Ultimate Guide to Spicy Pickled Cabbage – Keto Kimchi Recipe for Weight Loss

Discover the Delicious World of Keto Kimchi: Spicy Pickled Cabbage

Embark on a culinary journey to Korea with a keto-friendly twist! Our Spicy Pickled Cabbage – Keto Kimchi is a vibrant, tangy, and delightfully spicy dish that will tantalize your taste buds while fitting perfectly into your low-carb lifestyle. This traditional Korean side dish is not only bursting with flavor but also brimming with health benefits, thanks to its probiotic-rich profile. Whether you’re a seasoned keto enthusiast or just exploring the world of fermented foods, this keto kimchi recipe is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.

Keto Kimchi

The Heart of the Recipe: Keto Kimchi’s Origins and Benefits

Keto Kimchi holds a special place in the world of fermented foods, with its origins deeply rooted in Korean culture. This spicy pickled cabbage is a low-carb adaptation of the traditional kimchi, which often includes sugar and other high-carb ingredients. By substituting sugar with a keto-friendly alternative, we maintain the essential fermentation process without compromising your ketosis.

One of the key ingredients in our keto kimchi is Napa cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable known for its low net carb content and high fiber, making it an ideal choice for the keto diet. The addition of daikon radish not only adds a pleasant crunch but also contributes additional fiber and nutrients. The Korean red pepper flakes, known as gochugaru, are the star of the show, providing a unique heat that’s both flavorful and beneficial for metabolism.

The use of fish sauce imparts a depth of umami flavor, while the garlic and ginger offer their own health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. The minimal amount of sugar substitute used is crucial for fermentation, as it feeds the beneficial bacteria without affecting the overall carb count significantly. This combination of ingredients results in a nutrient-dense side dish that complements any keto meal with its complex flavors and gut-friendly probiotics.

Ingredients for Keto Kimchi

Mastering the Art of Keto Kimchi: The Method

Creating the perfect batch of keto kimchi is both an art and a science. The process begins with carefully selecting and preparing the Napa cabbage. It’s crucial to rinse the cabbage thoroughly after soaking in saltwater to ensure the right balance of flavors. When creating the kimchi paste, it’s essential to mix the ingredients well, allowing the flavors to meld together harmoniously.

When adding the Korean red pepper flakes, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands from the spice. The key to a successful fermentation is packing the kimchi tightly into the jar to remove air pockets, which can affect the fermentation process. During the fermentation period, keep an eye on your kimchi, pressing down any floating cabbage to ensure an even ferment. This attention to detail will reward you with a perfectly fermented kimchi that’s both spicy and full of flavor.

Remember, the longer you allow your kimchi to ferment, the more pronounced the flavors will become. Once you’re satisfied with the level of fermentation, store your kimchi in the refrigerator to slow down the process and preserve its taste. With each passing day, the flavors will continue to develop, providing you with a delicious and probiotic-rich condiment that can elevate any meal.

Keto Kimchi Fermentation

Variations to Spice Up Your Keto Kimchi

Extra Garlic Keto Kimchi

For those who adore the pungent kick of garlic, doubling the amount of minced garlic in the recipe can add an extra layer of flavor. Garlic not only enhances the taste but also boosts the kimchi’s health benefits.

Milder Keto Kimchi

If you prefer a less spicy kimchi, simply reduce the amount of Korean red pepper flakes. This will still give you the kimchi experience with a gentler heat, suitable for more sensitive palates.

Seafood Enhanced Keto Kimchi

Adding small amounts of keto-friendly seafood such as shrimp or squid can introduce new textures and flavors, making for a more complex and satisfying dish.

Substitutions for Your Keto Kimchi Adventure

While the traditional ingredients in keto kimchi are ideal for a low-carb diet, there are substitutions you can make to suit your preferences or dietary restrictions:

For a soy-free alternative to fish sauce, consider using coconut aminos. This will impart a similar umami flavor without the soy content, making it suitable for those with allergies or sensitivities.

