No Crazy Kimchi (How to ripen Kimchi)

cabbage kimchi (배추김치 baechu kimchi)

cabbage kimchi (배추김치 baechu kimchi)- source (

Everyone has a different preference as to when Kimchi(김치) tastes the best – some love eating freshly made, raw kimchi (kind of tastes like a salad); some love eating it when it is just perfectly ripe and then there are those who love sour kimchi (신김치 shin kimchi) which has basically over fermented and obviously tastes quite sour. But one thing is for sure – no one likes the stage when it is in the in-between stages of being raw and ripe. Kimchi really does not taste good at all when it is in the process of getting ripe – I had an aunt who used to call this the time when kimchi has gone CRAZY! And you certainly don’t want to eat the kimchi when it’s crazy! :) So here’s how to avoid CRAZY kimchi.

Since most of us now buy kimchi from the store, let me first write about the best way to eat a store bought kimchi. Too often, I hear people say that the kimchi served at our house tastes great, but when they try the same brand themselves, they think it doesn’t  taste nearly as good. I realized it was because they don’t take the time to ripen it properly and then also forget to serve it cold (right out of the fridge).  I found that most kimchi (even the poorly made ones) will taste quite palatable when they have had time to ripen properly.
Now, the hard part about buying kimchi from a store is that it is hard to tell at what stage of the fermentation process they are in. One clue is the appearance of the vegetables. They will look more shriveled up if they are further along in the fermentation process. And the chances are that it will also have lost a bit of the juice because the content will start to bubble and balloon up when it ferments which ends up usually overflowing out of the jar. This is actually too bad because kimchi should always be immersed in its own juices for it to taste the best.

The best way is to buy the freshest kimchi possible and bring it home and ripen it from the beginning. But this is usually not possible…So far, I have found the best tasting kimchi that you can buy are actually the ones that are directly imported from Korea (종가집Jongajip is my favorite). It is expensive but worth it in my opinion as long as it hasn’t traveled too far or stayed on the shelf too long at your store. Other than that, the next best thing is to try to buy kimchi that is made locally if it’s available (less chance of it over ripening) and when you bring it home, open it, smell it or better yet, taste it. If your store has a fast turnaround, it is probably in the “crazy” stage. If it’s already fully ripe, put it in the fridge in the coldest possible setting. If it’s not yet fully ripened and you can wait, let it ripen in your fridge. This will take about 2 weeks in your fridge. Also note that the juice may overflow so either move the kimchi into a bigger container or take some out (1/5th) and leave some room for the kimchi to expand. If your kimchi is still very fresh, not at all ripe and you need to eat it quickly, you can ferment it at room temperature. In the summer, it will ripen in 12 ~ 18 hrs and in cooler weather it can take about 24 – 48 hrs. Just check every 4-6 hrs.

If this is all too much info for you to digest, I have a chart at the bottom of this post that can help you with the process. (Boy, it’s been ages since I drew up a flowchart…brings back memories from my college days of hand drawing the charts using graphic rulers..)

So.. what is the ultimate best way to ripen or ferment kimchi? And how to tell if Kimchi is ripe? The most delicious and fantastic kimchi is made when it is fermented the old fashioned way…In a traditional Korean clay jar, buried in the ground in winter time. Even though the ground freezes in the winter, the jar and the saltiness of the kimchi keep it from freezing completely. This is called 김장김치 (kimjang kimchi). Kimjang kimchi is usually made around the ‘start of winter’ (입동 ipdong) in the lunar calendar which is just about now (Nov 7-8th in Gregorian calendar).

row of kimchi jars in the ground

row of kimchi jars in the ground – source (

I remember when I was a kid, we spent days preparing and making kimjang kimchi so that it could last us through the winter and into spring. We first dug big holes in the ground big enough to hold our huge clay jars (so big that a child can fall in). In the meantime, we spent the day washing and brining 100+  napa cabbages and also preparing the ingredients for the stuffing. The next day we took these salted napa cabbages and inserted the stuffing in between each cabbage leaf. It was an enormous amount of work but boy…was it worth it. All winter long, we got to eat these amazingly crunchy and zingy and sometimes even ever so slightly frozen kimchi that came out of these jars in the ground. So why was it so tasty? According to research, when it is buried in the ground, the temperature remains quite constant – at 32 – 35 F all winter long. At this temperature it takes about 20 days for the kimchi to fully ripen but it is definitely worth the wait.

The clay jars are glazed to hold the moisture in but it can still breathe which allows just the right amount of air circulation to take away any heat produced from the fermentation (keeping the temperature stable).   It also keeps the air tight enough for the bacteria to not grow too fast which helps the kimchi maintain its peak flavor for a longer period. The history of kimchi can be dated back almost 2000 years to the Goguryo Dynasty according to some historians, so you can see how long Koreans had time to refine the technique of kimchi making.

Since most Koreans now live in apartments and have no backyards to bury the jars, they have invented what is called a kimchi refrigerator. This fridge is different from the conventional refrigerator because the interior walls of the fridge are cooled instead of the air which helps to keep the interior at a more constant temperature. I own one and I have to say it is the next best thing to having your own kimchi jar in the ground. It even has temperature options for fermenting and then just storing it to prolong its freshness.

How to tell if Kimchi is ripe and ready to eat?

When a kimchi is not fully ripe, you are able to smell and kind of taste the individual ingredients – garlic, cabbage, radish, green onion, fish sauce, etc – as they have yet to fully integrate with each other. When it is fully ripened, the tastes of all the ingredients are well blended together and there is full flavor embedded in each cabbage leaf or vegetable pieces. There is also a slight sour taste with an added zing at the end. You can also no longer smell the raw ingredients individually but rather have a combined, wonderful slightly stinky smell that is unique to kimchi. Below is the chart that I promised earlier –

No Crazy Kimchi flowchart - how to ripen kimchi

No Crazy Kimchi flowchart – how to ripen kimchi properly

*** CORRECTION : When slow fermenting your home made kimchi in the fridge, please leave your very freshly made kimchi outside at room temp for 1/2 day to overnight BEFORE putting it in and letting it ripen for 4-7 days.  A reader pointed it out to me – thank you MOMO!

So how long will Kimchi keep?

When stored at the ideal temperature that’s close to the freezing point of 32 F, kimchi will keep for 3 months or more. If the temperature of your fridge is higher (which is normally the case), it will probably keep for at least a month or more. Kimchi will start to taste just too sour when it starts to go bad at which point, the best way to eat them is by cooking them. Kimchi will go bad – it will have this whitish kind of film when it has been really too long and will also smell very pungently sour. You don’t want to eat it at this stage.


