How long can I keep kimchi?

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    • #48907

      Maangchi (or anyone else):

      I bought 1 gal. of cabbage kimchi about 3 months ago and now there are only 2-3 cups remaining at the bottom of the jar. Is it still good? It is still juicy and red-orange and doesn’t look or smell bad in anyway. There are no signs of mould either. Can I still use it even if it’s 3 months old?



    • #52319

      yes. its ok.

      if it’s smells and tastes really sour you can soak it in water for a like 10 minutes, strain it, rinse it, squeeze the water out and then make stuff out of it.

    • #52320

      it’s okay as long as there is no mold. Koreans eat kimchi up to 2-3 years old…….we call it something different but yeah.. the more u ferment, the better it tastes

    • #52321

      kimchee can go bad, lol, but it’s tough to tell. i mean, it’s already a controlled rotting.

      but, you’ll know if it’s finally gone bad if it tastes somewhat tart and fizzy. otherwise, it should be good for a very long time. i agree with koralex that it’s easily still good for a few years, depending on the condition in which it’s stored, of course.

    • #52322

      Store-bought kimchi, if you keep it unopened for a long time will probably burst from the pressure building up inside. If opened and stored in the fridge, it will not last years, but will last weeks.

      After opened, the kimchi will continue to change its taste, from not-all-the-way done (not fermented enough), to done, to getting sour, to sour, to gross and finally to gross/fizz.

      The level of “done-ness” you like and the level of sourness you like are individual preferences.

      In the very-done to sour stages, you can use the kimchi to cook in dishes like stew, pancakes, and to cook with pork belly.

    • #52323

      Actually it depends on what kind of kimchi you like.

      Taste it and if you don’t like it, just throw it away.

      BTW, It might not be possible to do it in a ordinary refrigerator

      (maybe a special Kimchi refrigerator),

      there’s something called Mook eun ji (extra old, fermented Kimchi)

      which is stored for like “years”( commercially 2~3 years )

      and these are regarded as “specialties”

      At this stage of fermentation,

      Kimchi gets a deeper & extra savory taste with less sourness(amazingly) & less smell, making it superb for Jjigae. (it’s uber jjigae)

    • #52324

      My father believes Kimchi never goes bad haha. I don’t understand why he thinks that….

      I found some old Kimchi in my refrigerator once, and I threw it away. My father saw me throwing it away and claimed that the white liquidy mold on top was actually like yogurt, and that its alright to eat it. I threw it away anyways xD

    • #52325
      Ai Leen

      Hello, I made white kimchi, and left it at room temperature for 1 whole day to ferment and then store it in the refrigerator, 1 week later, the liquid turns cloudy, the cabbage leaves are mushy. Is it still edible?


    • #52326

      smell it and if the smell doesnt make you gag, you can probably eat it. 1 week shouldn’t be enough to make kimchi inedible.

      what do you mean with mushy? like dissolved-mushy? or still some crunch left?

    • #52327
      Ai Leen


      Soft mushy but still retain the shape of the leaves

    • #52328

      just try it… as long as it tastes good, eat it… and take a sniff before you try it

    • #52329
      andrea kim

      lol @ hopish and your father :P

    • #52330

      lol hopish. Sounds like my mother. She fusses at me ALL the time when I tell her that I threw out some old kimchi. She always tells me to call her and she’ll come pick it up :P

    • #52331

      My mother also believes no kimchee can ever go bad. Once we even had a batch go slimy…it was so gross, but she tried rinsing it and eating it anyways. Needless to say, I wouldn’t touch the stuff.

      With regular “old” kimchee, we usually make kimchee jigae out of it, but mom sometimes makes ssam with the leaves of whole cabbage kimchee. She rinses all the spice off and we use it just as you would ssam. Very delicious.

    • #52332

      I have never had kimchi go bad. I usually make about 10 lbs of kimchi at a time and this lasts me about 3 months. Towards the end it gets really sour, but still good. I prefer it after the 1st month for, but my neice likes it really sour like around the 3 month.

