Korean cooking forum topics:
Perhaps it is a bit of an overkill to start a post just to brag that I finally made a good batch of baechu kimchi, but I’ve been trying for literally years and years. Either they come out tasting sort of bleach-like, too salty, or ferment weirdly (slimy and off-tasting instead of effervescent). I followed Maangchi’s recipe again, omitted the rice flour (which, for me, seems to ferment the kimchi too quickly…but that could also be my lame fridge), put in leeks (I’d previously just used the green onions…and I don’t have access to Korean chives), a combination of flakes and powder, a different brand of fish sauce (switched to Three Crab via a recommendation from one of my mom’s friends…very mellow flavor), and added a tiny bit of julienned carrot and some pureed pear for sweetness…success! Mom claims it turned out well b/c I used Kosher salt this time. She says it has properties that are beneficial to kimchi making (though she says sea salt is best). I don’t know if that’s the reason why, but I’ve been doing a happy dance all week long and shoving my kimchi into everyone’s mouth, whether they want a piece or not.
“I’ve been doing a happy dance all week long and shoving my kimchi into everyone’s mouth, whether they want a piece or not.”
That is funny! Congratulations on getting it the way you like.
My favorite fish sauce is red boat, hard to find expensive but worth it.
Sea salt has other trace minerals in it. Some are good but some can have funny taste.
Most salt is cubic crystals, kosher salt has a flat platelet shape. Kosher salt is designed to pull blood from meat. In kimchi making we want to pull water from vegetables. A flat pice of salt has more contact with the surface than a crystal.
Red Boat? I’ll have to search for that next time I’m in Atlanta. I googled it…way fancy bottle. I’m intrigued.
I learned about it here. http://www.theravenouscouple.com/2011/05/red-boat-fish-sauce-nuoc-mam-nhi.html
It is the only one my wife will use.
Happy days! Congratulations!
And interesting discussion about the fish sauce. When I go to the Asian grocer there are SO many brands of fish sauce that I usually just end up buying the one my eyes fall on first.
After living in Japan and Korea ive trying to recreate the Kimchi I had when i lived abroad. Still no success . But I will keep on trying. :) !!
Apparently Kosher salt and sea salt have impurities that are hard to taste but are beneficial to fermentation. Were you using table salt all this time? That might have been contributing to the bleach-like taste.
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