  1. says

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been making my own kimchi for a couple of months, and most of what I’ve read didn’t come together and make sense at all – like the recipes that say it will last for months, and the almost identical recipes that say it lasts a few weeks. Now I understand the conflicting statements. I’m making another batch tomorrow! It’s clear that small, frequent batches will be the key to always having great kimchi to eat – at least until I win the lottery and get a kimchi fridge. They all seem to cost about $1000, right? Well, I can dream. Thanks again. Brilliant post.

    • says

      Thank you! And so glad that you are making your own kimchi! It’s been a while since I bought my kimchi fridge but yes, it looks like they all cost $900 and up. sometimes Korean markets have sales of older models, hopefully you can get a good deal that way.

  2. juni says

    lol! i like how you presented the kimchi making process in the style of a systems flowchart diagram! brilliant !! 😀 (am also of software engineering background like yourself)
    i’m thinking of starting up a small business selling 삼각김밥 here in the UK. Do you think that could be a viable business? I was in Seoul for 3 months this summer and fell totally in love with this snack and wondered if it’ll be well received here in a western society.(seaweed is still an acquired taste to many here i suppose?) I am guessing with your Korean food site, you might have come across many a different take on the reception of Korean food in the western cultures? What do you reckon? :)

    • says

      Soooo glad to know that there’s someone who appreciated my flowchart effort. 😉 Thank you so much. 삼각김밥 business sounds very exciting! I’m not sure though about how well it would be received in the UK. In the US, I think the reception is different based on where you are located. Big city areas are quite receptive to International cuisine whereas the more rural areas are not as open. In terms of seaweed, I think you can certainly give people an option to eat the rice without seaweed if they don’t want to. But if people are used to Sushi, they should certainly be used to eating seaweed – no? Good luck!

  3. Omni Noms says

    Finally! Someone who owns a kimchee fridge. The Blogosphere seems to filled with RSS-pirates autoblogging Dimchae machine-translated propaganda, sigh.
    Kimchee fridge: Do want. Any pointers wrt to reliable brands/must have features? I would like to use the fridge for more than kimchee. I plan on sticking an ultrasonic humidifier in a compartment to execute a user-programmable “recipe” for cheese/charcuterie. Cave 2.0 yeah? I wonder how condensation is managed? Hmm, I could trigger cold weather mushroom fruiting from spawn with that setup. Interesting.

    • says

      I don’t have a whole lot of info on the different brands but I have owned a Dimchae myself for over 10 years now and have been working perfectly for me. So I’m a fan. Using a kimchi fridge as a cheese cave – what a neat idea! I think it may just work!! I think if you use the ‘ripening’ temp, it may be just warm enough. The “direct cooling” type cools the walls so ice does form on the walls after a while and I don’t think there’s any control for it. Users will have to just defrost or wipe up the excess moisture every now and then. But compared to the standard fridge, it will def. be more humid. Mushroom fruiting?? really have some interesting ideas..would love to hear about it if you succeed!

      • OmniNoms says

        Thanks for the information!
        How much control do you have over the fermentation variables [time(s)@temperature(s)]?
        Can I program my own fermentation profile? Phase 1: X days at Y Temperature; …Phase 5: D hours at P Temperature etc?
        I don’t suppose any of these units have data logging. Arduino modules could capture cave state. It may be cheaper to simply make my own arduino controlled fridge from a chest freezer so that I know that I can drop the temperature when needed. Hmm, interesting stuff.

        • says

          I searched a bit and it doesn’t look like these fridges have data logging or programming capabilities. It’s a very neat idea though. The newer ones have different compartments for different uses (kimchi, vegetables, drinks, etc) and they even have different settings for keeping kimchi crisper in the summer. There are also ones that say it can detect how often the doors have been opened, etc to automatically adjust the temperature. Looks like you certainly have the right idea and knowledge to make your own arduino controlled fridge – so go for it!

  4. shanshan says

    hihi ^^, i just brought handmade kimchi from seoul. I have an enquiry to consult you, hope you can help me.

    The question now is, may I know how to I store it? Its being packed in a bag.

    I am currently placing it in the refrigerator, however, the packet is starting to bloat up. I am concern that it might explode soon?
    I only remember that my tour guide told me that, kimchi have no expiry date, ageing kimchi actually taste better?

    I am sorry that I have to trouble you, I tried to surf on the internet, but was unable to find a specific answer. Thank u so much =) [=)]

    • says

      Hi!I’d be happy to answer your question – If the bag was packaged properly, it may be OK but yes, it can start to leak or explode so the best thing is to transfer the Kimchi onto a bigger container leaving some room at top for it to expand. Transferring Kimchi will not affect the taste too much, just try to submerge the Kimchi in the juice as much as possible. If stored under ideal conditions, one could say there is no expiration date but as I write in my post, it can go bad after couple months or so..or it may just start to taste a little too sour for your taste. Follow my chart on how to ferment your Kimchi and it should work out fine for you. Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck!

  5. shanshan says

    Thanks so much for your quick reply!
    Will the kimchi last up to years if i kept it in the freezer? As i am a fan of kimchi and I acutally brought up to 10kg…. hehehe

    • says

      10kg! Wow. Unfortunately Kimchi cannot be kept in the freezer. The cabbage will turn mushy when defrosted. And in the fridge, it can probably be kept for months-especially if you don’t ripen it separately. If kept at ideal temperatures (see my post), it can sometimes last almost a year but you may find that there is some white film around it and turns very sour. If this is the case, you can rinse it with water and cook it in a stew or make a pancake(jeon) out of it. Hope it works out for you!

      • says

        hi Shan, I recently talked to a friend of mine who swears that her mom purposely put winter kimchi in the freezer to thaw and eat in the summer. I actually searched online and it seems you can freeze it but it will not keep well at all once you defrost it. So most people tend to just eat it right away (freeze single portions) or cook it in stews and fried rice when defrosted. I specifically remembered kimchi not tasting so great after it got frozen outside in the ground at my home growing up but maybe it’s different if you freeze it quickly inside the freezer. So I would recommend that you divide it into small portions, freeze some of it when it’s just ripe enough and eat it later. Guess you learn something new everyday!

  6. Judith Haemmerle says

    Well, I’m mad. The crummy refrigerator has spoiled a second batch of beautiful kimchi – another batch made with everything , including minari, oysters, kat – it was delicious, and it’s been spoiled by a refrigerator that randomly freezes things in the refrigerator section. Where, please, in the Bay area, can I get a kimchi refrigerator? I don’t want to shop online unless there’s no other choice. Thank you! (BTW, the pumpkin kimchi came out very well, although the fridge tried to do it in, too. It makes amazing kimchi jjigae.)

