Spicy Carrot Kimchi Recipe

Spicy carrot kimchi in a jar

The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Initial Fermentation Time: 48 hrs
Total: 48 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 16 servings
Yield: 1 quart
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
10 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 10
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 384mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 77mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This easy-to-make kimchi is a colorful, spicy variation of the more common cabbage kimchi. It is loaded with naturally good-for-you probiotics. Delicious served alongside Korean or other Asian-style dishes, it is also delicious mixed into rice and other cooked grains.

Kimchi is a lacto-fermented food that will get stronger in flavor as it ages. Although it will keep in the refrigerator for many months, it is best eaten within two months. If stored longer than that, it starts to lose some of its crunch and may get too pungent.

“A very easy to make variant of the classic Korean side dish with an especially colorful look thanks to being primarily carrots. I find it a more agreeable spicy taste than some of the stronger kinds I’ve tried and it goes great with sticky rice.” — Noah Velush-Rogers

Spicy Carrot Kimchi/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, or another non-iodized salt

  • 3 cups filtered water

  • 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce, or soy sauce

  • 3/4 pound carrots, peeled

  • 1/4 pound daikon radish, peeled

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 1 large scallion, white parts and half of the green parts, thinly sliced

  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, more to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make spicy carrot kimchi

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  2. Dissolve the salt in the filtered water. It's important to use filtered water because the chlorine and other chemicals in most municipal tap water can interfere with the fermentation process. Then stir in the fish sauce.

    Glass measuring cup with dissolved salt

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  3. Finely julienne the carrots and daikon radish into matchstick-sized pieces. A mandoline or thin slicing blade of a food processor will make this step easier.

    Finely julienned carrots and daikon radish on a cutting board

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  4. In a large bowl, toss the carrots, daikon radish, ginger, scallion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pack them into a clean quart or liter glass jar with a lid.

    carrots and daikon radish packed in a jar

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  5. Pour the brine over the other ingredients. Press gently on the vegetables and spices to release any air bubbles. The brine should completely cover the other ingredients. If the food floats out of the brine, weight it down with a smaller glass jar filled with water. If the vegetables are staying immersed in the brine, just cover the jar they are in loosely with a lid.

    carrot radish kimchi packed in a glass jar

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  6. Place the jar of kimchi on a small plate to catch the overflow that may happen as it starts to ferment. Leave it at room temperature for 24 to 48 hours.

    spicy carrot kimchi fermenting in a glass jar

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga

  7. Remove the lid or small jar weight and check the kimchi after the first 24 hours. You should start to see some bubbles. It will begin to develop a lightly sour smell like sauerkraut, but more pungent because of the garlic and ginger. Once you see and smell the signs that the kimchi is actively fermenting, transfer the jar to the door of your refrigerator. This is the warmest part of your refrigerator but still cooler than room temperature—perfect for your kimchi to keep slowly fermenting.

    fully fermented spicy radish kimchi

    The Spruce/Diana Chistruga


  • Kimchi is ready to eat one to two weeks after you make it.
  • If salt isn't an option for you, you can use the alternate method for lacto-fermentation without salt.

How to Store

If you plan to store it for longer than a month, move the kimchi to a cooler part of your refrigerator (one of the central shelves rather than the inside of the refrigerator door).

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