Vegetarian kimchi can be tough to find. I know – I love kimchi and have sadly had to replace many jars on the store shelf after reading the ingredients list. You can of course, make your own. If the task of making kimchi from scratch seems a bit daunting, or if you just want someone to hunt down all of the ingredients for you, then give kits a try.
I make my own kimchi from time to time, so the process isn’t new to me, but I still loved Crazy Korean Cooking’s kimchi kits. They sent me two to try out – one that makes Vegan Baechu Kimchi, which is the napa cabbage variety that most of us are familiar with, as well as one that makes Vegan Kkakdugi, which uses diced Korean radish as the predominant ingredient. Each kit includes clear instructions, a couple of pairs of gloves (which I always forget to buy) and all of the ingredients you need for a nice-sized batch of kimchi, all pre-measured and neatly labeled. Oh, and the labels have pictures of vegetables with cute faces on them, so I kind of loved these kits before I even tried them.
The ingredients themselves were very fresh. I must be the only person in my town that ever buys napa cabbage, because the heads I get at the supermarket are always pretty darn weathered looking. It was really nice for once to get a big, green crispy head of cabbage. The red pepper flakes were much brighter and smelled way better than the stash I keep in my kitchen too.
Crazy Korean Cooking also sent along a couple of their E-Jen Fermentation and Storage Containers. These aren’t part of the kits themselves, but they did make a great addition. Normally when I make kimchi I end up dividing the batch into multiple odd-sized mason jars, and I have had some nasty kimchi explosions upon opening my jars. The E-Jen containers hold an entire batch of kimchi that you’d make with a kit, and they have a nice double airlock lid, so no more kimchi showers.
I ended up with a couple of the tastiest batches of kimchi I’ve ever tried. Also, even though both varieties were delicious, I was surprised to find that the radish kimchi was my favorite – it had a lovely crispy bite to it.