    • says

      Oh dear! That’s terrible..I think you definitely should invest in a kimchi fridge, since you are making so much yourself. I bought my kimchi fridge from a store called Cosmos Gift shop in Santa Clara (El Camino). But this was almost 8 years ago so not sure if they still have it. If you do visit, you can also try haggling a bit (if you like that sort of thing) – ask them for a better deal and they will usually give you some discount.
      I have seen some big Korean supermarkets also sell them in other states but in the bay area, I have seen them in Korean housewares/gift shops mostly. Good luck!

      • Judith Haemmerle says

        Found it! Cosmos is about 2 miles from me, so I headed over there and they have them, 2 models in stock and one coming. Now to decide, 1 or 2 compartments (my budget won’t stretch to the big one). They carry Dimchae, whose English site is surprisingly hard to find: Their USA site is mostly in Korean. Thank you!

        • says

          Great! Yes, Dimchae is THE original kimchi fridge. I had mine for 10+ years and still works great. 2 compartments is useful if you want to store something other than kimchi – avoids having everything smell like kimchi. You can use one to store dried foods, fruits or whatever. Peaches stay fresh for weeks instead of days in this fridge.

  7. G-ma says

    Okay! I’m ready to try. Going to wait a week and hopefully have better tasting kimchi. My first time making this so I hope its a success b/c I could eat kimchi all the time.
    *Thanks for the detailed explanation. I appreciate it and definitely trust it coming from an expert kimchi maker. ^^*

    • says

      Thanks so much! Wish you all the best with your kimchi. Don’t forget to taste it every now and then to see how it’s coming along.

  8. Lu says

    Hi! I just found your blog because I was searching for a word I learned last night and forgot. I went to a restaurant with a Korean friend and was bowled over by the deliciousness of the kimchi. I’m one of the people who likes it fresh. So he told me, “In Korea we call this kind ____ kimchi.” It was a word with three syllables and a few ㄱsounds. Would you have any idea what that was? He’s currently on a plane back to Seoul, so I can’t ask him. :) Thanks!

    • says

      I’m glad you found my blog! To describe unripe, fresh kimchi, did he possibly say 덜익은(dulligeun) kimchi? 익은(igeun) means ripe and 덜(dull) means less. The only other word that I can think of that describes the unripeness is the verb 설다(sulldah) which means not fully ripe. Using the adj. form, 선(sun)kimchi is another way and then finally he could have said 설익은(sulligeun) kimchi. Hope it helps!

      • Lu says

        Hi! 😀 Thank you for your reply. I don’t think that 덜익은 was the word, but I could be wrong. I guess I should email him to find out for sure. I’m glad I found your blog, too. I see some great recipes here. I like all your tips and food history. Thanks again!

  9. says

    Thanks for the great article. You should rewrite the Wikipedia page on kimchi! :-) So now to my question(s) :
    (1) As I eat my kimchi, the liquid in the jar goes down quicker than the vegetables, and they begin to dry out and lose their texture. Do I need to keep the vegetables immersed, and if so, what should I use to top up the liquid? Or is it ok to keep eating it as it is? (I’m concerned about making myself ill and also losing the probiotic qualities of the kimchi)

    (2) How long can I keep my (store bought) kimchi in the fridge? i.e. does it ever ‘go off’ or does it simply continue to ferment?

    Thanks so much for your time,

    • says

      hi! 1) More often that not, the liquid does go down quicker than the vegetables. And you are right, the kimchi that stays outside of the liquid will not taste as good and eventually start to go bad. It is best to keep it immersed as much as possible. Everytime you take out the kimchi, press the vegetables down with your hands as much as you can. Topping off kimchi with a liquid after it has fermented is really not recommended – it changes the taste. Another thing that Koreans do is to sacrifice a few pieces of the vegetable and use it as a “cover”. So you basically remove the top layer to take out the kimchi and then put the top layer back on afterwards. Cabbage kimchi works best for this as you can use large cabbage leaves to cover the entire top surface. You will not get ill just because the kimchi is dried out but it is best to cook the kimchi (it tastes better this way) once it has become really sour.
      2) I think I have mentioned in the post that different people have different say on how long you can keep kimchi in the fridge. I think under ideal circumstances it can go for years but unfortunately with our modern way of making kimchi, I think it is safer to keep it until you feel it is starting to either look bad (becomes really mushy, vegetables look yellow, sometimes white, yellowish mold appear – any of the above). I would say in general you can keep it in the fridge up to couple months but probably no more than that.

      Thanks so much for your compliment!! It really makes it all worthwhile.

  10. says

    Thx for the info, now I know why they make the kimchi claypot like that.

    Was watching a pbs show called “Kimchi Chronicles” – they say kimchi is like wine & cheese that lasts years. Is that true just in Korea b/c of the low temp and dry air weather? Can last that long if you keep it in the fridge? Even if you are living in a more humid region?

    • says

      I have tasted kimchi that was few years old (3 years?) but not much older than that. In order for you to be able to make kimchi last for years, everything has to be perfect – salinity and quality of salt, the quality of the cabbage (cabbage grown in Korea fall weather is best), the seasonings and finally the preservation environment. If you are able to keep it at a constant temperature (there are kimchi companies who keep them in a cave) it can certainly keep for years assuming the ingredients used are high quality.

      With a kimchi fridge, you have the best chance of keeping it longer (prob. up to several months). In a normal fridge, it will probably last a couple months at most.
      Humidity is not a big factor in keeping kimchi fresh. The temperature plays a bigger role and keeping the kimchi immersed in the liquid is very important in keeping the kimchi fresh as this protects the kimchi from picking up bad bacteria from the air.

  11. says

    Wow this is a very interesting post about kimchi, now I can learn more about the science and secret behind kimchi :)

    I wish I can bury a clay jar in my back yard, but in Canada my crazy neighbourhood would call a police for something weird like that lol :)

    • says

      Thank you! Haha…calling the police.. that reminds me. I had a friend in CA who made her own Soybean paste in her backyard in big garbage cans and her neighbor did file a complaint to the city because it was smelling so bad!!! Unlike Kimchi, the soybean paste has to stay open during the summer days and boy it can def. stink!!

