Not-Quite-Kimchi Bright Eye

Serving size:


    • 1
    • small napa or chinese cabbage, or bok choy, trimmed of greens
    • 8
    • red radishes
    • 3 clv
    • garlic, mashed
    • 2
    • small hot peppers, finely chopped
    • 2 T
    • tamari or soy sauce
    • 2 T
    • vinegar
    • 1 T
    • sugar
20 minutes
Ready in
20 minutes


This is a classic combination of vegetables used for kimchi, the fermented side dish of Korea. Unlike traditional kimmchi, however, this dish is unfermented, which serves the needs of those wanting immediate gratification for a zippy accompaniment to any meal, particularly one served with rice or rice noodles.

Adapted from The Bright Eye Farm book


1. Shred napa or bok choy into 1 ½ inch pieces to equal about 2 to 3 cups. 2. Slice radishes into thin pieces. 3. Combine cabbage, radishes, garlic and hot peppers. 4. Mix together tamari, vinegar and sugar, adjusting to taste. 5. Drizzle over salad mixture and toss until well coated. 6. Cover and marinate overnight for more flavorful results.


Traditional Korean kimchi is fermented, or "pickled." The complex process of fermentation can be explained very simply. In the words of Linda Ziedrich in her useful book, The Joy of Pickling: “Fermentation is a controlled decomposition of food, involving yeasts, molds, or bacteria in an aerobic or anaerobic process.” It sounds a little counterintuitive to preserve something by hastening its decomposition, I know. But the science actually makes sense. The bacteria that break down the cabbage in the fermentation process are actually converting the cabbage’s sugars into acid, which “preserves the food for some time in its partially decomposed form,” according to Ziedrich. This process increases the nutritional value of the food, by encouraging the proliferation of microorganisms (live active cultures) that increase levels of certain vitamins and aid in our digestion. Because this recipe is not fermented, you are not ingesting these live active cultures. It is, however, still a very nutritious and revitalizing dish. More information about the health benefits of fermentation may be found at


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