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  • Writer's pictureHelen ModernPepper

Kimchi TIPS: How To FERMENT & STORE Your Store-Bought Kimchi

Updated: Dec 13, 2019

I put this video together because many-many of my Korean-American and non-Korean friends that are FANS of Kimchi always complain about how their store-bought kimchi is not as tasty as it is in my household or at their Korean parent's. Well, the problem lies with how the store kimchi is NOT properly fermented when they bring it home, and how it is stored. So watch this video to learn the basics of how to enhance the taste of your store-bought kimchi when you bring it home.

Today's video will go over the basics of how to ferment your store-bought kimchi and properly storing your kimchi.

Below you will find:

Instructions on fermenting your kimchi links to air-lock storage containers and disposable gloves

Instructions on storing your kimchi

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Kimchi Stew:

Kimchi Pancakes:

Kimchi Fried Rice: 김치볶음밥 w🥓Bacon & 🍳Egg Lava in Dolsot Bibimbap:

How To Ferment Your Store-Bought Kimchi

- As soon as you bring your kimchi home, place the kimchi jar in a shallow bowl, and leave the lid halfway turned loose.

- Let the kimchi jar rest on your kitchen counter for 10 hours (do not exceed 12 hours). Make sure to keep it away from the direct sunlight. Ideally, place it a cool area of your kitchen counter (away from heat and sun),

TIP: If you exceed 12 hours of keeping your kimchi jar on the kitchen counter, you will force the fermentation process to rapidly over ripen the kimchi. Unless you are planning on consuming all kimchi within 3 days or so, do not over ferment the kimchi jar. Keep it to 10 hours or less.

- After 10 hours of the resting period on the kitchen counter, the kimchi jar will have released some liquid into your shallow bowl that the kimchi jar is in. Discard this liquid.

- Yes, your kitchen will have an odor as the kimchi jar will have released all the gases that built up during the 10 hours fermentation/resting period. Just air out the kitchen. This odor smell is NOT how kimchi tastes or smells like. Perfectly fermented kimchi will smell pleasant: The refreshing smell of the vegetables, peppery fragrance, with garlic and salty smell.

- Rip up a piece of the kimchi leaf (as shown in the video) and have a taste. It should have a perfect balance of the natural sweetness of the cabbage leaf, crunchy bite of crunchiness, and the salty, garlicky, and peppery taste of the fermented kimchi marinade.

- TIP: If you can, try to buy kimchi is not pre-sliced into bite sizes. Buy quartered cabbage kimchi (called Tongbaechu-Kimchi 통배추김치) where the roots and leaves are intact.

- TIP: If you have access to giant Korean supermarkets, try their in-house kimchi. Usually comes in a plastic bag and always in quartered cabbage kimchi (NOT pre-sliced bite-size kimchi, called MakKimchi 막김치)

Now, all you need is some Korean rice to balance out the saltiness. YUM! Watch the video below: How To Make Korean White, Brown and Multi-grain/Protein rice (includes tips on how to freeze-store your cooked rice, so you don't have to cook Korean rice every time you crave it):

Korean Rice 101 For HANGRY SOULS Links

(CLICK on the links below to view the item, NOT the pictures!)

Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Fermentation and Storage Container with Inner Vacuum Lid (1.3 Gal (5.2L))


Premium Kimchi, Sauerkraut Container Probiotic Fermentation with Inner Vacuum Lid (Earthenware Green, 1.9 gal/ 7.4L)


Stainless Steel 101oz(3L) Rectangular Seal Kimchi Food Leakproof Airtight Storage Container


LOCK & LOCK Airtight Square Tall Food Storage Container 135.25-oz / 16.91-cup


LOCK & LOCK Airtight Square Tall Food Storage Container 87.92-oz / 10.99-cup


Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers 304 New Clips - Leak-Proof, Airtight, Smell-Proof - Perfect For Camping Trips, Lunches, Leftovers, Soups, Salads & More (Set of 3)


Clean Ones 513017 500 Count Disposable Poly Gloves


HuaLan Japanese Style Natural Wood Chopsticks Set Reusable Classic Style Chopsticks 5 Pairs


Handmade Jujube Tree Wooden Korean Spoons and Chopsticks


Foster (Goldage) 5-Pairs Fiberglass Dishwasher-safe Chopsticks


CJ Hetbahn Cooked White Rice, Gluten-Free, Vegan


CJ Cooked Budding Sprouted Brown Rice


CJ Premium Roasted Seaweed Snack 5g -(Pack of 8)


Jayone Seaweed, Roasted and Lightly Salted, 24 Count


For cutting Kimchi:

Wüsthof Come-Apart Kitchen Shears


Wüsthof Twelve Piece Block Set


Wusthof Classic 7-piece Slim Knife Block Set


How To Properly Store Your Store-Bought Kimchi

- After you follow the steps above on fermenting your store-bought kimchi, place your weekly service size into an air-lock container. See above for links for air-lock containers.

- For quartered cabbage kimchi (Tongbaechu-Kimchi 통배추김치), place a quartered sectioned kimchi on a large plate, and using your kitchen scissors, cut the root end (as shown in the video). The root end of the kimchi is extra chewy. If you don't like the root ends, save it for kimchi or doenjang (Korean soybean paste) stews.

- TIP: If you use a cutting board to cut your kimchi, know that you will spend some time washing off the kimchi juice stain, which is NOT FUN!

- For the rest of the kimchi in the jar, using a large (tall) air-lock container, pack in your kimchi, by gently pressing down the kimchi. If you are using quartered kimchi (Tongbaechu-Kimchi 통배추김치i), ball up each of the quartered kimchi (as shown in the video) and place in the air-lock container.

- After you have gently pressed down the kimchi in the container, take a sheet of plastic saran wrap and place it on top of the kimchi, gently pressing it down to create at second-skin/seal on the kimchi. Close the lid, and place the kimchi in your refrigerator.

- Keep your kimchi in this container and use it as a refill kimchi source.

- TIP: Kimchi, in general, is meant to ferment together in a batch, not individually. The fermentation process includes the kimchi cabbage and all the ingredients "decomposing" together to create a balanced kimchi taste and its yummy juice.

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