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Old 02-07-2006, 11:32 PM   #1
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Is it safe to make kimchi?

Hi there...

I really want to make korean kimchi (preserved spicy cabbage) All the recipes I've found online state that the cabbage needs to be given time to ferment at room temperature. (I'll probably use http://www.pyongyang-metro.com/kimchi this recipe when i make it) Now, admittedly I know very little of the chemistry behind fermentation/pickling, but wouldnt it be unsafe to leave something at room temperature? I just dont want to risk getting food poisoning or something from my homemade kimchi.

So, does anyone know if it is safe to make? If I put it in the fridge instead of letting it sit out, would it still ferment properly?

Any help or insight into kimchi making would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Old 02-08-2006, 01:24 AM   #2
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Looks about right for a "quick pickle" kimchi. And, yes, room temp (around 70 F) sounds about right for kimchi in 3-4 days. At 40-F, it would take 3-4 weeks.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:15 AM   #3
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If it looks right, tastes right, it is OK.

Although remember one batch of sauerkraut we made for Christmas in FL and it came out a yucky shade of black.

Why it went bad,have no idea, we followed the recipe to the letter.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:20 AM   #4
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Grumblebee -- that is the exact recipe I have used several times to make kimchi (something we always have in the fridge at our house).

The copius amount of salt involved is what makes it safe to ferment at room temperature. Though I did put it down inthe basement, both because it is cooler there (I intitially shared your reservations) and also because kimchi smells.

A note: I had a very hard time finding korean hot pepper and could not find the right fish sauce (they call it "kimchi sauce" in the recipe). Korean fish-based sauce for kimchi is difft. than Thai fish sauce. I did finally find the correct dried hot pepper, in the korean section of a very large asian market.

I used Thai fish sauce and liked the results, but my Korean friends found it "pretty good but not authentic." They are used to excellent kimchi, however. I can tell the difference between good and bad kimchi, but don't have as refined a palate. I made it once without any fish sauce at all and none of us liked it.

Like Michael said, it is for a fresh kimchi, which won't have the "deep" taste of the stinky fermented stuff, but is still very nice.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:25 AM   #5
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I have never tasted kimchi, but I have read that it's an excellent cure for the flu.
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Old 02-08-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
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constance, kimchi is fantastic, and can cure just about anything. it can even make you get off your lazy butt and buy a new car.

ok, i should explain. when i was moving a few years ago, i had a large glass jar of kimchi that i refused to part with, so it got wedged into the truck with all of my other stuff. while driving, something shifted, and then all i could smell was the dirty sweat sock-like smell of the kimchi permeating thru the truck. yes, it broke, leaking al over the back seats and floor. after many attempts at killing that smell, i gave in and bought a new truck. the old one was getting near it's end anyway, but i'll always remember driving in that smell for a few weeks.
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema
Grumblebee -- that is the exact recipe I have used several times to make kimchi (something we always have in the fridge at our house).

The copius amount of salt involved is what makes it safe to ferment at room temperature. Though I did put it down inthe basement, both because it is cooler there (I intitially shared your reservations) and also because kimchi smells.
Ah...yes. I never thought about that, but salt retards bacterial growth, doesn't it? *PHEW* This puts my mind at ease. I just wanted to make sure I wouldn't end up sick for 2 days because of homemade kimchi!

Quote:
A note: I had a very hard time finding korean hot pepper and could not find the right fish sauce (they call it "kimchi sauce" in the recipe). Korean fish-based sauce for kimchi is difft. than Thai fish sauce. I did finally find the correct dried hot pepper, in the korean section of a very large asian market.
I couldn't find "kimchi sauce" but I did find packets of "kimchi spice mix." (main ingredients being crushed chili, garlic, ginger, etc.) I think it will work decently... it sure smells like kimchi! I'm the type of person that thinks all kimchi tastes pretty good so I imagine my recipe will turn out okay. I've got the salted cabbage sitting on my counter as i write this. I'll let you guys know how it turns out!

BuckyTom- Ahh! KimChi all over everything? That would be horrible! Did that truck end up in a car graveyard or did you actually attempt to sell it? Hehe.
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Old 02-08-2006, 07:33 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grumblebee
BuckyTom- Ahh! KimChi all over everything? That would be horrible! Did that truck end up in a car graveyard or did you actually attempt to sell it? Hehe.
No kidding! That beats the black bean soup all over the back seat that a coworker experienced while trying to bring the soup in for a pot luck one day!!

I really DO need to try kimchi one of these years...

John
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:14 AM   #9
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Thanks for the memories...we lived in Korea from 1963-1965. It was 100 years behind time in the area we were in. 200 miles south of Soul..12 hour trip by a coal powered train and then 2 1/2 hour by pick up truck to the base. All that has changed by now and I still don't like Kim-Chi.
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:59 AM   #10
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Do any of you KimChee lovers know how long the commercial varieties (like "Frieda's") keeps in the fridge? I love it, but never know once I open the jar how long I can safely use it.
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