  12. Phillip C. Levatino says

    My wife of 11 years is Korean and I’m Italian and German. I cook the Western Food and She cooks the Korean Food. My kung-ju just made a new batch of Cabbage Kimchi and all my friends who have become addicted to Korean Food are begging for “samples”. I’ve been privileged to be given other recipes of Kim Chi from my wife’s lady friends and just as Italian “Sugu” every family has their own variation. Theirs have always been delicious. Your flow cart has helped me understand the process and I think my wife’s next big present won’t be jewelry but her very own Kim Chi Refrigerator. I’m not that altruistic, I just want to keep my Western foods, salami, prosciutto, pecorino romano cheese tasting Italian and not like Kim Chi.

    • says

      I really don’t enjoy my fridge smelling like kimchi either so I totally understand.. BTW, salami is my most favorite food..:) I’m sure your wife will really like having a separate kimchi fridge. It also keeps other vegetables and fruits very fresh so you can use it that way too. Thanks for stopping by!

    • says

      Philip, I am both you and your wife, sort of – I’m Austrian-Italian first generation, but now I cook only Korean food. :) I was lucky enough to find a used KimChi refrigerator and I love it. It will be the best gift ever. The Koreans I know here keep theirs in the garage. Mine’s in my kitchen. I want your jjambong recipe!

  13. Phillip C. Levatino says


    I must tell you that there will ONLY be Korean food in the Kim Chi Refrigerator. Our current refrigerator cannot preclude tainting EVERYTHING with the smell of anchovies, corvina, etc. I haven’t told my beloved “little korean” that her Kim Chi Refrigerator willl be located somewhere were the rich aromas wont infiltrate the Western Food and Vice-Versa. I’ve found recipes for Jjambong and Jajamung(?) and I am addicted to Jjambong with large shrimp, squid, mussels and even “baby” octapus. Fortunately my “little korean” “Kung Ju” as I call her likes what my Italian godmother called “Anchovy Spaghetti” and I’ve got her hooked on that


  14. Phillip C. Levatino says


    My wife’s “nephew” is staying with us while I get him his divorce (I’m an attorney in my other life). He told me that he’s 1 1/2 Korean having come to the States as a boy and that he recalls the kim chi his granfmother made in Korea and stored in the Big Jars buried in the ground. Jeesu says the difference in taste between Kim Chi stored in the ground and that stored in containers placed in refrigerators to ferment is huge. Since we’re moving to Texas as soon as we sell our home here in the North we’ll be looking into a couple of jars for real “down home” tastes. Got to compare the jar to the refrigerator taste. If you ever arei nterested in “Anchovy Spaghetti” you know where to write. However, you need Pecorino Romano Cheese grated over it to truly enjoy the tastes.

    • says

      Yes, the taste difference is quite huge. Unfortunately that taste is almost lost in Seoul because most people live in apartments. How is the winter in Texas? The winter should be quite cold (Korean winter days 32 to 50 F and nights 10-32 F) for it to work properly. Let me know how it works out!!

  15. Phillip C. Levatino says


    A final question for tonight or actually, this morning. I’ve seen pictures of the brown Kim Chi jars but they were above ground. In fact the restaurant had dozens and dozens of jars ALL above ground. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of burying the jars, i.e. to keep constant temperature around the jar

    • says

      Phillip, you are very correct. Kimchi jars should be buried in the ground. However, kimchi jars are also used to store other things like Dwenjang, Gochujang and Soy Sauce and much more. So probably the restaurant was using it for that. Thanks for asking!

  16. Phillip C. Levatino says

    Judith, send me your e-mail address mine is and I’ll send you the website for jjamppong. It looks spot on. We have a refrigerator in the basement that’s dedicated to Korean food but my beloved “little korean” keeps her “everday I need Kim Chi” supply in the refrigerator in the kitchen tainting my salamme, proscuitto, capacola and pecorino romano cheese. I love my “little koran” but I love my italian delicacies also. What’s a Sicilian to do?

  17. Ingrid says

    I made kimchi last month and place it in a plastic lock n lock container. But until now it doesnt taste sour. It even taste bitter. And yesterday i did what you told, to place it in a room temp. But its still the sane. What to do?

    • says

      Hmm…kimchi can taste bitter for few reasons. It could most likely be because it is in the Crazy stage (just about to ripe) which means you just need to let it ripe. Give it another day at room temp – it should ripe as long as the temp. is not too cold. It could also be because of the salt you used. Koreans use a special kind of salt for kimchi – sea salt where the bittern (bitter tasting solution) has been removed. It could be that the salt you used could have the bitter taste to begin with. Try tasting the salt on its own and good salt should not taste bitter.
      If you made your kimchi quite salty, it could take longer to ripe which could also be part of the problem for you. what kind of kimchi is it? If it’s radish, it could also be because of the radish – it could taste bitter sometimes. If it’s the salt, unfortunately there isn’t much you can do. Otherwise, letting it ripe is the best thing to do. Let me know if you have more questions! Good luck!

      • Jen says

        Hello JinJoo,

        Thank you for this very informative article! I love kimchi and have just tried making it at home. The recipe I used required one and half cups of salt for 2 large napa cabbages. However, after the soaking process the cabbage was very salty even asfter several times rinsing. So I threw that batch away and soaked another 2 large napa cabbages using 3/4 cup of salt instead for both cabbages.

        I have stored my kimchi in glass jars in room temperature (22 degrees Celcius) for the fermentation process. It has been in the jars for about 2 days.

        I have read on blogs of people who made their kimchi and have lots of bubbling in the fermentation process to the point where their jars sometimes explode, even by day 2.

        At day 2 of being in the jars here are some things I noticed about my kimchi:

        1) A lot more liquid in the jars

        2) I can also see tiny bubbles inbetween the pieces of cabbage

        3) When I put my ears to the jars I can hear a soft, slow ‘ticking’ sound

        Since this is my first time making kimchi, I don’t know what to expect. Are any of the signs in points 1-3 an indication that my kimchi is fermenting? I have 5 hugs jars full and hope that I don’t have to throw it all away!

        Looking forward to your reply!

        Thanks so much!

        • says

          Hi Jen! The increased liquid and bubbles are definite signs that your kimchi is fermenting but perhaps taking longer than most. If it’s on the salty side, it can definitely take longer. Also the 22 C room temp is more on the cooler side so it will not ripe as quickly.
          If you have 5 huge jars, I would suggest that you store most of it in the fridge soon so they will keep fresh longer. If I were you, I would leave one jar out at room temp until it fully ripens and keep the rest in the fridge. Don’t worry, it will ferment – prob. in another day or two. Just check everyday and make sure it doesn’t ripe too much!
          Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

          • Jen says

            Hi JinJoo,

            Thanks for your reply and advice. Very glad to hear that my kimchi is fermenting, even if doing so slowly. When I opened one jar, I did hear a very soft fizz sound. I have tasted the kimchi. It still tastes a bit CRAZY…I can taste the strong paste flavour and seems like all the flavours have not integrated yet.

