I just made some kimchi for the first time. Three heads of Napa cabbage. I put it in glass jars and left lots of room. It has been a day and and a half at room temp. and I still don't think it has expanded very much. It has a little liquid but it is just covering the cabbage and it is not bubbling.

I used all fresh ingredients except the garlic. The garlic was from a jar. It was the minced kind. I pureed an onion and ginger in a blender and added the garlic with those at the same time.

Do you think the preservatives in the store-bought minced garlic could have stopped the fermentation? It was only about three tablespoons of the garlic in a three head of cabbage batch.

3 Answers 3


Patience. Unless the weather is quite warm, a week is a more typical minimum fermentation time; three weeks if you use a refrigerator method.


I figured out the problem myself. I used iodized salt. I was suppose to use sea salt or kosher. The fermentation prosess was inhibited by the iodine. I missed this tip the first time but when I looked at more recipes, I found it was a common practice. It took an extra day to show any activity but it is now going strong. Next time I will use sea salt or kosher salt. Many recipes state that the flavor is better too. I'm just happy it still worked.

  • The same grocers that carry the chili flakes usually also carry an inexpensive good quality salt especially for kimchi making. Jul 11, 2016 at 8:46

A day and a half is much too short for fermentation. It'll take 1-2 weeks and longer the better. It'll become sour when properly done.

  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice. I edited your answer as we do not address health or nutrition here.
    – Cindy
    Jul 14, 2016 at 11:56

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