Spicy Collard Kimchi/lacto-fermentation

One of my favorite troubles in life is to have too much vegetables to spoil! This is a happy problem having a wonderful farmer’s market who supplies me the most fresh and in season vegetable throughout the year:) Baby collard green is great to sauté with garlic and onions or drop in the end of a soup. Matured collard has a tougher stem that burdens those who are weak in digestion and the prolonged cooking in order to breakdown the fiber end up ruined most of the temperature sensitive vitamins and making the color not pretty. One way to fix both issues on this awesome vegetable is lacto-fermentation. Here is a classical way of making Korean/Chinese style spicy Collard kimchi. This method applies to all leavy vegetables such as kales, turnip greens, mustard greens, bok choy and etc.


  1. For salt brining
  2. 2 lbs Organic Collard green
  3. 1 Cup filtered water
  4. 1/4 cup Fine Sea salt
  5. For paste making
  6. 1/2 cup Julianned carrots
  7. 1/2 head garlic, minced
  8. 1 green onion, optional
  9. 1/4 cup Korean hot pepper flakes
  10. 1/4 cup fish sauce
  11. 1 Tsp non-refined sugar or honey


  1. Rinse collard green under cold running tap water to remove soil. Cut collard in to 1/2 inch lengthwise and set aside in a big bowl.

  2. Dissolve 1/4cup of salt in 1 cup of filtered water. Pour it onto the collard green. Mix it by hands and allow it to sit for 40 minutes. Salt brining is very important. Turn the vegetables every 10 minutes. By 40 minutes, the leaves should be withered and reduce in volume by 40%.

  3. In a separate basin that has been filled with water, dump all salted collard in and wash the vegetable vigorously for 30 seconds. Transfer all vegetable into a colander. Repeat washing 2 times (total 3 times). This step removes excessive salt and dirt that hidden between leaves. After the last wash, dry the vegetable in the colander or by squeezing out excessive water with hands.

  4. Make the paste in a mixing bowl by adding minced garlic, Julianned carrots, hot pepper flakes into 1/4 cup of fish sauce. Mix the paste well and add it all to the vegetable. Mix well by hands and place the vegetable in glass jar or earthware. Firmly press down the vegetables to avoid air gaps in between layers. Allow them to sit in room temperature for 24 hours before store them in the fridge. Eat right after they start to turn sour.

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