There are mainly two types of Kimchi in Korea: Fresh & Fermented Kimchi.
If you're not sure what Kimchi is be sure to check out this blogpost: What is Fresh Kimchi?
What is Fermented Kimchi?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made by salting and fermenting vegetables (usually cabbage) - This is the one we're all probably familiar with. Fermented Kimchi is usually soft and tangy.
What is Geotjeori (Fresh Kimchi)?
Geotjeori (겉절이) is a traditional Korean side dish known as Fresh Kimchi. Unlike Fermented Kimchi, Geotjeori is normally made to consume within 1-2 days without any necessary fermentation. Unlike fermented Kimchi, Geotjeori is fresh, crunchy and savoury.
Is Fresh (Geotjeori) or Fermented Kimchi Better?
Now that we've introduced to you the different types of Kimchi. Let's get to the answer everyone is burning to know! ❤️
The biggest difference between fresh and fermented Kimchi is the taste. Fresh Kimchi is more like a salad, so it taste more raw, fresh and crunchy. Fermented Kimchi is softer and tangy.
If you're consuming Kimchi because you want the probiotic goodness, then fermented Kimchi is something you'd want. At around 1 month old, your Kimchi should start tasting sour, that is an indication of fermentation and the presence of probiotics. The longer you let the Kimchi ferment, the more probiotics it has.
The ingredients used are mostly the same except for the amount of salt and addition of sesame oil.
Geotjeori I seasoned more lightly and with sesame oil, while Kimchi meant for fermentation will be salted more without the addition of sesame oil.
The presence of oil also means that fresh Kimchi will not taste good when kept for too long, it is highly recommended to consume fresh kimchi within 1-2 days. Fermented Kimchi on the other hand can be kept for 6 months or even longer when stored properly!
How to store your kimchi the right way? Check out this article!
If you're looking to have a side dish to accompany you meals, both the fresh and fermented Kimchi are great options! But if you're looking to whip up a dish with Kimchi, we recommend using fermented Kimchi because it has a stronger flavour. If you need your Kimchi to ferment faster you can leave it out of the fridge for a couple of hours.
The longer the fermented Kimchi is allowed to ferment the more sour it gets. So if you're struggling with digestion issues, gastroesophageal reflux disease or food allergies, you may want to avoid fermented kimchi / fermented food in general. Instead, you might want to consider fresh Kimchi. Before making any big changes to your diet, we always recommend consulting your primary care physician or a registered dietitian.
How JIN Kimchi's Fresh Kimchi is different!
At JIN Kimchi we sell Fresh Kimchi (not Geotjeori) that has just been made, this Kimchi is meant to ferment taste good fresh and develop even stronger flavours after it ferments, unlike the regular Geotjeori!
What's great is that you get to choose when you want to consume it. Be it at its freshest stage or when it has fermented slightly.. it’ll still taste good!
Although the ingredients used for both the fresh and fermented Kimchi may be similar, the taste, probiotic content, shelf life and usage differ. There is no one Kimchi the is better, at the end of the day it's about finding the right Kimchi for your needs. We hope with the information above you'll be able to find the right one for you!