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Portuguese Kimchi

Portuguese Kimchi

Portuguese Kimchi

Kimchi is a Korean pickled dish, traditionally made with cabbage and daikon radish. Try out this Portuguese take on kimchi; it’s flavored with lots of garlic and piri piri peppers, also known as bird’s eye chiles.

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To make garlic confit, peel the garlic and cook covered with oil over low heat for 45 to 60 minutes.


  • 2 quarts kale, chopped
  • 1 Cup tomato paste
  • 1 Cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons ground black pepepr
  • 2 Tablespoons ground piri piri pods
  • 1 Teaspoon sugar
  • 15 cloves garlic


Place all of the ingredients together in a non-reactive mixing bowl. Mix everything together and rest for 2 hours at room temperature, stirring every 30 minutes or so.

When the mixture is wilted significantly and the flavors are melded together, place in a glass mason jar with 2 to 3 inches of room at the top. Fit the top with a layer of cheese cloth and a rubber band so no insects can enter but the product has plenty of access to fresh oxygen. Place the jar in a cool dark place and ferment for at least 7 and up to 10 days. Stir carefully now and then to ensure good bacteria growth. If any sort of mold grows on it discard and begin again.

Once the initial time frame has passed, place in the refrigerator and rest another 7 to 10 days. Now you have a “mother” that you can grow more by feeding it the ingredients above and following the same directions. When the seasons change and you have a very strong kimchi, you can feed it various things from that season and watch your kimchi evolve.