            I have left one jar out on to ripen in the pantry and the other 4 jars are now in the fridge and will keep monitoring them.

            C’mon kimchi ripen for me!

          • says

            The fizz sound def. indicates fermentation. And remember you can always take kimchi out from the fridge and let it ripe for a day or so if it hasn’t already.

          • Jennai says

            Hi JinJoo,

            Just a quick update to let you know that my kimichi which was fermenting quite slowly turned out perfect in the end! I was really pleased with the level of sourness and the taste. Thanks for your advice!

  18. Kaylee says

    Hello I was wondering if you could help me? I bought kimchi at my local asian mart a couple of days ago and when I brought it home I notice the top wasn’t on tight! I wonder if my Kimchi is ok to eat? It had bubbles come to the surface but when I tasted it, it was fizzy tasting and I notice the leaves were pretty bitter. I’ve only had kimchi at restaurants and it was first time buying it. It didn’t have an expiration date and it doesn’t small bad either. So I don’t really know if it’s ok or not… any advice would help, thanks!

    • says

      Does it taste really bitter and sour? Was the kimchi immersed in the juice? The good thing is that Kimchi usually doesn’t go bad enough to make you sick – unless it’s so old and not properly stored that there are actual molds (kind of yellowish white wet mold) that appear on the kimchi itself. Then you should NOT eat it. Kimchi can also taste bitter and not good if it was not properly immersed in liquid (which I suspect may have happened since you said the top was open-the top probably came loose while it was fermenting and started overflowing and lost some juice) and not stored in the right temp or stored too long. It should never taste bitter and even tasting too sour is just not right for a store bought Kimchi. It should be either just ripened or not yet ripened when it is sold.
      If it’s not a popular Korean market (with fast turnovers) my guess is that the Kimchi was probably stored too long. I think you can eat it but if it tastes really bitter and/or sour, I would recommend that you take it back to the store. Let me know if you have more questions! Good luck!! Thanks!

  19. Mark lee says

    Hi, I just came back from Seoul but after the flight back the whole packet bloated.. Is it normal? Have the kimchi spoil and wad should I do? Thanks in advance for the help..

    • says

      Hi! Yes, it’s totally normal for the packet to get bloated. The fermentation process makes the Kimchi expand! It’s not spoiled at all (unless you see yellow/whitish wet mold/cabbages turning to mush which I doubt over just a plane ride) It’s just ripening. It may have gotten a bit too sour for your taste though. If it has, Kimchi jjigae and fried rice is your best bet. Store it in the fridge in the packet (if it’s not leaking) or transfer the content to a glass jar or container. After transferring, push down the cabbages firmly to immerse them in the liquid as much as you can.

  20. SL says

    Hello JinJoo, Kimchi making is such a joy as I can actually see the whole process of fermentation take place at my very own home.
    My country is summer kind of weather all the time so fermentation is quite well control on the number of times i ve made.
    Through my trial and error… i have improved everytime from my 2nd batch mistake by adding salt & fish sauce to the too blend kimchi…it taste raw salty-ness without the fermented taste…. whole batch ended up as cooked kimchi with other ingredients.

    All the good batches that ive made turn out so well…was made possible by using all true korean red pepers and fish sauce from the Korean store , Australian sea salt , Asian brown pears…etc..

    Without sweet rice flour, it turn out runny but fine. JinJoo, I might like to try out your cool- boiled porridge to replace sweet rice flour ..The above photo shows starchy was what i am looking for.

    To be very safe..i dont add shrimp paste. maybe wait till im very good much later…again some ingredient dont come easy in my country.

    catch up again..

    • says

      Very interesting to hear how you make your kimchi. it sounds like you like your kimchi to not have a lot of liquid. Which is fine but please remember that there should be just enough liquid to cover the kimchi otherwise it won’t ripen as well and also the kimchi that’s not covered by liquid may actually spoil a little quicker. Shrimp paste is not a must but some kind of fermented fish/seafood needs to be added. thanks for your comment!

      • sl says

        Hi JinJoo,
        My kimchi making is runny mainly from the white raddish and grated asian pear juice …i believed.(i like to try your ‘match stick’ cut pears too )

        The juices come in large volume as i did not add sweet rice flour or your mentioned porridge starch in so it was always well covered with these lovely liquid and the left over juices make good stews.
        Your pointer on kimchi well cover in its liquid is very helpful to me as it is a important rule for kimchi fermentation.

        JinJoo, if i add seafood

      • sl says

        Hi JinJoo,
        My kimchi making is runny mainly from the white raddish and grated asian pear juice …i believed.(i like to try your ‘match stick’ cut pears too )

        The juices come in large volume as i did not add sweet rice flour or your mentioned porridge starch in so it was always well covered with these lovely liquid and the left over juices make good stews.
        Your pointer on kimchi well cover in its liquid is very helpful to me as it is a important rule for kimchi fermentation.

        JinJoo, if i were to add seafood…i am so worry the raw shrimp fermentation process might spoil my batch of kimchi if i am not well verse in this process…maybe i should read more on this before i go for seafood batch for my next kimchi making..

        Thanks for your pointers..

  21. says

    I dont normally add comments to blog (especially older ones) but felt the need to compliment you on your kimchi flowchart. It is witty and awesome!

    I just made a jar of kimchi today and now I know how to ripen it using your flowchart. Thank you!

    • says

      Thank you so much!! I love it when I hear that it was both entertaining and helpful. :) Wish you all the best of luck with your kimchi and please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

  22. steve lim says

    Hi all,

    I’m steve from singapore and it’s indeed amazing to see all your enthusiasm and passion towards korean cuisine, i have just tried traditional korean cusine recently and i would really love to try out kimchi fried rice for a start but would need to ask how to purchase and select the right kimchi and kimchi liquid.

    Below is the site which i browse for making kimchi fried rice, hopefully i can get better advise here. Thanks in advance and hope to hear from you soon.

    • says

      Hi Steve! Sorry for the late reply. I usually respond much quicker. :)
      I’m not sure what kind of Korean markets are available in Singapore but if you can get kimchi that’s directly imported from Korea, that’s the best.
      If not, the kimchi that is locally made at the Korean store should be pretty good too.
      To make kimchi fried rice, just make sure the kimchi is fully fermented (in the least) or even better, when it has turned sour. I personally don’t like adding kimchi liquid to fried rice because it can make the fried rice soggy. See my recipe at
      I hope this helps – Good luck!

  23. Jah Mon! says

    Wow. I googled “Kimchi gets better with time in your refrigerator” and found your website.

