Xueci Cheng

Food Editor at Kitchen Stories


This December at Kitchen Stories is all about feel-good festive food! No matter what you’re celebrating or with whom, our December recipes have something for every one and for every occasion. Best of all, they’re fun and unfussy, so you can focus on winding down for the year. Stay tuned throughout the month by bookmarking this article, where we’ll collect all our recipes and articles. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for even more. Happy December!

Two years ago, I was entrusted with a special task: Helping Christian turn 6 heads of Napa cabbage, leftover from a shoot (say no to food waste!), into Korean kimchi (we used this shortcut kimchi recipe). We first fermented them in a giant ceramic sauerkraut crock, and later vacuumed sealed them. This fun little project not was not only a bonding experience; it supplied us with plenty of kimchi to use throughout the following months (if stored properly, kimchi has an extremely long shelf life), and we used it up in the form of kimchi fried rice, stews, and even grilled cheese.

After handling almost 20 pounds (10 kg) of weight in kimchi-making, I stepped up my game from the holy grail Napa cabbage to daikon radish, white cabbage, and cucumber with the help of videos from the great Maangchi. Given my success with all these varieties, when faced with a crisper full of odds and ends of veggies that didn’t make it to your holiday dinner table, kimchi seems to me the right answer for how to use it all up in a pungent, flavorful fermented food that keeps on giving.

Besides Brussels sprouts, which we use in our kimchi recipe, all sorts of cabbage would work for kimchi: white, pointed, or red cabbage can be cut into chunks (and call for a shorter brining time) and fermented with the same kimchi paste. Brining the vegetables in saltwater (or sometimes a salt rub for Napa cabbage) is essential, as it helps the leaves soften and prepares them to absorb more flavor. If you have crunchy vegetables like cauliflower, onion, carrots, or radishes, julienne and toss them in, too!

Here’s a simple kimchi-out-of-any-cabbage-guide you can save!

Here's the recipe!

Brussels sprout kimchi

Brussels sprout kimchi

→ Go to recipe

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