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5

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.


5

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 ...


4

I make kimchi regularly. It sits on a shelf at room temperature for a week or more, and slowly ferments. Some people ferment it for months. Sure, it likes a low oxygen partial pressure, but a few hours on a bus isn't going to hurt it.


3

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. ...


2

Kimchi existed long before refrigeration. Infact the sole principle of kimchi is preservation through fermentation. So yes, you can leave it at room temperature for a few hours.


2

You should use patience. The sour taste comes from lactic and acetic acid (more lactic than acetic) produced by the fermentation process. Kimchi is essentially "spicy sauerkraut" and both get their acidity from bacteria which are naturally present on the vegetables, aided (over other bacteria) by the right amount of salt (typically 2% by weight or slightly ...


2

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.


1

I'd like to answer the part of your question that isn't a recipe request. I'm going to paraphrase it as: Is X a "thing" [in American cuisine]? The answer, my curious friend, is a resounding yes... contingent on whether or not you make it. We here in the States have the preposterously good fortune of having access to ingredients from all over the ...


1

Chlorinated tap water. The effect on the ferment may be negligible, but I've never bothered to test it, lest there be unwanted putrefaction. Boil the water that you're going to use to make your brine, then add salt and let cool. The chlorine should volatilize at the boil.


1

Gochugaru is available in Korean/Asian grocery stores, in 1lb or 3 lb bags. If you live in New York City, it's easy to find. You can also buy it online, at http://www.hmart.com/. Make sure you buy the pure kind, with no added salt or anything else.


1

For a quick fix in case you can't get gochugaru I recommend cayenne pepper mixed with sweet paprika powder. The smoked component is not so strong as to require Spanish smoked paprika, but you may want to try. Despite what people say: If you are used to Indian, Thai or Caribbean cuisine gochugaru will be rather mild. It's content in capsaicin is 3000-8000 ...



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