This carrot kimchi can be eaten as a salty, spicy side dish or used to add loads of flavour to soups or stews. Kimchi is the national dish of Korea and is a way of preserving vegetables by salting and spicing them and then allowing them to ferment. Traditionally jars of kimchi, or ongi, were buried to keep frozen during the winter months. Classic Kimchi is made with Chinese cabbage though radish kimchi is also commonly served.
Like the majority of kimchis, this carrot kimchi is spiced with gochugaru, Korean chilli flakes, which have a unique flavour that’s unlike any other kinds of chilli flakes I’ve tasted. If you can’t find these, then a milk chilli powder would probably be fine though I’d suggest buying them online. Dried ingredients and spices are well suited to online shopping. Their light weight and long shelf-life mean they can withstand far delivery and won’t be too expensive.
Unfortunately, like most kimchis, this carrot kimchi is not vegetarian as it contains fish sauce. I have heard though, from an actual Korean so it’s under good authority, that the fish sauce can be replaced with light soy sauce which would make it vegan!
- 1 Kg carrots, peeled and sliced julienne or into thin matchsticks
- 3 tbsp sea salt flakes
- 40 g daikon radish or mooli, grated (or extra carrot if unavailable)
- 40 g leek, grated
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp of gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes)
- 2 tsp of fish sauce
- Once the carrots are chopped, add them to a large bowl, sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of sea salt flakes and mix in well.
- then add just enough cold water to barely cover the carrots. Weigh them down with another bowl and cover with cling film. Place it in the fridge for at least 10 hours or overnight.
- Then take it out, remove the cling film and smaller bowl and strain off the water. Really try to squeeze out as much as you can.
- Then add the grated radish, grated leek, minced garlic, grated ginger, the remaining tablespoon of sea salt, the gochugaru and the fish sauce and mix really well.
- Then pile the mixture into a clean mason jar. A litre sized one was enough for me but you might need 2 smaller ones or you could use a few old, clean jam jars.
- Close the jar and let it rest on the kitchen counter for 3 or 4 days at room temperature.
- Then open it up and push the kimchi down into its own juices. You should see it bubbling as you do this. This means that fermentation is happening.
- Then close it up and put it in the fridge for at least a week to ferment further.
- Then serve on its own as a side dish or use it in soups or stews.