    • #52333

      Does anyone know how long Perilla Kimchi (kkaenip kimchi) will last? I made a fairly large batch of it yesterday.

    • #52334

      Does anyone know how long Perilla Kimchi (kkaenip kimchi) will last? I made a fairly large batch of it yesterday..

    • #52335

      Hi there,

      I am getting into canning — you know, mason jars, pressure cooker, etc. — and want to know about canning kimchi. Here’s what I am wondering: If I make up a huge batch and then let it sit and ferment in the fridge for a couple weeks can I go ahead and can it all? I assume it would come out similar to the jarred, unrefrigerated kimchi you see in mainstream places like Safeway. I’m still not entirely sure the fermentation would be effectively stopped by pressure canning, however.

      Anybody have any experience with canning kimchi?

      Thanks in advance!


      ps, Favorite kimchi recipe so far is Momofuku’s. Love it. I think it’s the salt shrimp and oodles of ginger and garlic that make it so good.

    • #52336

      I have been canning for years, but have never tried canning kimchi. I am not sure if it would work out because when you are canning you will be cooking the kimchi thus altering the taste and texture. I have never used a pressure cooker though, I only use a water bath canner so maybe it works differently. I have never seen kimchi unrefrigerated maybe because I don’t have a Safeway. I would test it out on one jar to see what happens. It would be interesting to hear the results. Sorry I can’t be of more help:)

    • #52337

      I think by canning you’d be destroying all the good bacteria and fermentation would stop.

      I’ve had experience canning jams/jellies and found the taste/colour is different pre and post canning.

    • #52338

      II recently made some kimchi while i was preggy and in my last trimester i had horrible heartburn so i didnt get to eat ANY of the kimchi ….. Until….. 5 months later!!! When my daughter was 3 months =D and let me tell yu it was soooo good.. It was not overly sour or smelled sour or anything! ( think its because of this great recipe!) also i think it was because noone bothered with the kimchi the whole 5 months ( it wasforgotten in the back of the fridge) =P but it lasted a very longgg time

    • #52339

      Canning should be avoided.

      During the fermentation process, a lot of gas is produced,

      making the kimchi jar, or plastic pack prone to explosions. (not joking,

      In the 80’s when there was no gas absorbers, I heard a lot of store bought kimchi jars messed up peoples kitchens.)

      This gas build up thingy made kimchi extremely hard for the big food processing companies to commercialize, until small packets of gas absorbers(usually CO2) were introduced and put into kimchi packs.(You’ll see one dangling on top of the pack)

      These kind of kimchi packs do give the product a longer shelf life,

      controlling CO2 & preventing kimchi explosions,

      but at the end (about a month or so),

      even the gas absorbers fail to control the gas build up.

      So, conclusions………..

      If you’re going to store kimchi for a long long time,

      Try not to seal it up.

      If you want to store kimchi for a long time,

      Make sure you ease the gas pressure build up by opening the kimchi jar once in a while.

      (Just like deliberately messing up fizzy beverages; just open it and close right back)

    • #52340

      Kimchi is a fresh pickle. It has been made this way for thousands of years. There is really no reason to can it. It would become kimchi soup, which is not what you are trying to do.

      Kimchi keeps for so long as it is that I really don’t know why you would want to can it, unless it is a refrigeration or odor issue, which I can understand.

      Remember – when you take kimchi out of the jar – compact the remaining kimchi, and make sure it is covered with liquid. This helps keep the kimchi longer. The only times I have had kimchi go bad was when it wasn’t submerged – and that was after a couple years, forgotten in the back of the extra fridge. Sometimes I have noticed that old kaktugi gets a strange texture, but then I use it for soup.

      I have perilla kimchi in my fridge that I made a huge batch of a year ago, and it is still good.

