Re: Grape leaves in kimchi?

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Update: I let the emergency kimchi ferment, weighted, at room temp for 2 days with the top of the kimchi covered in grape leaves (and the natural brine covering everything), and it is the crunchiest kimchi I have ever had! I was concerned that by cutting the cabbage so thinly, it would lose more juice and get softer than my traditional kimchi, but my grape leaf trick really seemed to help. Of course, I probably should have made two batches, one with and one without grape leaves, to tell for sure, but I am very confident the grape leaves kept everything super crunchy since it is even crunchier than my regular kimchi. I am going to start adding the grape leaves to all my kimchi batches from now on. I will try to update once more time when I make my regular, traditional kimchi so that I can give a comparison to that with and without the grape leaf addition.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering:

— the addition of grape leaves did not affect the kimchi flavor at all.

— I removed all but 2 of the grape leaves when I moved the kimchi to the fridge (after 2 days of fermentation).

— grape leaves are safe to eat, in the kimchi, in case you don’t want to toss the top layer of leaves. There are even recipes for grape leaf kimchi I found online while trying to research this subject. Who knew?!?

Good luck with your kimchi, everyone! :)