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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Purple Napa Kimchi

This is the part of our 2024 project: The Alphabet Challenge. Hosted by Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm, I thought this would be a fun culinary adventure. We will be posting every two weeks. I hope you follow along...or join in as you can. This should be fun.

K is for...

Mad About Kimchi

When I was searching through my photos of kimchi, I came across these photos of R with a jar that he made. That kid loves his kimchi - especially on burgers - and we always had a jar in the fridge for him.

Purple Napa Kimchi

We are never without a jar of homemade kimchi in our fridge. Seriously. It's been a favorite of the boys for years, so I always try to keep them stocked up.

Two pluses: you can use cabbage that's a little past its prime - it's a good use for cruciferous veggies that may have languished a little too long in the veggie bin - and it's super fast - it's ready in less than a week! So, on the off chance that they eat the last of a jar without letting me know, they'll only be without for a week.

At this point, I've shared plenty of versions of my kimchi. But I decided to post this one because of the purple Napa cabbage I'm using.

And I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful head of cabbage. Believe me: that is not a sentence I ever thought I'd utter. But the bright purple was luminous and I couldn't stop staring at it. Well, I stopped long enough to actually turn it into kimchi.

Now we're just waiting to see how the color changes as it ferments.


  • 1/2 cup salt

  • enough warm water to submerge all the cabbage pieces

  • 7 to 8 cups purple Napa cabbage, sliced or chopped into bite-sized pieces

  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1/3 cup hot sauce (I used Trader Joe's Sriracha)

  • 1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)

  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup


In a large mixing bowl place salt and cabbage pieces. Add in enough warm water to dissolve the salt. Submerge the cabbage in the salt water and weigh it down with a plate, so it stays submerged. Let veggies soak and soften in the brine for 2 hours.

Once the veggies have finished soaking, drain, rinse it and squeeze it gently to remove excess liquid. Place everything in a large mixing bowl.

Use your hands (or tongs instead if you have any open cuts as the vinegar can sting) to thoroughly incorporate the hot sauce mixture with the veggies.

Pack the kimchi into a clean jar - or a few jars. Screw the lid on tightly and keep in a cool, dry place, out of direct sunlight (my pantry worked well for this) for 3-4 days. After 3 days, open the jar and look for tiny bubbles. If it’s begun to bubble, it’s ready to serve or to be refrigerated. If it hasn’t yet begun to bubble, leave it for another day. The kimchi will continue to ferment in your refrigerator and should be consumed within a month.

The Alphabet Challenge So Far...

My posts are below with links to everyone else's recipes. I skipped letter 'F' apparently. Enjoy!

20 views4 comments


Jun 01

Purple napa, now that is a first for me. You're always using unique ingredients for your recipes.


May 24

It's always nice to have a recipe for veggies when they're a little bit not so perfect anymore...and this recipe looks delicious. I think I'm going to have to give this one a try because I'm a huge fan of Napa cabbage.


Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
May 23

I am not a Kimchi fan, it's a little too hot for me but the family loves it (except for Frank). Maybe I will make this homemade version where I can control the heat a bit.


Karen Kerr
Karen Kerr
May 23

I don't every recall seeing purple Napa cabbage! I'll have to try and find it.

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