Korean cooking forum topics:
this is my second time making kimchi and I think I failed again
it’s only been fermenting for about a day..but I tasted it a while earlier and it’s SOO extremely salty
I do admit that i used more salt than maangchi’s recipe called for…my question is
1. is it possible that if I let it ferment more the sourness might mask the saltiness?
2. can it be saved? and if not if I use it in kimchi fried rice would it work? i just add sugar right while frying it?
just so sad cos it takes at least 5 hours each time and the first time it came out with no flavor and this time it’s too salty :( maybe I’m judging too soon cos it hasn’t fermented properly yet
omg. I’m looking at your newer “easy kimchi” recipe and it says 2 – 2.5 cups of red pepper paste. the old one I think said 4-6 cups so i used 5. omg no wonder it’s so spicy ;__; and I had only washed the cabbages once instead of 3 times. maybe that’s why it’s so salty
The first batch of kimchi I made was also very salty. What I learned from my mistake was that it really matters what kind of salt that you use, and to follow a recipe.
The best salt for kimchi is the natural sea salt sold at korean markets.
Check out the link below. It has a picture of the salt I use for kimchi making. This salt is not as salty as other salts. It is the best one for kimchi making that I have tried.
thanks for the reply georgia
I’ve never used sea salt before
actually I have some hopie. i realized some pieces on top were extremely salty but many of the parts lower down and especially the stem weren’t too salty at all plus it hasn’t even really fermented yet, it’s not sour at all. so there’s still some hope for me.
the other question I had was do you guys ever taste the kimchi paste before you apply it to the cabbages? is the paste itself supposed to be salty and a bit sweet or completely salty?
cos im southeast asian and we use fish sauce a lot,diluting it for sauces with sugar and other ingredients, so I know what proportion of fish sauce to sugar is needed to dilute. but the recipe calls for 1 cup of fish sauce but only 1/4 cup of sugar, which means the paste should undeniably be extremely salty and that small amount of sugar wouldn’t even be tasted? is that how it’s supposed to be? the kimchi once fermented will naturally have sour and sweet taste?
I just ask cos everytime I buy kimchi it’s sour but also a little sweet but the paste itself is overwhelmingly salty
I recently made a batch of Maangchi’s kimchi and it turned out delicious and tastes the way kimchi is supposed to taste. What I did when the kimchi was all mixed with the paste was to put half of it directly into the refrigerator and let the other half sit for one day in the basement then I refrigerated that batch too. It continues to ferment while refrigerated but at a slower pace than when left outside of the fridge.
What you need to do is to follow the recipe and then see how you like the taste. Have you tried anyone else’s kimchi? Do you know what it should taste like? Maangchi’s recipe is spot on. Very delicious. Kimchi should not be sweet. It should not be salty either. If you don’t like too much fish sauce then you can cut the amount that you add, such as 3/4 of a cup.
Here is her recipe edited by me for my files. I did a couple of changes to suit what I do, such as make daikon radish kimchi at the same time using some of the paste for that. If you follow the recipe then your kimchi will be fantastic too.
This recipe is very easy. The radish cubes are separate so you can make radish kimchi at the same time you make cabbage kimchi. Just put them in a separate container and use some of the paste to mix with the radish. The radish sits outside of the fridge for a day or two and then refrigerate it too.
Maangchi’s Kimchi recipe
10 pounds napa cabbage
1 cup of korean sea salt
5 pounds daikon radish
4 bunches of green onion
1 bunch leaks
1 cup of garlic
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 cup of minced onion
1 cup fish sauce
2 1/2 cups red pepper flakes
3 cups of water
1/2 cup of sweet rice flour
1/4 cup raw cane sugar
Trim any discolored outer leaves of cabbage. Cut the cabbage into bite size pieces. Rinse cabbage in cold water and drain.
Peel and rinse daikon radish. Cut up into 1 inch cubes. Save 1/2 a radish for cabbage kimchi and cut it up into matchsticks and set aside the matchsticks.
