Rhubarb Kimchi Recipe

Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

Rhubarb has long been relegated to sweet desserts, and that’s still a mighty fine place for it. However, this spring stalk shouldn’t be typecast to one dish. This kimchi will forever change rhubarb’s reputation. Rhubarb is an early spring crop, and peppers are not. Therefore, it’s nice if you have pepper paste from the previous fall to spice up this condiment. If not, use chile flakes or gochugaru, and it’ll still be delicious. Either way, you can always make this recipe spicier with the addition of more pepper.

Fermentation Time

Fermentation Type: Lacto
Primary Fermentation:  5 to 7 days
Total Time: 5 to 7 days
Shelf Life: Up to 6 months refrigerated

Yield: 1 pint.


  • 1/2 pound rhubarb (2 to 3 medium stalks), thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced, or about 1/2 cup thinly sliced spring onions
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons fermented pepper paste, or 1 tablespoon chile flakes or gochugaru flakes
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon slivered candied ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dulse flakes


  1. Combine the rhubarb and scallions in bowl. Sprinkle in the salt, and toss. Add the garlic, pepper paste, fresh ginger, candied ginger, and dulse flakes, and massage together. You’ll have a chunky but juicy mixture.
  2. Pack the mixture into a pint jar, pressing out any air pockets as you go. Press a zip-close bag against the surface of the ferment, fill the bag with water, and close it.
  3. Place the jar in a corner of the kitchen to ferment. If you see air pockets, remove the bag, press the ferment back down with a clean utensil, rinse the bag, and replace.
  4. After 5 to 7 days of fermentation, you’ll know it’s ready to eat when the colors have muted, the flavors have mingled, and the pungency is pleasantly fused with acidic tones. Ferment longer if needed to develop more acidity.
  5. Screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator, where the kimchi will keep for up to 6 months.

Learn more about kimchi by checking out these articles:

Excerpted from Fiery Ferments © 2017 by Kirsten Shockey and Christopher Shockey. Photography © by Lara Ferroni. Used with permission from Storey Publishing.

Published on Nov 19, 2019
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