Happlify: the best shopping guide + blog

I first heard about kimchi in the series The Chef Show on Netflix (tip!) An essential (side) dish that chef Roy Choi can't stop talking about. Something he brought with him from his youth in South Korea and completely mastered over the years. Now I wasn't immediately enthusiastic about it: a jar of pickled old cabbage, but now I'm hooked and I really have to restrain myself from leaving the jars for two to three weeks. What is kimchi and why is it so healthy? You can read it here with the recipe, of course.

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean recipe. It consists of fermented cabbage and vegetables with red pepper. A kind of Korean sauerkraut, which is much tastier than it sounds. With classic kimchi, a Chinese cabbage is cut into quarters. The leaves are carefully pickled without tearing, after which pepper paste is spread between each leaf. The recipe below is a simple variant, inspired by mak kimchi (fast kimchi without worries) found on Culy.nl.

Kimchi cabbage

How healthy is kimchi?

Kimchi is not only tasty but also super healthy. It is low in calories, rich in fiber and packed with vitamins C, A, B1, B2, calcium, iron, the 'good lactic acid bacteria', proteins and amino acids. Because kimchi is so good for your intestines, it boosts your immune system. Win win!

Learn more about fermentation

As described above, properly fermented vegetables are super healthy. If you want to learn this well, I recommend the fermentation workshop in Utrecht . You can also go there for nutritional advice or a nutritional coach for a healthier lifestyle.

Make your own kimchi

Why did I start eating kimchi?

Although I really like spicy food, I was not immediately keen on the idea of ​​eating old cabbage. But since I started eating a completely ketogenic diet for health reasons* in April 2021, this side dish came up in my search for fiber-rich food. It appealed to me that you have to put some effort into it and that you have to let it ripen in a jar for a while before it is really tasty.

Because I eat as few carbohydrates as possible, I have made my keto version, but if you don't think that is necessary, try the Homemade Korean kimchi from Culy.nl , or replace the coconut from the recipe below for rice flour and the stevia for sugar. Roy Choi 's recipe can be found here.

*a ketogenic diet is a strict diet that consists of minimal carbohydrate and increased fat intake. This helped me control the chronic migraines I had for 10 years. If you would like to know more about this, please email me .

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by happlify (@happlify)

The kimchi recipe

Just to be clear: there are hundreds of recipes and this is my lazy-people keto variant. So I'm not pretending anything, just that it's incredibly tasty

Kimchi ingredients


  • 3 - 4 preserving jars of 0.5 liters
  • a large container to wash and pickle the cabbage
  • plastic gloves

Sterilize preserving jars
I personally use 0.5 liter preserving jars . The recipe below fills about 3 to 4. They must be sterilized. I do this by first washing them and drying them completely. Then they go into a preheated oven at 130 degrees for 20 minutes (no warmer to prevent the glass from breaking). That's all.


  • 1 Chinese cabbage
  • 100 grams of coarse sea salt
  • a bunch of radishes (or 250 grams daikon/rettich) cut into thin slices
  • a bunch of spring onions cut into diagonal rings
  • half winter carrot, julienne cut
  • box of chives

For the pepper paste:

  • 7 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 cm ginger peeled and sliced
  • 3 full tbsp chili flakes (or Korean pepper flakes 'gochugaru')
  • 1 full tbsp chili powder
  • 12 grams of coconut grater (non-keto: rice flour)
  • 2 tsp stevia (non keto: sugar)
  • 30 ml fish sauce
  • 40 ml of water
  • 1 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tsp (rice) vinegar

Preparation method

  1. Remove the hard core from the cabbage and roughly cut everything into squares of ±4x4 cm. Wash the cabbage well in a large container, rinse, sprinkle with salt and cover with water for 2 hours. Stir the cabbage every half hour.
  2. In the meantime, sterilize the preserving jars.
  3. Put all the pepper paste ingredients in a blender and then blend everything as smooth as possible.
  4. Rinse the cabbage and taste if it is slightly salty, then it is perfect! Add the chopped carrot, radishes and spring onion and toss to combine.
  5. Put on plastic gloves and add the pepper sauce to the vegetables little by little while massaging the sauce.
  6. Divide the kimchi evenly in the jars, pressing down layer by layer and making sure the paste covers the top well. Stop filling at least 2 cm from the edge.
  7. Let the jars sit at room temperature for two days. After 1 day, deflate and press the kimchi firmly again with a spoon. After two days it is best to store the kimchi in the refrigerator. Wait two to three weeks and the taste will be at its best.

To serve

Kimchi can be eaten as is, like a kind of coleslaw, but it is originally a side dish. It combines wonderfully with rice (not keto) and roasted meat or on a sandwich

Eating kimchi

This is The Chef Show

And The Chef Show started with the feel-good film Chef. Which by the way is still high on my to watch list! Have you seen it yet?

Are you also going to make kimchi?

Beware: it is really addictive. But who cares if it is also super healthy! Practice and vary to your own taste, because that is the idea behind this dish. That you prepare it often and make it completely your own.

Mariko Naber

The author: Mariko Naber

Branding expert and online entrepreneur Mariko is the happy brain behind Happlify. Together with partner Mark, she runs Happlify, Sell your stuff online and branding agency Loaded ink BNO . She loves feel good, random acts of kindness, meatballs, chocolate mousse, family time, sea, piña colada, sugar & spice and everything nice.

De links op onze website kunnen gesponsord zijn, zie voor meer informatie onze gebruiksvoorwaarden.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.