Buying fresh fruit in Northern Queensland is a piece of cake (or fruit). Roads are dotted with shacks and fruit ‘stands’ (a glorified table with the freshest of produce and the most trusting of cashiers – an honesty box).

While road tripping TNQ (Tropical North Queensland) we would drive off to find a nice beach and end up with bunches of ripe bananas or stop for petrol only to end up with 10kg of sweet mandarins.

One such detour left us with mountains of delicious paw paw. Three fruits in, we decided that were going to have to utilise this fruit in a different way before they go mushy. Already crazed about fermenting I decided to throw some paw paw in my Kim Chi recipe. Paw paw is not overwhelmingly sweet so it doesn’t interfere with the unique savoury taste of the Kim Chi, instead it helps balance out the chilli.

Enjoy my tropical spin on this timeless fermented food.

Enjoy fellow fermenters.

Paw Paw Kim Chi


  • 500g Wombok/Napa Cabbage (about ½ the cabbage)
  • ½ cup Paw Paw (about ¼ of a medium paw paw)
  • ½ Bunch Kale
  • ½ Cup Salt
  • 4 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 5 cloves Garlic
  • ½ inch Ginger
  • 1 Brown Onion
  • ½ bunch Spring Onions
  • 1 tbsp Raw Sugar
  • 1 tsp Miso Paste


  1. Shread the cabbage and the kale, remove the skin and seeds from the paw paw and roughly dice.
  2. Mix in a large bowl or container with the salt and 2 cups of water, set aside for 3 hours.
  3. Place the ginger, garlic, onion, cayenne, sugar and miso in a blender with 1/2 cup of water and blend to a paste.
  4. When you return to the cabbage, drain and taste, if it’s too salty rinse with cold water until you get your desired taste.
  5. Now, slice the spring onions finely and place them in a clean bowl with the cabbage and the blended paste. mix untill all of the cabbage is coated.
  6. Pack the mixture into a large jar, leave in a cool, dark place for 3 days to a week dependant on your climate (hot countries make for faster fermentation). refrigerate once opened.

Peace out.

the chef