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How to Make Vegan Kimchi

MattieMattie  
 
2.2 (4)
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Question about storage

You say it will last up to a year in the fridge. I haven't made kimchi because when I buy it, I tend to use a little bit then forget about it. It drifts to the back of my fridge, then gets too tangy after just a few weeks. Is vegan kimchi different storage wise? Or is it the homemade aspect that makes it last longer? Or is it just that I have wimpy taste buds? ;-)

Owner's reply

Great question Pat! Kimchi/sauerkraut and other wild fermented vegetables do continue to ferment when stored at refrigerator temperature; they just ferment slower. Think of the refrigerator as nothing but a sophisticated "fermentation slowing device".

The kimchi will definitely get more tangy over the period of a year. Some people may find the tangyness to be too much. Personally, I love super tangy, funky fermented foods. But it's perfectly ok if you don't prefer it. In this case, I'd recommend making smaller batches so you can get through it in weeks instead of months. Good luck!

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Kimchi question

Hello, In the recipe you say let ferment for one to five days but another person asked and you said two weeks? Which is est? I just purchased a fermenting pot, I'm new to this's. thanks!

Owner's reply

Great question Adrienne! Thanks for allowing me to realize that I need to be more clear on this. I just updated the recipe to call for fermenting the kimchi from 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the level of acidity you prefer. During the last batch I made I fermented it for 3 weeks to test the upper limits of the acidity. Don't do that! My wife won't let me eat it in the house and it's extremely tart, even for my tart-loving palate. 10 days at room temperature is what I prefer because it allows the kimchi to develop just enough tart and funk that compliments the other flavors in my opinion. Good luck with your kimchi adventures!

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Finished kimchi question

Hello I wrote to you recently pre kimchi :) it is finished and very delish. Even better after sitting in fridge for a week. My question is, at around day 13 the kitchen began to smell of kimchi. Checked water seal on crock and all good. On day 15 I went to open crock and the water seal was overflowing with water. No mold in pot and as I said kimchi tastes good. Ever hear of this happening?

Owner's reply

Hi Adrienne,

That's odd that your kitchen began to smell of kimchi and the water in the airlock was sufficient. Theoretically the small amount of carbon dioxide bubbling up through the airlock isn't enough to contribute kimchi smells to the surrounding area. It's also odd that your airlock was overflowing with water the following day. The airlock shouldn't be able to be accessed by the kimchi fermenting, unless it becomes sentient and develops ulterior motives. It seems almost as if you have a kimchi fairy that may have checked on it and filled up the airlock with water when you were gone!

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That's funny. I was thinking I may have had a kimchi fairy also!! ;) I want my kimchi hotter. How much more of the red pepper would you add?

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Why Dried Mushrooms?

Thanks so much for the idea of using mushrooms and kelp in the place of fish sauce. After making a few batches, we have a question, why do you recommend dried mushrooms and kelp? Can fresh ones be cut up and used? Other than the higher concentration of monosodium glutamate is there a reason that dried is better? Thanks!

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5.0

THANKS

Dear Mattie,
mannny thanks to your work and your sharing.
Great recipes, they are very very helpful!

Owner's reply

So glad you like my recipes Jessiewee!

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5.0

I am getting a crock just for this!
how long with a proper crock and a cool basement environment would you suggest letting this ferment for? Do you feel 10 weeks may be too long?

Owner's reply

Hi Jeff, It depends how cool your basement is and how much acidity you prefer. In 60 degree temps I imagine it would be in the neighborhood of three to six weeks and possibly longer. I'd check it after two weeks for sure. Try to check it only when absolutely necessary; the more you remove the airlock, the more the mildew-causing microbes get in and cause mildew on the surface that you'll need to discard later. Good luck!

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5.0

Great recipe

This is a great recipe. I go a little heavier on the kochukaru and I add a little fish sauce to it too. It'a an acquired taste, but this is a wonderful recipe. I am getting ready to make another batch up right now in the crock. I use the same style crock and let it ferment for about a week. I put it in jars and it lasts a while in the fridge.

Owner's reply

Glad you like the kimchi Derek! I went a little heavier on the kochukaru last time and it was perfect for me. I like things super spicy though so I try to go a little easy on what's called for in my recipes so I don't burn people too bad! The fish sauce is traditional and really lends a needed savory layer that works well with the other flavors. I'm working on a blend of shiitake mushroom/kombu powder to add a substantial savory layer so the fish sauced won't be missed. I'll update the recipe as soon as it's ready to go.

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5.0

Crocks

Thank you for this beautiful detailed highly informative article. Harsch crocks are out of stock at Amazon and other stores. There are three other brands of European style fermenting crocks: Ohio Stoneware, Nik Schmitt, and Polish Fermentation Pot. See Wisementrading.com. Do these crocks offer the same quality water seal? From their descriptions, it looks like they do. Light and Love to all

Owner's reply

Thanks for the crock information Hari! The Harsch Crocks (pictured in this article) have been continued and the company resources have been acquired by Nik Schmitt I believe. This is a shame because although the Nik Schmitt and other pots have great water seals, the Harsch was had the best design on the market due to their water seal being deeper. This means that you don't have to top up the water in the seal as often due to evaporation.

The next time I need to buy a crock I'll be buying a Nik Schmitt. I recently just purchased a stoneware crock from Ohio Stoneware for miso making. They don't have a water seal but the craftsmanship and ceramic quality is second-to-none.

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