½ head of napa cabbage, sliced into ribbons
3 spring onions
2-3 fresh chilli peppers
3 garlic cloves, peeled
25g fresh ginger
4 tsp fine sea salt
4 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
- Brush the vegetables to remove any dirt, but don’t wash them as you need the microorganisms living on their surface to initiate fermentation.
- Trim the vegetables. Begin with the cabbage and spring onions, then use your preference of radishes, cucumbers, carrots and/or celery to make up 1.5kg in total.
- Place the cucumbers, carrots and/or celery in the bowl of a food processor. Add the chillies, garlic, and ginger. Whizz until finely chopped.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced and chopped vegetables with the salt, fish sauce and sugar. Mix well.
- Allow to rest at room temperature for 4-6 hours. The vegetables will release some of their juices.
- Divide among prepared jars, pressing down as you go to remove any air pockets. Leave 2-3 cm of space at the top.
- Close the jars and place them on a tray. Allow to ferment at moderate room temperature without disturbing for at least five days, and up to three weeks. Within the first 2-3 days, as fermentation begins, the jars will make noises and may leak some juices. Wipe off any liquid from the jars without opening them.
- Once open, store in the fridge and eat within a year.
Top tip: If you can find it, use 30g gochugaru (Korean ground chili pepper) instead of the fresh chillies for a truly authentic flavour. If making this for vegetarians, use soy sauce in place of the fish sauce.
Per 100g serving:
32kcals, 0.3g fat (0g saturated), 6.6g carbs, 3g sugars, 1.6g protein, 1.2g fibre, 1.339g sodium