Salt the cabbage and cubed radish (3 tablespoons salt for the radish). Let the salted vegetables sit for about 1 1/2 hours, turning them every 1/2 hour or so.
Rinse the vegetables 3 times in cold water and drain.
Make porridge: Mix cold water and sweet rice flour in a pot. Bring to a boil. Add cane sugar and cook until translucent. Allow to cool.
In food processor, blend: onion, garlic, fish sauce and ginger.
Mix together in a large bowl: porridge, food processor mixture, pepper flakes, green onion, carrots, leaks, and daikon radish matchsticks.
Combine with cabbage and use some of the paste for the radish cubes.
georgia– the salt is okay but let the cabbage sit in a bath (i.e., salt PLUS water to cover) which means the salt will be diluted. let it sit for about 3-4 hours and then WASH and rinse very well. to your seasonings, add some fish sauce or seo woo jeot (salted preserved shrimp) and NO SALT. after you season the cabbage, let it preserve sealed for about 3 days and DO NOT be tempted to peek. check for taste AFTER 3 days. also, note that i use a hermetically sealed gallon glass jar for about 6 lbs of napa cabbage. the reason why i think yours is too salty is because you let the cabbage sit in pure salt. try to dilute it with water. the salt is needed only to start the fermentation process. good luck!
I like Just_Tina’s idea to salt the kimchi in a water bath, i often do that too, I have made kimchi monthly for over a year now and i like that method the best. another recipe take 1/2 gallon of water and mix the salt (1c.) in the water instead of putting it directly on the cabbage, then i pour the salt water over the cabbages and turn them over every now and again so everything gets evenly salted.. you still should wash it atleast 3 times, and squeeze well, i do this very slowly and carefully so my kimchi comes out just right, it takes me a good 20 minutes.
I also recomend adding both saewoojeot and aekjeot, in a half and half ratio, it just tastes amazing!
oh, finally, ust be carefull with the salt, it actually has nothing to do with the fermentation process, rather it preserves the kimchi and keeps it from going bad. I use really any salt i have on hand, i prefer course sea salt or kosher salt, the only thing you shouldnt use is iodized salt (table salt) it kills the good bacteria you need to get your kimchi to ferment, i have heard your kimchi may eventually spoil if you use table salt and you let your kimchi sit at room temp for a few days ..
Sugar is actually what makes kimchi ferment, bacteria feeds off sugar which forms lactic acid, giving kimchi that unique sour taste
Yes..I always taste the paste and the napa cabbage as well. I taste the napa cabbage after rinsing it cos if it turns out too salty then ill wash it again. As for the paste, my husband likes his kimchi less hot and I like my kimchi real hot :) so of course I have to taste it and i dont use measurement. The point is kimchi is not supposed to be sweet though we add sugar in it.
As for iodized salt.. I just made a batch of kimchi with it (Coarse iodized salt not the fine one) and it didnt spoil even I left it outside for 2-3 days in the hot Jakarta summer and it tasted just as kimchi supposed to taste.
don’t throw away the kimchi you made.
rinse the kimchi with water, squeeze the water out and then put it in water. you can still make lots of stuff out of kimchi noodles, kimchi kim bap, kimchi bin deh dduk, kimchi jjigae, kimchi gook, kimchi bokkeum (kimchi stir fry).
kimchi is gold and you don’t throw that shat away. lol
I feel your pain. I still haven’t been able to make a really good baechu kimchi. My oii kimchi came out great, but whenever I try to do the cabbage variety, it either doesn’t ferment enough (gets transparents and doesn’t have that effervescent zing to it) or it sours too quickly, and I have a gallon sized jar with which to make kimchi jiggae everyday for the next four months.
To me, perfect kimchi has an almost carbonated bite to it. Reminds me of saurkraut. The cabbage stays relatively firm (NOT transparent), and it lasts a good bit in this state. I’ve had it every once in a while in restaurants or purchased at the Asian market, but it’s not often. My dad makes his like this, but it goes over the top with the zing (too much of it) and has almost like a bleach after-taste.
Sometimes I feel like Goldilocks except I haven’t found my “just right” just yet.
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