As you can see in my kimchi files, I already have an orange, yellow, and green kimchi recipe up, and of course plenty of different red ones as that tends to be the standard preparation of this dish. Not sure how I’d get a blue kimchi, if only I had more culinary knowledge! My “rainbow kimchi” project has been really fun and interesting.
Like the other kimchis, I made as many of the components myself as possible. I juiced the organic beet at home; I made the blueberry/muscadine powder to combine with the gochugaru. I even grew the garlic, ginger, and and radishes.
But luckily all of that is of course optional. Fun, sometimes tiring, and optional.
You could make variants on these ad infinitum. Instead of beet juice, it could be cherry juice. Instead of blueberry powder, it could be raspberry. And on and on. But this purple recipe will likely be the last one I put up demonstrating how this iconic dish can be tailored to your creative and flavor desires in ways we don’t often see. (I do have a white kimchi recipe I hope to post sooner than later, but not sure that qualifies as part of the rainbow 😃.)
I will say that I opted to use white radish instead of the various purple vegetable options, purple napa cabbage among them. It’s not that using these is cheating, it would surely have helped preserve the more purple color I had early on in the ferment, but I wanted help being able to visualize just how much the purple colors I added in would be lost. As time passed, the color shifted decisively from a burgundy-purple to a pinkish red.
With that change in color, however, came an incredible development of the flavor. This had to be the most tart kimchi I’ve ever had or made. Between the lip puckering sour and the burn from the hot peppers I added, this was one heck of a kimchi!
So with no further ado, let’s get on to the recipe.
This recipe is for a half gallon of kimchi.
You will need:
- Large non-reactive mixing bowl
- Knife & cutting board
- Kitchen gloves for handling the kimchi & hot peppers
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Kitchen gloves for handling hot peppers and mixing kimchi
- Fermentation airlock & weight (20% off code: P4P3KFC5)
- Suggested: plastic wrap
- Suggested: canning funnel
- Optional, if making your own purple powder: food dehydrator & spice grinder
- Optional, if extracting your own beet or other juice: widemouth juicer
- 3.75 – 4 lbs. Korean radish (or other large white radish variety, such as daikon), cut into ~1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 cup additive-free salt (or salt at 5% weight of the radish)
- 1/4 cup gochugaru
- 1/2 cup reserved radish brine
- 3 TBSP purple berry powder (mine was homemade from blueberry and muscadine); this is a great product, 100% blueberry
- 2 TBSP beet juice (substitute with other purple/red juice as needed)
- 2 TBSP Concord grape juice (substitute with other purple/red juice as needed)
- ~1/3 red onion (~75g), thin 1/2″ slices to emulate traditional green onion
- 2 purple carrots (~120g), matchstick cut
- 6-8 large cloves garlic (25-30g)
- Nub of ginger (10-15g)
- Optional: hot peppers of choice to blend into kimchi paste
1.) Begin by rinsing the produce in cool water. I opt to peel my carrots but it’s optional. You may peel or otherwise clean off any dangling roots from the radish. Prep the radishes as indicated above and place in the mixing bowl.
2.) Once cubed, place the radishes in the mixing bowl and add the salt, mixing evenly (by hand or with wooden spoon). Cover with saran wrap and allow to stand for around 1.5 hours.
3.) Meanwhile, you may prep all the other veggies (juice the beets; cut the onion and carrot; etc.).
4.) Strain the brine that has formed from the salted radishes and retain a half cup. Thoroughly rinse the radish cubes in a colander and allow 10-15 minutes to dry.
5.) Make the kimchi paste using a blender (recommended) or food processor, or it can be done by hand. For hand mixing, you will need a garlic press or otherwise make sure to mince the garlic and ginger (and optional hot pepper) as finely as possible, then combine with the retained radish brine, fish sauce, berry powder, purple juices, and gochugaru. Mix until smooth. Otherwise, place all these in a blender/processor on high until a smooth paste is formed.
6.) Combine the radish cubes, onion, carrot, and paste in large mixing bowl. Using the kitchen gloves, mix everything thoroughly and evenly.
7.) Using the canning funnel (suggested), transfer the kimchi mix into your half gallon container. (If there is a bit of excess, you may enjoy it straight away!)
Ferment length: You may start eating after about 5-7 days based on ambient temps, but you may also choose to go a couple weeks or more. You may also opt to sample it every now and then and once it’s a flavor you love, transfer to the fridge. It will continue to ferment there too, at a much slower rate. At two weeks, I really started to love the flavor so I fridged half and kept half going at room temp.
If you make your own spin on this, please share on the Insane in the Brine Facebook Group!
Want to support the continued development of this ad-free, cookies-free site and help with my dream of selling my own line of fermented products and sauces? Become a Patron! or make a one-time donation!