Brussels sprout kimchi

Brussels sprout kimchi

Nordic Light
3 x 400 g jars
30 mins
Simon Bajada

Fermenting is a preservation method that has been used in Nordic countries since the time of the Vikings and a worthwhile endeavour, particularly given it also produces alcohol and vinegar. For many it may be hard to differentiate between a pickled cabbage and a fermented one but the difference is there and it’s a beautiful thing.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg brussels sprouts
35g sea salt
5 garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon raw sugar
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, crushed, (optional)
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon white pepper
100g fennel, sliced into batons
4 spring onions, green parts only, trimmed and cut into 2 cm pieces
500ml mineral water


  1. Preheat the oven to 100°C. Sterilise the glass jars by washing them thoroughly in soapy water, rinsing well, then putting them on a baking tray in the oven for 20 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Cut each brussels sprout into four thin discs. Combine the brussels sprout pieces and salt in a large bowl. Using your hands, massage the salt into the sprout pieces until they start to soften, then pour over enough tap water to cover. Place a plate over the sprout mixture and weigh it down with something heavy like a jar or food tin and leave to stand for 1–2 hours (this will help soften the sprouts and extract any bitterness).
  3. Rinse and drain the sprouts. Rinse the sprouts under cold water three times and then soak again for 15–20 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the garlic, ginger, sugar, spirulina and fish sauce to form a smooth paste. Stir in the spices. Add the vegetables and mineral water to the paste and use your hands to mix and coat everything thoroughly (you can wear gloves here if you like).
  5. Pack the kimchi into the jars, pressing it down with a spoon until the brine rises to fully submerge the vegetables, leaving at least 2.5 cm of headspace between the sprouts and the top of the jars. Seal the jars with the lids.
  6. Leave the jars at room temperature to ferment for 1–5 days. Check them daily to release any gases and press down on the vegetables with a clean finger or spoon to keep them submerged under the brine. Taste a little at this point, too! When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jars to the refrigerator. You can eat it right away, but it's best after another week or two.
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