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I made Maangchi’s Mak Kimchi recipe last week. I like it sour, so I let it sit in my basement for 4 days, then refrigerated it. I took some out today to eat on top of ramen. It’s nice and red, but it’s not hot at all. I used 2.5 c. of pepper. Anyone have any ideas why it’s not spicy?
I made the same recipe about 1 1/2 weeks ago and it turned out pretty spicy. I used 2 cups of hot pepper flakes and mine is a much darker red color than yours.
It may be the brand of hot pepper flakes you used. Some brands make different levels of “heat.” I used “BW” this time but have used “Tae Kyung” and “Wang” in other recipes with similar results.
I used Assi. Last night I pulled the bag out of the freezer to double check, and it says “Hot”. Maybe it wasn’t fresh enough? The stock doesn’t turn over very fast at the Thai grocery near my house. Next time I’ll go to the other side of town where there are more people that cook foods like this. Oh well, I guess I’ll let this batch get sour and use it for jjigae and other dishes where I can add in more hot pepper.
Thanks for answering. :-)
hmm, if I were you, I would taste the hot pepper flakes first. It sounds like they’re not hot at all. I like Assi brand but I use mild hot pepper flakes because I like to make my kimchi look bright red but not be too spicy. Add more hot pepper flakes if it’s not spicy enough for you. Happy cooking!
Sometimes even the spicy versions of hot pepper flakes isn’t spicy enough for me. What I learned to do (from a friend of my mom who is quite well-known in local circles for making fantastic kimchi) is to add some hot peppers to the mix. I puree hot jalapenos in with my pear/onion/ginger mixture. Only thing is that if you do this you MUST wear gloves as the residual heat with make your hands feel like they’ve been dipped in napalm regardless of how many times you wash them. I learned the hard way and spent the night with my hands soaking in an ice water bath.
My first attempt at making kimchi turned out great! Just as I finished preparing the fresh kimchi I tasted it and, it did not seem hot enough for this old Cajun. I had some “Thai Hot Pepper Powder” that I thought would work for kimchi. It’s a good thing I didn’t use that stuff only, in my kimchi. Anyway, I mixed-in a LITTLE of that Thai pepper into my just-completed kimchi and it is plenty hot enough now.
I am sooo glad that I waited to locate the correct KOREAN pepper flakes! The flavor is wonderfully different and color is perfect. It seems as though it would be okay to add some HOT pepper flakes to a single serving of kimchi. I figured if I had guests that liked it hotter, I will offer them the hot pepper.
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