Green Bean Kimchi


Update: This was one of the most popular recipes from my previous site, Mel’s Food Blog. I’ve re-tested and re-shot it, making some minor wording changes.  I’ve also tried this out with some other vegetables and it works great.  Try zucchini, carrot, or cucumber.

Earlier this month, I was inspired by Desiree Nielsen to make kimchi. I had seen her whip up a quick batch on Breakfast Television and thought it was time that I give it a go. There was only one problem: I didn’t have any cabbage in the house. Although we have several grocery stores within walking distance of our house, I hate having to run to the store unless it’s absolutely necessary. The convenience is alluring, but it stifles ones creativity.

Thankfully, my beans were a success this year and I had a couple handfuls on hand when I wanted to experiment with the kimchi recipe. I have made this kimchi a few times since and it is neighbour and husband approved. It does have a bit of kick to it, so if you don’t like a lot of spice I recommend reducing the amount of red pepper powder. Conversely, if you enjoy a five-alarm fire in your mouth, you could add a little extra.

Green Bean Kimchi

Enjoy this kimchi as a spicy accompaniment to meat and egg dishes, with salad bowls, or us it to make kimchi fried rice.  This recipe works well with other crunchy vegetables such as carrots, cucumber and zucchini (see recipe notes below).  If you don’t have access to Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes), you can use regular red chili flakes and the results will be similar. Note: prep time does not include 1-5 days fermentation period.
PREP TIME30 mins
TOTAL TIME2 hrs 30 mins
COURSE: Condiment
KEYWORD: Fermented Food, Vegetarian
YIELD: 6 servings


  • 1 ½ cup green beans cut into 1” pieces (about ½ pound untrimmed)
  • 2 cups water (more if needed, see instructions)
  • 2 tablespoons non-iodized salt (sea salt or Kosher salt)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  • Prepare a brine solution by mixing the water and salt together in a bowl. Add the beans and let soak for a few hours, up to overnight. Make sure there is enough water to completely cover the beans; add more if needed. 
  • After the beans have finished soaking, discard the brine solution and keep the beans in the bowl. 
  • In a separate bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, fish sauce, red pepper flakes, scallion, and sugar, and mix into a paste. Add the paste to the green beans and use your hands to massage and thoroughly coat the beans. 
  • Pack the beans into a small jar and cover with a lid. Let the kimchi sit at room temperature for 1-5 days. 
  • Check the jar everyday. You will likely see bubbles and more liquid in the jar than when you started – this is normal and indicates fermentation is occurring. Taste the kimchi when you check the jar, and when it has ripened to your liking move the jar to the refrigerator for a few more days.


  • Iodized salt (table salt) is not recommended for making kimchi as the iodine inhibits the beneficial bacteria during the fermentation process.
  • Substitute 1 ½ cups chopped zucchini or cucumber, or julienned carrot for the green beans to try different types of vegetable kimchi
  • Substitute red chili flakes for the Gochugaru if you can’t find them
  • For vegan kimchi, you can substitute kelp flakes for the fish sauce
  • Health Note: unpasteurized fermented foods such as kimchi are not recommended for immunocompromised individuals

There are a lot of variations on kimchi recipes out there – how do you make yours?

3 comments on “Green Bean Kimchi”

  1. I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s a good idea, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…

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