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Recipe: Kimchi

Kimchi is Korean fermented cabbage made with a rich paste of mainly sweet Korean chilli, fish sauce, mini shrimps and onion.

You will need a Jar for fermentation and Salt which is not iodised because it prevents the growth of bacteria. 

Ingredients - 

1 Nappa Cabbage
100 ml Water
1 Tbsp Starch - Rice or corn
3 Tbsp Red chilli powder
1 Tsp Mini shrimps - finely chopped
4 Tbsp Fish sauce
1 Small onion
2 cloves Garlic
Nob Ginger
3 Spring onions - in 3-4 cm pieces crosscut
1 Carrot - fine julienne
1/3  Daikon - fine julienne
optional Chinese chives


Split the head of cabbage length wise. Sprinkle with salt in between the leaves. Leave it for 2 hrs – turning it around evert 30 minutes. 

Chili paste:

Bring the water to the boil and add the starch. Let the water thicken and turn of the heat.

Blend garlic, onion and ginger into a smooth puree. Mix in the chilli, fish sauce and shrimps.

Mix all into the thick water to create the paste. 

Put carrot, daikon and spring onion in a bowl and pour the paste on to it. Turn it around to combine.

Rinse the salt off the cabbage in cold running water. Cut each half into 3 pieces length wise.

Spread the paste into the cabbage – be sure to get in between all the leaves. Fold each bundle of cabbage on the middle and pack them tightly from the bottom of the jar.

Continue until all cabbage is used. Pour any excess paste on top. 

Leave on the kitchen bench for 24 hours to start the fermentation. Then keep it in the fridge.

The kimchi needs at least 3 weeks to ferment but can be kept much longer. 


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Celia Hay

Celia is a qualified chef and holds the WSET (London) Diploma of Wine. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History, Master of Education (Distinction) and MBA Master of Business Administration from the University of Canterbury.

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Founded by Celia Hay, the New Zealand School of Food and Wine opened its first campus in Christchurch in 1995.

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