If you’re unable to find Korean red pepper flakes, a mixture of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper can be a good substitute. Adjust the ratios to achieve the desired level of heat.

For those who don’t consume sugar substitutes, a small amount of pureed fruit such as pear can provide the necessary sugars for fermentation without adding too many carbs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Keto Kimchi

Can I use regular cabbage instead of Napa cabbage?
While Napa cabbage is traditional, regular cabbage can be used as a substitute. Keep in mind that the texture and flavor will differ slightly.

How long does keto kimchi last in the refrigerator?
Properly stored keto kimchi can last several months in the refrigerator. Always use a clean utensil to keep it free from contaminants.

Is kimchi keto-friendly?
Yes, when made with a sugar substitute, kimchi is low in net carbs and suitable for a keto diet.

Can I make keto kimchi without fish sauce?
Yes, you can use soy sauce or coconut aminos as a substitute, though the flavor profile will change.

How do I know when my kimchi is fermented enough?
Taste your kimchi after 2-5 days of fermentation. When it reaches a flavor you enjoy, it’s ready to be refrigerated.

With this comprehensive guide to making Spicy Pickled Cabbage – Keto Kimchi, you’re well on your way to creating a delicious, healthful side dish that will complement your keto lifestyle beautifully. Enjoy the process and the flavors!

Spicy Pickled Cabbage - Keto Kimchi

Keto Kimchi is a low-carb, high-flavor fermented dish that's a staple in Korean cuisine. This spicy pickled cabbage is not only delicious but also packed with probiotics, making it an excellent side dish for any keto meal.
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 5 days 30 minutes
Course Sides
Cuisine Korean
Servings 10 servings
Calories 25 kcal


  • Large mixing bowl
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Fermenting jar or airtight container
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Gloves


  • 1 medium Napa cabbage about 2 pounds / 900g
  • ¼ cup sea salt 60g
  • 2 cups water filtered, 480ml
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger freshly grated, 10g
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce 15ml
  • 1 teaspoon sugar substitute (erythritol) 4g
  • 4 green onions sliced, 60g
  • 1 medium daikon radish julienned, about 1 cup / 115g
  • 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) 45g


  • Cut the Napa cabbage lengthwise into quarters and remove the cores. Chop the quarters into 2-inch wide pieces.
  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve sea salt in water. Add the chopped cabbage and ensure it's fully submerged in the saltwater. Place a heavy object on top to keep the cabbage down. Let it sit for 1-2 hours.
  • Rinse the cabbage under cold water 3 times to remove excess salt. Drain well and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, combine minced garlic, grated ginger, fish sauce, and sugar substitute to create the kimchi paste.
  • Add the sliced green onions and julienned daikon radish to the paste, mixing until they are well coated.
  • Sprinkle the Korean red pepper flakes over the vegetables and mix thoroughly, ensuring even distribution of the spice.
  • Add the drained cabbage to the spicy mixture and, wearing gloves, massage the paste into the cabbage until it is completely covered.
  • Pack the kimchi tightly into a clean, airtight fermenting jar, pressing down to eliminate air pockets. Leave at least 1 inch of space at the top.
  • Seal the jar and let it sit at room temperature for 2-5 days, checking daily to press down any cabbage that may float to the top. The kimchi is ready when it's fermented to your liking.
  • Once fermented, store in the refrigerator to halt the fermentation process. The flavor will continue to develop as it ages.


The sugar substitute is used to feed the beneficial bacteria during fermentation and will be consumed in the process, so it won't affect the final carb count significantly.
Ensure all equipment is very clean to avoid introducing any unwanted bacteria into the kimchi.
The level of spiciness can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of Korean red pepper flakes.
Always use a clean utensil when serving the kimchi to avoid contamination.


Calories: 25kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gFat: 0.5gFiber: 2gNet Carbs: 2g
Keyword Fermented Vegetables, Keto Kimchi, Keto Side Dishes, Low Carb Kimchi, Spicy Pickled Cabbage
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