Kimchi 101

My jar of kimchi exploded! Is it still safe to eat?

All of our kimchi jars are hand packed and are raw/unpasteurized , therefore they continue to actively ferment inside the jar. Sometimes, you may open a kimchi jar and no reaction will occur. Other times, the kimchi may pop and overflow similarly to a bottle of champagne. Either way, your kimchi is still safe to eat!

Keep kimchi refrigerated = to control fermentation.

If you leave a jar of our kimchi in room temperature, it accelerates the ripening process while refrigeration slows the fermentation of kimchi. Similar to the way a fine cheese ages, it is a handcrafted food that is brimming with naturally occurring bacteria cultures in an active fermentation state.

What is the shelf life of Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi? How long will it last in the refrigerator?

Kimchi is alive and will continue to change over time. Temperature and exposure to oxygen impact the flavor and fermentation of kimchi much like wine or cheese. Our product is delivered after one week of fermentation where it can be enjoyed for its fresh and vibrant flavors. As the kimchi matures, it will take on unique and distinct taste profiles of tangy notes while the spice mellows and develops into deeper, earthier characteristics. Your kimchi will continue to age in your refrigerator and will be delicious for up to 12 months or even longer as long as you keep in cool temperature and away from oxygen.

Pickled, tangy, pungent odor = initial fermentation.

The initial fermentation of kimchi occurs during the first 2-3 days in room temperature where active vegetable fibers are breaking down by formation of lactobacillus, the good for your gut, bacteria that fights off the bad ones. During this optimal fermentation phase, it releases CO2, forms PH Acid (a natural state of vinegar) which results in a tangy, crunchy, fresh texture of vegetables. Kimchi continually ferments as it ages — so it never goes bad.

How should I eat kimchi?

In Korea, kimchi is traditionally served among an array of side dishes in virtually every meal. But kimchi is more than just a side dish – its versatility also makes it an invaluable and flavorful ingredient in all kinds of cooking. Saute along side pork chops, flank steak tacos, scrambled eggs, add to stews, ramen, sandwiches. Visit our Recipes page or check out The Kimchi Cookbook: 60 Modern and Traditional Ways to Make and Cook Kimchi for ideas on incorporating kimchi into delicious everyday meals.

Eat Your Daily Probiotics!

Foods that are rich in probiotics contain beneficial bacteria that aid in maintaining the balance of microorganisms in our body’s intestinal tract and promote a healthy digestive system. Well fermented Kimchi produces lactic acid (Lactobacillus) which helps your digestion.

For more information on kimchi please check out The Kimchi Cookbook.