Reply To: first time homemade kimchi (bitter taste?)

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Hello every one,
I know how frustrating it is to realize that the kimchi you made with your own hands (and your heart) doesn’t taste as good as you expected but don’t worry, it’s gonna be alright anyway :)

First thing to remember : the result depends on the ingredients and your kimchi (even if you follow the same recipe every time) will be different at every batch.
You have to taste the vegetables because it happens that a carrot, radish or any vegetable taste a bit bitter naturally (especially radishes). If so, do not hesitate to rince the vegetables under running water after you cut them (dry them with a clean towel after that). Even garlic can be bitter when it’s not very fresh, pepper flakes also if they’ve been exposed to air a long time, even salt…
If you taste all the ingredients, you can adjust the amount of sweetener you have to add in compensation.
Second thing : your kimchi is alive. The taste is gonna evolve with time and the process of fermentation. It becomes sour but also rich and round (sorry I don’t know the exact terms in english) and the bitterness of a young kimchi sometimes fades into the rich and deep flavor of an aged kimchi. Months after months, the taste becomes more and more complex !
Third thing : if the bitterness doesn’t mellows or disappears with time, ABSOLUTLY do not throw it away ! Cook it ! Fried , simmered, melt it with other ingredients.
And to finish : It happened to me once. As usually, I had let my kimchi fermenting at room temperature approximatively 2 days, refrigerated it 24 hours then tasted it… weird, carbonated, bitter… I let it sit approximatively 1 month in the fridge… still weird… I decided to try a second fermentation at room temperature and it really helped. It was still a bit bitter but I could eat it without the weird aftertaste.
Have fun !