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No-salt kimchi in a mason jar

Paleo No-Salt Kimchi

Traditional kimchi uses a lot of salt to kill harmful bacteria, but today it's easy to make a no-salt kimchi that is safe and healthier.
No-salt kimchi in a mason jar

Kimchi is a Korean side dish of seasoned and fermented cabbage. The high levels of Lactobacillus probiotics found in kimchi can help soothe diarrhea, calm irritable bowel syndrome, and strengthen the lining of the intestines, among other health benefits. But traditional kimchi recipes are prepared in a salt brine in order to kill harmful bacteria, which leads to high sodium content. In today’s kitchen environment, you can prepare a no-salt kimchi without so much concern for contamination.

So while loading up on kimchi at your favorite Korean restaurant may not adhere to The Paleo Diet guidelines, you can always make your own truly Paleo kimchi at home and use as a topping for many dishes. This recipe is sodium-free, but we also have a not-quite Paleo but still healthier low-sodium version if you want to be closer to the traditional fermentation method.

Before you get started, make sure you have a full canning/pickling kit for this recipe. You will need a proper mason jar, a kraut pounder, and a glass weight.


  • The cabbage will become more acidic over time, while the spicy flavors will lessen.
  • If you have enough liquid from previously fermented vegetables, use ½ cup in place of the vinegar.

For hundreds of pure Paleo recipes be sure to check out The Real Paleo Diet Cookbook and The Real Paleo Diet Fast and Easy.


  • Serves: 1
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
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  • 2 1/2 cups bok choy, finely sliced

  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced

  • 5 celery stalks, finely chopped

  • 5 carrots, peeled and coarsely grated

  • 2 in. raw ginger, peeled and grated

  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped

  • 4 in. daikon radish, peeled and grated

  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar


  1. Sanitize a wide-mouth mason jar and glass weight by submerging them in water in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil, let boil for 10 minutes, then remove with tongs and set aside to cool.

  2. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Muddle the vegetables with a kraut pounder to release as much juice as possible.

  3. Transfer the vegetables to the mason jar. Top up with filtered water, if necessary, to fully cover the vegetables. Allow a 1-inch headspace for expansion inside the jar.

  4. Add the glass weight to fully submerge the vegetables under the liquid. Set the fermentation lock in place.

  5. Store in a cool, dry place for five days.

  6. Refrigerate the jar when it’s finished fermenting.

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