously crunchy, kimchi is the most delicious and more-ish of condiments. I started making it in much the same way as sauerkraut – salting the vegetables and adding a little chilli and ginger. My recipe has evolved since then, but it is the most authentic and nicest I have come across. I can eat kimchi straight from the jar or simply with nothing more than a little bowl of sticky steamed rice. Most of the ingredients are readily available at a good Asian supermarket.


Makes 1 large or 2 smaller jars
1 Chinese cabbage
55g coarse salt
2 litres water
2 tbsp dried shrimps
4 dried anchovies
½ cup cooked white rice (50g uncooked weight)
½ yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled, cored and finely sliced
4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp dried chilli flakes
1 bunch of spring onions, trimmed


To prepare the salted cabbage, put the salt into a stainless steel or glass bowl large enough to hold the cabbage. Pour over 1.5 litres water and stir well to dissolve the salt.
Slice the cabbage in half lengthways and then cut into 5cm pieces. Immerse the cabbage in the salted water and leave for 1 hour. Stir well, then let sit for another 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the dried shrimps and anchovies into a small saucepan and pour on the remaining 500ml water. Bring to the boil over a high heat, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain the broth into a bowl, discarding the fish.
Put the cooked rice, onion, apple, ginger and garlic into a blender and pour over the broth. Blend thoroughly. Spoon into a bowl and add the sugar, fish sauce and chilli flakes. Stir well and let stand for 10 minutes.
Drain the cabbage. Slice the spring onion finely and add to the cabbage. Now add the sauce and mix together, loosely but very thoroughly, using very clean hands. Ladle into a large (or 2 smaller) sterilised jar(s).
Finally pour a little water into the bowl in which you have mixed the kimchi. Swish this around to gather any residue and then pour over the kimchi in the jar(s). Seal.
The kimchi will be ready to use almost straight away (I love it newly made, as it is so vibrant and crunchy) but it will keep well for up to 2 months in the fridge.

Extracted from Spring The Cookbook, by Skye Gyngell (published by Quadrilled)