There is a current trend in food and it involves consuming probiotics for digestive health. A lot of products are available now days to aid in this process. From Kefir to Kombucha, a suggestive supplement for everyone lines the shelves. My favorite natural probiotic comes in the form of fermented food. I’m talking about things like Sauerkraut or my first choice, Kimchi (also spelled Kimchee). Kimchi is a traditional Korean food made with Napa Cabbage and lots of chili powder called Gochugaru. It can be described as sweet, sour and spicy. It is traditionally served with most meals as a side or condiment to rice dishes or grilled meats. I find it absolutely delicious and eat it regularly. Leftover rice and veggies topped with a fried egg and kimchi for breakfast? Yes!

This process takes about a week. If you can’t find the Korean chili powder (gochugaru) then regular crushed red pepper will work fine. We do have a local Asian market called Mabuhay on the west end of Kalispell. They carry it along with many other Asian, culinary pantry staples. I also make with regular green cabbage if that is what I have available, it is also a fine substitute.




  • 10 cups water
  • 2 heads Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch squares
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 cup red pepper powder or flakes (if you’re spice level is mild start with 1/4 cup. Spice adventurers go with 1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tbs. sugar
  • 5 scallions cut in 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Tbs. fish sauce


In large nonreactive bowl or pot, mix salt into water
Add cabbage and weigh down with a plate so that all cabbage is submersed
Soak cabbage overnight
Remove cabbage and rinse in cold water, squeezing out excess liquid
In a large bowl, mix garlic, ginger, red pepper, sugar, scallions and fish sauce
Add cabbage and mix well with seasonings
Let seasoned cabbage sit in airtight jar or container that is only big enough to hold the mixture.
Let kimchi ferment in a cool place for 3 days before serving or putting in refrigerator.

Jamie Liphardt is a personal chef with Delicious HomeCooked Food in Bigfork.