Potato Cakes with Quick-picked Kimchi and Peanuts

These nutty potato cakes make a wonderful light lunch or supper. The kimchi is jazzed up by the light pickle and it’s all served with delicious toasted peanuts.

For the less familiar with this chilli kick condiment, Kimchi… it is made by lacto-fermentation – the same process that creates sauerkraut – and it makes for a great addition but often can lack that extra vinegary pickle kick that I love so much. Here I have used a dash of Sarson’s specially designed quick pickling vinegar, to round off the flavour – making it perfect for this dish.

Potato Cakes with Quick-picked Kimchi and Peanuts

Serves 2

  • 400g potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbs coconut aminos (you can also use soy sauce)
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 100g roasted peanuts
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 1 tbs pickling vinegar, I used Sarson’s ‘Pickle in 15 Minutes’ Lightly Seasoned vinegar blend
  • 4 tbs kimchi, see recipe below
  • a handful of thai basil leaves


Steam the potatoes until soft, then drain in a colander and leave until cool.

Add half the roasted peanuts to a blender and blitz into a fine crumb, chop the rest of the peanuts and set aside.

Place the potato through a ricer, or mash thoroughly and mix with the ground peanuts.

Whisk the coconut aminos, smoked paprika, grated garlic and salt then thoroughly mash into the potatoes. In a mixing bowl, work all the fritter ingredients by hand – it should be sticky, but still hold together.

Dip your hands in water and shape into large ping pong ball, then flatten so you have round cakes around 6cm in diameter and less than 1cm thick. Place on an oiled baking tray.

For the kimchi, take 4 or 5 generous dollops and coat with the Sarson’s ‘Pickle in 15 Minutes’ Lightly Seasoned vinegar blend. Leave to one side for 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in the pan, be generous here. Using a fish slice, lift the cakes in to the pan and fry on moderate heat until you get a golden crust. Turn the potato cakes after about 5 minutes. Once cooked, place between two sheets of kitchen towel, to absorb any excess oil.

Serve hot or warm, with the pickled kimchi and peanuts.

For the kimchi

If you want to make it yourself, this is the recipe I use. It takes a while until it can be eaten, but make a great addition to so many dishes.

  • 1 large Chinese cabbage
  • 100g coarse sea salt
  • 4 litres water
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 60ml fish sauce
  • 60g chilli powder


1 bunch of spring onions, green and white part, cut into 3cm lengths

1 teaspoon honey

Cut the cabbage in half lengthways, then slice each half lengthways into 3 sections. Cut away the tough stem parts.

Dissolve the salt in the water in a very large container, then submerge the cabbage in the water. Put a plate on top to keep it submerged and leave to stand for 2 hours.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a very large metal or glass bowl. Drain the cabbage, rinse it, and squeeze it dry.

Here’s the scary part: mix it all up (wear rubber gloves as the chilli can stain your hands). Pack into a clean jar large enough to hold it all and cover tightly. Leave to stand for 1–2 days at cool room temperature (65–75°F).

Check the kimchi: if it’s bubbling a bit, it’s fermenting and ready to be refrigerated. If not, let it stand another day, after which it should be ready. Once it’s fermenting, serve or store in the fridge, and eat within 3 weeks.

You can buy Sarson’s Pickle in 15 Minutes Lightly Seasoned vinegar blend from Tesco Extra and Morrisons stores nationwide, and the Mediterranean vinegar blend from Morrisons stores nation-wide.

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