Mustard Leaf Kimchi

After perusing the Korean market’s fresh vegetable aisle, I found some mustard greens, which resemble green kale. A common type of kimchi, mustard leaf (gat) kimchi (갓김치) is made from these deep green, pungent leaves which carry similar spicy notes of which their seeds are well-known.

After a two-hour salt brining, these hearty leaves didn’t wilt much.

Mustard Green Kimchi
Prep time
Fermentation time
Yield: just under 1qt
  • 1 bunch fresh mustard greens
  • 2 quarts/liters filtered water
  • 6 Tablespoons (90ml) fine sea salt
  • 8 oz (by volume) "Make-ahead kimchi paste", OR (remaining ingredients)
  • 5 scallions (green onions)
  • 1 Tbsp./15ml tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp./30ml by volume /1 ounce by weight (15g) red pepper powder
  • 1¾ ounces by weight (50g) ginger
  • 2.5 ounces by weight (75g) garlic, peeled
Mix Brine & Soak Veg
  1. Dissolve 6 tablespoons sea salt into 2 quarts/liters of water.
  2. Rinse dirt off leaves. Add leaves to brine and submerge using a plate or weight. Let them sit in brine 2 hours.
Make Paste
  1. Peel garlic and clean any dirt off ginger. Chop both roughly.
  2. Cut stems off scallions, and slice them (white and green parts) into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces.
  3. Add ginger, garlic, and scallions to work bowl of a food processor, along with red pepper powder and tamari.
  4. Start the food processor, and mix together until a thick paste forms and it "rolls" together when the machine is running. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. You may also need a little extra tamari to get the right texture.
Pack and Ferment
  1. Drain greens.
  2. Cut greens into 1 to 2-inch pieces. Cut the larger leaves lengthwise as needed (down the spine) so the pieces are about 2-inches square. Use the stems as well as the leaves.
  3. While wearing gloves, coat the greens with paste.
  4. Pack into a wide-mouth quart-sized glass jar or crock.
  5. Add any residual paste to jar/crock.
  6. Cover with a plastic lid or plate, and weigh down so that the contents stay under the brine.
  7. If using smaller (quart) jars, find a weight such as a small glass jar (filled with water) that closely fits inside the diameter of the jar. Add to jar.
  8. Cover jar(s) with a cloth and rubber band to keep flies out. Alternately, add airlock to top of jar.
  9. Ferment for 4-5 days. Transfer to refrigerator to slow fermentation. Flavors will continue to develop. Enjoy within 1 month.


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