    Funnily, I bought some kimchi from a Korean market last October and my husband and I thought it was awful so it sat in the fridge until just today (April 09, 2013) when I decided to brave trying it before deciding if I should just toss it out.

    OH MY HEAVENS! The flavor is NOTHING like it was when we first bought it! It’s hard to describe except to say it tastes like a zesty cheese made out of vegetables. SO YUMMY! Now that I know this, I plan on buying some more batches and letting them ripen in my fridge.

    I think I just found a new addiction. =0))

    • says

      Haha.. your new addiction is a good and healthy one! Remember to make Kimchi stew or Kimchi fried rice when kimchi gets too sour.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  24. Rudawa says

    Hi, thanks for making this page. It’s very interesting and it helped me a lot.

    I watch a lot of Korean movies and dramas, and I see Kimchi either being made or eaten, then I go online and people say how good Kimchi is and I want to try it too. I mean, I was so curious that I was considering going to a shop that is miles away to see if they had it :)

    I could buy it online, but being in the UK, I could only find Kimchi with MSG in online shops, and I don’t touch that stuff.

    So, I thought, right, I have to make it myself. I read a lot (and I mean a lot) about making Kimchi, and collected a lot of recipes before I finally picked one to use. I made my Kimchi just over a month ago and it was a great experience! I tried to stick to the recipe as much as I could, but could not find any shrimp paste or anything similar, so I only used anchovy sauce (bought the best one I could find).

    Making it wasn’t hard and I quite enjoyed it. I didn’t really like fresh Kimchi, as all flavours were a bit too strong to my taste (but this didn’t put me off). Left it in in a room temperature for 3 days (it was rather cold), and when I tried it on day three I was amazed how the flavour changed and how nice it was! Put it in a fridge, and I was trying it every three days to see how it may change. The Kimchi in the smaller jar (about 1 liter) was great after just one week (and it didn’t last long, as I kept eating it). The one in a bigger jar (probably 2 liters), took longer to ripe and it was best after approx one month. I was hoping to use some of this Kimchi to make stew when it turns sour, but guess what – I couldn’t stop eating it either. I have very little left and will be making another batch next week. I’m addicted 😀

    The only thing is I made too much of the paste (probably enough for two cabbages, and I only had one), so my Kimchi was really well covered in the paste and it turned out quite hot, which is fine as I like hot and spicy things, but probably not how it’s supposed to be? How hot should Kimchi be??? I mean mine is like really sinus clearing hot LOL. But I love it.

    But now I really need to find some genuine Kimchi to try and see if my creation was at least close to the real thing.

    Thanks again for this great article, and sorry for such a long post… XXX

    • says

      So glad you found my blog! I’m also very happy to hear that your kimchi turned out good eventually. You did the right thing by letting it ferment for a couple days. How hot is Kimchi supposed to be? That’s a great question. It really depends on the particular area where it’s made: it gets hotter and saltier as you go further down south and gets paler and less spicy as you go up north. I think this is pretty much how things are in most countries. People generally need more salt and less fat in hotter climates and need less salt and more fat in colder climates. And then it just depends on personal taste.

      But one thing to note – traditionally Korean food, not just Kimchi, is never sinus clearing hot. Only recently, has it become spicier due to people’s taste evolving to more spicier things.

      I hope you can find some really good authentic Kimchi somewhere. Unfortunately, that’s usually never at restaurants. Best place is at someone’s home when you are outside of Korea. Or if you have access to a Korean market, buy Kimchi that’s imported from Korea – that’s your best bet. Good luck! Thanks for visiting!

  25. Huifang says

    Hello! I have an enquiry.

    I have been researching the method of making kimchi and receive many different comments from different website about storing and ferment the kimchi. I have just made one today and it taste not bad just not sour yet. I live in Singapore and I’m not sure should I leave it outside or in the fridge after reading your flowchart. And do I just put it 4-7 days without testing it?

    • says

      Hello, so sorry for the late reply. I know it must be quite confusing…there are so many things that can change the fermentation time. The speed of kimchi fermentation depends on several factors – more salt means longer time needed while ingredients like sugar, any flour or rice flour paste shortens the process. And then everyone’s taste is different – some like sour kimchi and others do not. If you put kimchi right away in the fridge, it will take quite long to ripe – prob. a week or more. If you want to eat it sooner, I suggest you leave it out for maybe half a day (since singapore is quite hot now) test it and then leave it out a little more if you want or put it in the fridge after that.
      But I guess it’s already been 2 days since you posted, so I’m not sure what you did. Please let me know and I’ll try to answer it right away.

  26. Mari says

    Hi JinJoo!! Thank you for all the information! It was really interesting and useful! :)
    I’d like to ask a question about Kimchi… Well the only kimchi i had tasted was one i bought from a korean supermarket and it was a little can of Kimchi… Well, I LOVED IT! Haha so i decided to buy a bigger pot of it and i bought a home made kimchi at the same supermarket… BUT! It didn’t taste the same D: and I actually didn’t like it :( it has kind of a bitter sweet flavour, very different from the sour spicy flavor of the canned kimchi.. So, the thing is, I dont know if the the actual good flavor is the bitter sweet one or the sour spicy one hahaha (and I hope it’s the second!). And if the right flavor is the sour spicy one, could it be that the bitter sweet kimchi is CRAZY! right now and needs some time in the fridge to become sane? :) haha
    Thanks again for the great post and sorry for the long comment!

    • says

      Hi! Thank you so much for asking! Hmm.. I haven’t tasted a canned kimchi but I assume it is probably fully, if not overly, fermented and smoother tasting than the fresh kimchi. As I mentioned in the post, everyone’s preference for good tasting kimchi is different. Some like it less fermented which means it’s fresher tasting, not sour and probably more pungent. Some like it fully fermented which means it’s less fresh tasting, still not sour and less pungent in terms of the taste of raw garlic and green onions. Some like it overly fermented which means it’s now sour tasting and you cannot taste the ingredients separately.
      It sounds like you tend to like the overly fermented taste. The spiciness really doesn’t change with fermentation, if anything it gets less spicier as it ripens.

      Yes, I think it needs some time in the fridge to become sane – as you put it. :) haha
      Try it every 1-2 days to see if there’s a point where you like the taste.

