Hot answers tagged kimchi
Sure. The containers should be clean, but because it's an active fermentation (very similar to sauerkraut, other than the ingredient lists typically differing) the salt suppresses the activity of certain undesirable bacteria more than the desirable ones (which are naturally present on the plant leaves), and then desirable ones take over and make things ...
That's mold, and you should discard it. Kimchi keeps forever (well, years) if and only if it's not exposed to air, meaning there's always enough liquid in the pot to cover the cabbage. If you have bits poking up into the air and you leave them there for days/weeks, they'll dry out and start growing mold.
At least in the U.S., there is no legal requirement to list "live cultures" or whatever on food labels. Short of contacting the manufacturer, there's no way to know for certain whether or not it may contain live cultures. Kimchi, like sauerkraut and similar cultured foods, will continue to ferment and change flavor and texture if it has live cultures. ...
The county I live in produces a lot of chillies called Cheonggyeol (청결). They also produce gochugaru here. Here's a link. After some asking around, I can confirm that these are the peppers they use to make Gochugaru (고추고루).
It might not be mold, it could very well be bacteria or yeast. Lactic acid bacteria and yeast would be happy to grow in the acetic kimchi environment. Looking at the photo I'd suspect it's not mold. The advise to discard it is still spot on.
I have been making kimchi and putting it in mason jars for years. I have never had one explosion no matter how fermented it has become.
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