Why is my Kimchi sour?
"I've not open my Kimchi jar but the Kimchi is sour!"
If you find yourself asking this question, then this post will answer your question (and more!).
Why is your Kimchi Sour?
Kimchi is a traditional Korean method of salting and fermenting vegetables such as Cabbage, Radish and Cucumbers, this helps the vegetable last longer.
Fresh Kimchi starts off salty and gets more sour as it naturally ferments over time. So, the longer you keep your Kimchi, the more it ferments and the more sour it gets. Natural fermentation is what gives Kimchi its sour flavour as it ages.
How does Kimchi Fermentation work?
Fermentation is a metabolic process that uses sugar. The presence of sugar in a low oxygenated condition promotes fermentation. This is why Kimchi must be stored in a sealed jar filled with brine.
Lactobacillus Plantarum, a type of lactic acid bacteria is responsible for this fermentation. It breaks down carbohydrates (sugar) in the vegetable to form lactic acid.
The acidic nature of the lactic acid kills any bad/ harmful bacteria that might try and grow within the Kimchi. This acidic nature also gives fermented Kimchi a sour and mildly acidic flavour.
To sum it up:
Will Kimchi continue to ferment in the fridge?
If you enjoy non-sour Kimchi, we always recommend refrigerating your Kimchi. Doing so will slow down fermentation, but will not stop it entirely. This means that even if you do not open the jar or take it out of the fridge, the Kimchi will continue to ferment regardless. As such, all JIN Kimchi's good to consume duration starts from when you receive the Kimchi and not when you open it.
Unfortunately, there is no known way to stop fermentation without any alterations. We do not recommend freezing your kimchi as it will lose some of its nutrients. Freezing may not spoil your Kimchi completely, but the taste and texture may be altered slightly.
How to slow down fermentation?
Though we can not stop fermentation from happening, we can slow the rate of fermentation. Here are 5 tips on how to store your Kimchi that will help prolong the freshness of your Kimchi!
What can you do if your Kimchi is sour?
Unfortunately (or not), once your Kimchi turns sour, there's no going back. If you enjoy sour Kimchi congrats! But if you're not a fan of sour Kimchi, here are some recipes that can help take the sour taste off your aged Kimchi!