      Good luck!
      ps. the bitterness may not go away if the kimchi was not made properly so you will have to see…

  27. Momo says

    JinJoo – Thank you for this article on Kimchi making! I have been making homemade kimchi for the past year, and I really appreciated your insight in finding a good fermentation stage. The only thing I will tell you is that I followed your directions and put the kimchi directly into the refrigerator after making it. It has been almost two months, and only now is it starting to taste slightly fermented (it is still crispy). I know that fermentation time can vary based on different factors (saltiness, fridge temp, etc.), but in my case it took WAY more than 4 to 7 days. Normally I would leave it out for three days before putting the kimchi into the refrigerator to get fermentation off to a good start, but I really wanted to try your method in the hopes of reaching kimchi perfection. It IS really good, but has require a lot more patience than I thought it would!

    • says

      Hi! It’s been a while since I posted the article and I went and looked back at my chart after reading your comment. You are totally correct – I forgot to add a step before putting the freshly made kimchi into the fridge. You should leave the freshly made kimchi at room temp for probably 6 – 12 hrs (depending on the season) before putting it in the fridge. And then let it ferment for 4-7 days or longer as you experienced (due to variation of fridge temps, saltiness, etc). Thanks so much for your feedback!

  28. Kelly says

    Thanks for all yr great info! I have been making, sharing, and enjoying FRUIT kimchi all summer and what a treat it is!!

    • says

      FRUIT Kimchi!!! Sounds fun any yummy! What kind of fruits did you make kimchi with? I would love to hear more~ Thanks so much for stopping by.

  29. Ane says

    Hi jinjoo, i just found your articles, im from indonesia, and i just started making kimchi my own, i have a few questions, hope u can help me. First, is it true that i cant use platic bowl or stainlees steel when i brine the vegetable or when im mixing the paste with the brined vegetable, i read some articles saying that we have to use glasswear (glass jar) or ceramic?? Second, do i have to use sea salt instead of table salt? Or is there a particular salt that i have to use for making kimchi? Third im making 6 kilos of kimchi, then i stored it in small containers (lock lock type of containers) then cover it with cling film first, inread some articles said that u dont want the air to get in so it last longer, then instore it in the fridge, am i doing it right?? Sorry i have lots of questions, hope u can help me..
    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Ane! So glad you found my blog! Yes, you can use both plastic or stainless bowl in brining and mixing the seasoning with the brined vegetable. Using glass jar or ceramic is good in storing the Kimchi while it is fermenting but you don’t need it when you are making the Kimchi. It is better not to use table salt in making Kimchi because it can make the Kimchi taste bitter. Read my post on Kimjang Day for more information on salt.
      Storing Kimchi in separate containers is fine and you don’t want the Kimchi to be exposed to too much air but it’s best to cover the top with extra leaves and kimchi liquid instead of using cling wrap. Also, storing too small amount of Kimchi will not make it taste as good.

      Storing in the fridge will make the Kimchi last longer but you will want to let it ripen for 1~2 days in room temp before putting in the fridge for best taste. Using more salt, red pepper, less sugar, less garlic and less ginger will help the Kimchi last longer. Hope it turns out good for you! Thanks for stopping by.

      • Ane says

        Thanks jin joo for the answers, may i knoww hat kind of leaves should i use to cover the kimchi?? Ahh so storing it in porsion is bad idea? I thot it will prevent from molding, as i go back and forth taking the kimchi and it will expose more, but thank you for telling me that. And i did ferment the kimchi overnight like the one you wrote on your blog then isomething happenede, it overflow and the liquid start coming out from the jar and my whole house smells like kimchi (lol) maybe i didnt give enough space?? I have to give space between the kimchi top and the lid dont’t i?? That was a terrifiying moment when i can smell the kimchi from second floor hahha…i definetly have to use sea salt rite jinjoo? Or iodise salt?

        Thank you

        • says

          Hi! Oh dear…Kimchi overflowing is not fun.. :( Yes, you need to give it quite a bit of space on top. It’s always good to put the Kimchi jar inside a large bowl in case it overflows. You can use the the outermost cabbage leaves – the green ones. It’s not necessary but it helps if you are trying to store Kimchi longer. Also be sure to press the kimchi down into the liquid, squeezing out any air and covering the Kimchi with liquid every time you take some out. It’s best not to use iodized salt. Sea salt is best. You can also use kosher salt. Good luck!

  30. says

    Hello! I’m so glad I found this post, even if it is a bit old. I just made my first batch of kimchi and it’s delicious – i’m so relieved! My husband is a sushi chef and was formally trained in french cooking. He was slightly aghast to hear of shrimps being added to fermenting cabbage. I used a vietnamese shrimp paste, but hopefully it’ll taste the same. I was wondering – I left my kimchi in a sealed container for three days at room temp and then put it in the fridge. It’s been about a week or two since then and I’m finding my cabbage is still a bit crunchy. It tastes fine, but the cabbage isn’t as wilted as I’d like. Should I take it back out? Also, because the shrimp paste smelled so bad, I was afraid to add the entire amount called for in the original recipe, so I halved it. Would that slow down the fermentation process, not having enough shrimp? I also had added anchovy fish sauce.

    • says

      Hi! Sorry for the late response. If your cabbage is still a bit crunchy after 2 weeks, it’s most likely because either the cabbage was not sufficiently pickled in salt water to begin with or your overall Kimchi seasoning is not salty enough. I don’t think leaving kimchi out of fridge will help with the crunchiness. The crunchiness of the cabbage really does not change much whether the kimchi is fermented or not. The taste is the most important indicator whether the kimchi is fermented. Having low salt content will speed up the fermentation though. The shrimp paste amount will not affect the fermentation as much, it will affect the taste. Please let me know what the taste is like. Thanks!

  31. says

    Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blpog in 3 completedly different browsers and
    I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.

    Can you recommend a good web hostin provider at
    a fair price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

    • says

      Hello! Thanks for dropping by and letting me know about my blod loading speed. It’s good to know that it loads up faster than most. :)
      My blog is actually through so they do the hosting.. so I am afraid I don’t have any separate web hosting provider to share. Hope you find a good one!

  32. says

    I just learned so much reading through this article and the comments. I had always heard that kimchi traditionally fermented for entire winters, so I mixed all of mine in a big crock (first time ever trying this), put a ceramic plate in the liquid to hold all the cabbage below, covered it with a towel, and then set the crock in an unused bathtub in the back of the house. It has been there for about 3 weeks in a 72 degree room. Reading this, I am realizing that is WAY to long for this temperature. I am almost a little nervous to try it now! Could it still be good, or should I just toss it and start from scratch?

    • says

      Oh it can still be long as its not tasting really foul with white slimy stuff on it. But prob you can only eat it by making jjigae or bokkeum bap with it. Rinse kimchi in water quickly if its too sour..good luck!