    • #52341

      I bought some kimchi a few months ago and last night I made kimchi jjigae and kimchi bokumbbap with the remainders. It’s funny because I found this site only because my boyfriend did a search on how long can kimchi lasts, and left the site on the computer, because he happened to get sick. So grateful for that. :)

      Kimchi is fermented. You can keep it for months. My mom has had kimchi is her fridge for a very long time and to me, the older and more sour it gets, the better it is. However, I have seen kimchi grow mold. It’s safe to say that as long as the kimchi isn’t moldy, the kimchi is good. As long as it’s the traditional kimchi or even kkakdugi. I’ve never gotten sick from eating kimchi. In fact, last night’s dinner didn’t make me sick and I had, both, the kimchi bokumbbap and jjigae.

    • #52342

      I grew up with the teaching that kimchi never goes bad but I personally draw the line at mold. I’ve eaten kimchi that was in the fridge for at least 3 months and never had a problem. When it gets too sour for my tastes on its own, I make a big pot of soup out of the rest.

    • #52343

      I’ve only had my kimchi for a few weeks, but it’s very tart and fizzy. It’s been kept in the fridge the entire time, and fairly well submerged. It’s hardly been touched, could the problem be that the lid has been on too long? There aren’t any growths and it’s not slimy or mushy.. just really fizzy. I put some in a bowl and it started squeaking at me. :(

    • #52344


      I have had the same problem. THe first several batches of kimchi I made were perfect with no fizz or tartness. Looking back on it I was a lot less zealous about how I packed it in the jars/pots. Then I started reading about pickled foods and anarobic activity and all that and I became zealous about how I packed the kimchi and keeping everything air tight. The result was tart fizzy kimchi that felt like poprocks on the tongue when I ate it. I thought I ruined my beloved kimchi so I threw a whole batch away….better to be on the safe side right? So I made another batch and swore the same would not happen again…I sterilized all of my basins with boling water and gave my utensils a boiling water bath and I sterilized my containers with the afore mentioned boiling water. I made my kimchi and again zealously packed my kimchi and squeezed it down tight and pressed it and made sure liquid was above the actual kimchi and I screwed down the lid tight. So what happens…the same thing…..a fridge full of kimchi juice, kimchi ready to bubble over, sounded like rice krispies and worst of all a tart fizzy product once again. It was just as you describe. It was still firm, smelled like wonderful proper kimchi, no slime no mold. Then I realized I wasn’t helping myself with my anarobic zealotry….I was shooting myself in the foot. Kimchi is alive it is fermenting and it is going to give off gases. My practices were basically pressure carbonating my kimchi like bottle conditioned beer or champagne. I didn’t have spoiled kimchi…I had carbonated kimchi….and the carbonation is of course not spoilage….but rather evidence of a batch doing what it should….just not under ideal conditions. I think it is an easy fix. Here is what I did. I took out my kimchi…and repacked it….without the packing…rather loosely and haphazard like. I then just set the lid on the kimchi instead of screwing it down. If all goes to plan the kimchi should hopefully soon be as effervescent as 3 day old rootbeer….which is to say….not at all. Good luck and happy eating

    • #52345

      To mizufashion and farmer82,

      Actually, in my opinion, you guys have made the best kimchi possible… tart, fizzy, and refreshing. If I were you, I would use the same method especially to make water kimchis…. you can use that fizzy broth as a base for some absolutely spectacular naengmyun!

    • #52346

      Puting a fermenting anything in a sealed container is going to end in 1 of 2 ways:

      1) Pressure builds up to the point where it begins to equalize in the liquid (colder temperatures decrease the pressure needed) and carbonate the liquid

      2) An explosion.

      I have had both happen. Had a batch of beer ferment so fast that the Co2 couldn’t escape out the air lock and blew the lid off the 5 gallon bucket, to the ceiling and 5 foot away. Also accidentally made a sparkling green tea wine by bottling before the ferment was done.

      If you really want to be safe on your fermenting items you can always install a cheap airlock in the lid, it’ll let the pressure out without letting air in.

