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2 large turnips cut into French-fry-sized matchsticks (same size as McDonald’s fries)

4 large carrots, cut into strips and coins

2 medium kohlrabi, diced in chunks

9 small radishes, cut in half then cut into slices

¼ pound green beans, tips removed

3 medium Asian pears, diced small to medium

8 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces (both green and white parts)

2 pounds green cabbage, cut into rough/coarse pieces and soaked in a saltwater brine for 24 hours (brine = 2 teaspoons salt to 2 cups of water, 1:1 ratio). The key is to keep the cabbage submerged; this keeps it crisp. After 24 hours, rinse, drain, rinse, and drain.


4 small red peppers or 2 large

8 cloves of garlic, skins removed (about one bulb)

2 tablespoons chili flakes (fresh is best—I use homemade flakes)

¼ cup fish sauce

¼ cup organic unrefined cane sugar

2 ounces ginger, skin removed

1 tablespoon salt


  1. Puree all base ingredients into a paste.
  2. Mix veggies and cabbage with base in a large plastic bowl. Do NOT use metal.
  3. Move to a glass vessel (I found an old fishbowl for $2.00 at Goodwill that held about 2 gallons).
  4. Weigh down veggies with base (I use smooth rocks in bags) until liquid rises and covers veggies.
  5. Cover vessel with a towel and large rubber band to secure.
  6. Let it sit on the counter for at least 5 days and up to 2 weeks (I let mine go for 3−4 weeks at 72−75 degree ambient temperature because I like a “funkier” flavored chi…at 2 weeks it was what I’d consider “right” for the general palate).
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