Can you name one dish packed full of flavor- sweet, sour, and spicy – serving as a side dish, a condiment, an ingredient, and a dip? The answer is easy – it is kimchi.
If you are a Korean food lover, you must have heard the name kimchi as kimchi – it’s been a staple of every Korean kitchen for generations. This broadly appealing fermented food contains a complex flavor of various vegetables and ingredients – fermented and salted Napa cabbage, radish, scallion, garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and fish sauce.
With fantastic taste and various uses, its health benefit is also incredible – a complete package of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, choline, and healthy bacteria, probiotics.
However, easy to make at home, “why is my kimchi not bubbling” is a common question. Reasons can be 3 – the inappropriate amount of salt, using the wrong jar, and temperature fluctuation.
This article will discuss these non-bubbling reasons and what to do when your Kimchi is not bubbling.
How To Make Kimchi At Home?
To eat Kimchi now and then, you need not go to the Korean restaurant every time you crave it. The kimchi-making recipe is simple. You can prepare it at home and still have the restaurant-like flavor if you put the right ingredients.
The main ingredients to make Kimchi are cabbages, radish, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, onion, chili paper, etc. So, to make Kimchi, firstly, you need to make sure you have all the necessary ingredients.
Start making kimchi with all ingredients following the instructions below-
- Slice 1-inch-square cubes out of the Napa cabbages.
- Keep 1-2 outer leaves in the refrigerator for later use.
- Toss the napa cabbage with 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup olive oil in a bowl.
- Soak cabbage for six to eight hours in a bowl filled with filtered water.
- Keep the napa cabbage submerged by placing a plate over it.
- Remove the liquid after a few hours by draining, rinsing, and saving the brine.
- Now make the kimchi paste with chili flakes, fish sauce, and sugar (optional). Or you can buy ready-made Kimchi paste-like Mama O’s, Kimchi Paste.
- Make match sticks from the radish by peeling and cutting them into about 2-3 inch pieces.
- Make sure to chop the shallots into small pieces.
- Mix the cabbage, scallions, and chili paste into the bowl.
- Add chili flakes according to your desired level of spicy.
- Then, pack everything tightly into a half-gallon jar with two quarts in size.
- You should also keep a two-inch space at the top to catch the colorful and pungent liquid that will spill after.
- Pour a little bit of brine that you saved to cover the cabbages.
- Submerge the reserved cabbage leaves in it and press it down.
- Keep the cabbage submerged by adding a fermentation weight.
- Finally, close the jar’s lid and leave it for 3-5 days in a cool and dark place.
You are all set with your homemade Kimchi. However, if you still find it difficult to manage the time for all this, you can just use Mrs. Wages 1-Step Kimchi Mix, making your Kimchi easier.
How Long Does It Take Kimchi To Start Bubbling?
Natural fermentation is the primary process behind Kimchi. Hence, it takes time for its full flavors to develop, just like aged cheese and wine. In this process, a lot of pressure is built into the mixture, making it taste pungent. Thus, Kimchi has a unique flavor due to the natural pressure.
Generally, Kimchi begins to bubble after four to five days, depending on how much salt you have added. The length of time it takes for Kimchi to age may vary depending on the storage space.
Does Kimchi Have To Bubble?
Not all Kimchi forms bubbles even after fermenting. And it is nothing abnormal. The bubbles and pops in some kimchi jars are entirely natural. It does not make the Kimchi less in the tangy sour taste or less in gut-health-boosting bacteria or the good bacterias.
It means Kimchi still has the same food value even though it has not bubbled. So, the kimchi doesn’t need to bubble always.
Why Is My Kimchi Not Bubbling?
Kimchi may not bubble for three reasons, inappropriate jar, temperature issue, too much or a little salt.
1. Improper Jar
After properly keeping the Kimchi in a jar to fermentate, it should take about 4-5 days for the bubbles to show up when you store it at a normal temperature. However, if you have not sealed the jar properly, air may go in, and eventually, your Kimchi will not bubble.
In addition to that, if you have stored it in the refrigerator right after putting it in the kimchi jar, then it is very normal for the Kimchi to not bubble. Because the ingredients start to freeze in a refrigerator, lowering the scope for bubbling. However, you might still find bubbles in your kimchi jar stored in the refrigerator if you open it after a month.
2. Temperature Issue
You may ferment the Kimchi at room temperature or in the fridge. So, if there are any issues of too much inconsistent temperature, there is a possibility that your Kimchi is not bubbling.
3. Too Much or Too Little Salt
The bubbling also depends on the amount of salt you have put into the Kimchi. So, if your slat mixture is not correct, your Kimchi will not bubble.
How Long Does Kimchi Stay Good?
Although Kimchi is a very delicious food and you want to store it forever if the mixture is well fermented enough, it does not stay good for very long. Kimchi stays good for approximately a week or two at normal room temperature if kept outside.
However, if you refrigerate it properly at the right temperature, it might last for 6 months. Ensure that your Kimchi is stored in the refrigerator at or below 39°F as warmer temperatures may cause it to spoil faster.
It may be best to discard your Kimchi after 3 months if you prefer a milder flavor or crunchier texture. Because if you keep storing your Kimchi even after 3 months, you might feel a drastic change in the Kimchi’s taste. It will become mushy, but if you prefer it, you can store it for 6 months or till it starts to grow mold in it.
Why Is My Kimchi Not Fermenting?
Kimchi’s main ingredient is fermented cabbage. The process of making Kimchi is almost the same as making pickles. Whether you make Kimchi with baechu or napa cabbage, it will be made by lactic fermentation.
A salty brine is first applied to the cabbage that gets rid of harmful bacteria. After that, lactobacillus bacteria preserve and flavor the vegetables by converting sugars into lactic acid. And this gives the kimchi vegetables a tangy flavor. It usually takes 3–21 days to ferment, depending on the temperature.
However, the taste of Kimchi varies from person to person. If you like the Kimchi too sour or tangy, then you should ferment it for a long time. If you want it a bit fresh, you do not need to ferment it for too long. You can tell that the fermentation process has not run its entire course if a jar of Kimchi seems too fresh or does not have enough flavors.
However, if you want your Kimchi to be appropriately fermented, you should tighten the cap of your kimchi jar and leave it in the sink overnight so it can complete its fermentation. Refrigerate it again the following morning. It might help with the full fermentation of Kimchi.
How to Tell If The Kimchi Has Gone Bad?
If you see white or green fungi on your Kimchi, it is time to throw it away. Although you might think a fungus is a form of bacteria and there are good bacterias in Kimchi, keep in mind that the formed bacteria in fungus is not good for your health. So, it is best to throw the Kimchi away if there is any sign of mold or fungus in it.
You might be interested to read also our another comprehensive article of: Can You Ferment Maple Syrup at Home? Step-By-Step Instruction
Kimchi is a mouthwatering tangy food that is healthy for your body. It is very easy to make, and you can use it as a side dish for many other dishes as well. However, do not worry if you face kimchi not bubbling issues because it is pretty normal for kimchis not to bubble sometimes. And make sure to throw away the Kimchi if you find any fungus or mold in it.