Winter Squash and Kohlrabi Kimchi Recipe

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This kimchi has a complex texture and flavor. The kohlrabi will retain a bit of crunch, while the shiitakes soften. Those shiitakes also dominate the flavor, so if you aren’t a mushroom fan, be forewarned.

Fermentation Time:

Fermentation Type: Lacto
Primary Fermentation:  3 to 6 days
Total Time: 3 to 6 days
Shelf Life: Up to 3 months refrigerated

Yield: 1 quart.


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unchlorinated water
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 pounds butternut squash
  • 1 pound kohlrabi, thinly sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons gochugaru
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweet rice flour


  1. In a small bowl, mix the salt and water for the brine, and stir to dissolve. Immerse the mushrooms in the brine.
  2. Prepare the squash by peeling, halving, and removing the seeds. Halve again so that you have quarters, and slice thinly.
  3. Combine the squash and kohlrabi in a large bowl. Slice the soaked mushrooms and add them, followed by the garlic, gochugaru, ginger, salt, and sweet rice flour. Toss everything together, gently massaging to preserve the mushroom slices.
  4. Pack the mixture into a quart 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.
  5. Place the kimchi 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.
  6. On Day 3 in warmer weather, or on Day 5 or 6 if the weather is mild, start taste-testing the kimchi. This ferment finishes quickly, so check it daily. You’ll know it’s ready when the gochugaru sports a nice orange, and the squash will have a duller look next to the bright gochugaru pepper.
  7. Screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator, where the kimchi will keep for 3 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.

Inspiration for edible alchemy.