    • #71333

      This is so cool because I have had some Kimchi since may of last year kept it in frig and even had mold develope on top. I scraped it off and eat some I never got sick from it. It had a very good taste still and am eating some of it tonight. I took it out of my Kimchi pot into a plastic tub and it is fine. I had to make some fresh Kimchi teaching a friend how to make it so I needed my pot. Oh I made Kimbap to go with it.

    • #71500

      YES! this is what happened to me: it’s a bit fizzy now, and I was wondering if I’ll die if I eat it..ate it anyway :d but why is this happening?!!?

    • #73787

      Sickba: because it’s fermented, and continues to undergo fermentation. It’s what makes kimchi kimchi, albeit the fizziness likely means it’s passed… for some people.

      Does the same apply to homemade kimchi? I made some white radish kimchi the better part of a month ago and then sealed it up and have hardly eaten any because they don’t want me eating it at work (some complained about the smell… it was a very awkward conversation that left a taste in my mouth worse than any fizzy kimchi might). Regardless, I have opened it a few times and it smells pretty good still, there is no mold. Have not checked for fizziness or sourness yet. The radish cubes have become almost translucent and very soft. It’s about 1kg, so I would really hate to waste it, but I think I would hate even more to go on a food poisoning diet.

      I’ll like it try it anyway and find out, but wanted the take of some experts.

    • #74860
      Sio lover

      Hi I made kimchi yesterday at night and I left it until the next morning and I smell it I could tell that there is weird smell with onion smell is it okay or its spoiled?

    • #81453

      I made some kimchi about two weeks ago for the first time. Kept it on the counter for two days and then regrigerated for the remainder of the time. I tried it today and it tastes almost fizzy (a bit like Kefir. Though this could just be gas bubbles escaping as I bite down. Normal or not?

    • #81850

      Generally speaking, if stored properly, kimchi doesn’t go bad, it just ripens. When kimchi ripens, the flavor becomes sourer. But that doesn’t mean ripe kimchi is no longer usable, it is still edible even when it’s super sour.

    • #82048

      Thnak you for these dishes.

    • #87329

      Didn’t know he could be held until he was 3. He’s definitely not staying in my kitchen for long.

    • #88589

      I only eat processed foods that is no older than 5 days. Asians add too much spices in their meals, so they can stay good longer. I only tried kimchi at restaurants, for me it’s a too complicated dish to cook at home.

    • #92505

      Hi, I made the kimchi recipe nearly a year ago and got 2 jars out of it. I still have one jar in my fridge today. I’ve just checked it, there is no mold, the cabbage has soften but it is far from a slimmy texture and it smells like kimchi no more, no less. Still, is it safe to eat ?

    • #92541

      Should be safe. Ive eaten kimchi that was 2yr old. Its makes fantastic stew. I even make 2 jars and hide one in the back of the fridge just for “old kimchi stew”.

    • #94907

      I made some Kimchi 3 years ago that is still inside of the mason jar it was put in to ferment. I had 4 gallons and only have one left from 3 years ago and have 1 1/2 gallons left from 2 years ago. Unfortunately the youpick farm didn’t have any Napa this year, so I didn’t make any. This is why I keep extra kimchi.

      I’ve yet to see any of my home batch kimchi grow mold or any of the other issues that I’ve read on here. Now that I know that it is a delicacy to have excessively aged kimchi, I will keep that 3 year old gallon till it’s 5 years aged and see how well it turns out.

      The older and more sour it gets the better it tastes to me. I have to be frugal with it so as to not run out, though.

      Thank you everyone for your insight on this. I didn’t know I could make so many dishes with kimchi. I will be trying all of the ones that are mentioned here.

    • #94941

      Yes, it’s good. When properly refrigerated, it may last 3-6 months.

    • #96069

      You can keep Kimchi for 1 week at room temperature and in the refrigerator, you can keep it frozen for about 3-6 months.

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