      • says

        Thank you so much for replying right away. I read this when I woke up this morning, and decided not to throw it out. After a lot of rinsing, I finally got up the nerve to taste it. It was so good! It was still even a little crunchy after all that time, and the flavor was great! I was expecting the worst, but it came out just fine. Thank you for the advice! I must have lucked out. I will follow your directions on my next try.

        • says

          Oh I am so glad!!! We can’t let those precious Kimchi go to waste! Make jeon, jjigae, fried rice, or just stir fry cut kimchi with some gochujang (optional), sugar, sesame oil, sesame seeds and eat it with Tofu and you have Tofu kimchi! Always try adding a bit of sugar whenever it tastes too sour for your taste. Bon Apetit!

  33. says

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article sesem
    to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is
    a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.

    The layout look great though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon.

    • says

      Hi! Thanks so much! I have been meaning to fix it – it happened after I changed my blog theme to another template. I think it looks OK now. Let me know if you see anything else!

  34. Angela says

    I have been making kimchi for about 6 months now and my husband and I eat it up fast. I usually make a gallon at a time and leave it to ferment for a few weeks on my counter. I use 3 heads napa cabbage chopped up, 2 lbs radishes (you can’t get daikon where I live, small town), garlic, ginger, and crushed red peppers. We are vegan, so I skip the fish sauce. I pound it down and put my weights on top and the brine level rises 1-2″ above my veggies fast. Then the bubbles come up for a week or two. I start tasting it after about 8 days and it’s usually delicious. The flock it’s and flavors all meld together and boy does it stink up the house! The flavor is electric. At first it’s a bit sour, then very spicy and tangy. We go through the gallon in less time than it takes to ferment. It’s cheaper and easy to make yourself.

    • Angela says

      Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, after I chop the cabbage and radishes (and sometimes carrots), I add a salt water brine and let it sit for several hours or even overnight, then drain, pound, add garlic, ginger, and peppers, then pack into my jar.

    • says

      Wow! Amazing~ I have been meaning to try making Kimchi vegan style. Will def. keep your method in mind when I make it next time. Thanks for your comment!

    • says

      I commented on this long time ago but somehow it disappeared on me.. :( Thanks so much for the info and I have always wanted to make a vegan Kimchi someday- I will def. keep this in mind next time I try. It looks like you have it down – Enjoy your Kimchi!!

  35. Cynthia Ong says

    Hi JinJoo

    I happened to came across your blog and find it very helpful as I am also making my own kimchi. I have made my very first batch 6 days ago based on a very simple recipe that I found on the internet.

    I will be grateful if you could help me with an answer to my question which is bothering me.

    I store my kimchi in glass jars with plastic lids. I have bought a few new jars with metal lids. Is it fine if the lids are made of metal? Do I have to look for jars that come with plastic covers of something? I heard that metal and plastics are not to be used for fermenting kimchi, but i always notice the kimchi from the Korean dramas are all stored in “lock” plastic boxes. I am rather confused over this matter. Please help. Thank you.

    • says

      Hello – I am so glad you found my blog! Traditionally breathable ceramic jars were used for Kimchi and then everyone used stainless steel containers in the 60~70’s. Recently, yes, you are right, almost everyone uses the plastic “lock” boxes that come with Kimchi refrigerators – not because it’s necessarily the best but mostly because it comes free with the fridge. And it fits well in it. :) Personally, I think glass jars are best (next to ceramic jars) but metal tops can become rusty so try covering the jar with saran wrap and that should work. Let me know if you have any other questions – good luck!

      • Cynthia says

        Thank you JinJoo, for your prompt reply. You have been a great help. I can now look forward to my second time making the easy kimchi. :)

  36. Andrea says

    I am writing this 4 years late BUT while eating DELICIOUS properly rippen kimchi. WOW. Thank you SO much. We always wondered why our store bought but locally (family) made kimchi was sometimes awesome, but more and more often… weird. Well now we know that for one, we were probably right to suspect that it was “suffering” from being more and more popular and having a faster turnaround, but we also know how easy it is to make it great again, which we had no idea about! And to think we almost gave up on it. We will eventually learn to make our own, and I’ll make sure I’ll check your posts about Kimjang Day, but it’s great to know that we don’t have to go without unless we try making some!

    • says

      Hi Andrea, THANK YOU for letting me know that my post was of some help. Believe it or not, many Korean moms make the same mistake..haha..Sure, if you get to make your own – you can start with something simple like Green Cabbage Kimchi which is quite easy to do. Cheers!

  37. says


    I’ve got a question.

    I put my Kimchi into the refrigerator yesterday after three days because the last time 4 days were too much and it tasted too sour for me.

    So today I eat it for lunch but I noticed it to be a bit bitter. So my question is if I can put it outside the refrigerator again to let it ripe for another 24 hours? Or is it bad for the Kimchi to go from very cold to very hot?

    Thank you!

    • says


      No it is totally OK for you to take out the kimchi from your cold fridge to ripen some more in warm room temp. Since it is already somewhat ripe, you should check your kimchi maybe every 6-8 hrs to see if it is to your liking. And don’t forget about the liquid expanding so be careful about the overflow! Thank you for asking. Good luck!

  38. Katie says

    I just discovered your website a couple of weeks ago. Love it!
    When I visited the local farmers market last weekend, I picked up all the supplies I needed to make a small batch of kimchi — my first attempt!
    Last night I put it all together. It is sitting on my kitchen counter to ripen at room temperature for a day, and tonight I will put it in my fridge for another 4 to 7 days. It’s going to be difficult to wait that long!
    Thanks for all your advice. That flow-chart is great!

    • says

      Hi Katie!! Fantastic!! So good to hear that you love my blog and also that you made Kimchi at home!! Good for you!
      Just be prepared for liquid overflowing or (leave lots of room on top of jar) and don’t forget to taste the kimchi as you ripen. My times are just guidelines and it may all be different based on how salty you made the kimchi (more time to ripen), if you put sugar or other ingredients that promote bacterial growth, etc. So, the best way is to taste it along the way and adjust as you go. You can always leave the kimchi out again if you find that it is not fully ripe after the 4-7 days. Anyway, good luck!!! Love to hear how it went for you. :)

  39. Becky says

    Great blog ! Im Malaysian and I loves korean food much . I even made my Kimchi 9 hours ago but it taste bitter . And i want to know what makes the Kimchi taste bitter ?

  40. says

    Oh, thank you for the heads up!! I am actually working on re-launching my blog with new design and better functionality so it will be a short time until all the problems go away. Hopefully anyway.. if it still has issues after my new web design, PLEASE let me know and I will try to fix it. Take care! Merci Beaucoup~ 😉


Would LOVE to hear from you!