Why Is Your Kimchi Too Watery – Find the 5 Facts Today

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Making Kimchi at home may seem like a child’s play; after all, it’s not rocket science. However, sometimes the slightest misstep can cause catastrophe. Especially if your time and effort result in watery kimchi. No wonder you’re sitting down scratching your head, asking – “why is my kimchi too watery?”

The answer is – not enough salt. The initial goal of the kimchi fermentation process is to dehydrate the vegetables. You’re probably not dehydrating them enough while soaking them in salty water; thus, they discharge their juice into the jar. It may turn your kimchi too mushy and watery.

Usually, this traditional Korean dish consists of various seasoned and fermented vegetables, mostly cabbages. So it is pretty crucial to do the fermentation process very carefully to avoid any unwanted cooking mishap.

If you’re still confused about making perfect kimchi and avoiding watery outcomes, we are here to help you. 

Continue reading, and you’ll know how to fix watery kimchi!

Why Is Your Kimchi Too Watery?

kimchi too watery

In a sour, spicy sauce, cabbage and carrots are fermented to make this traditional Korean staple called kimchi. But mushy, watery kimchi can remove all the fun from your food. 

So, what causes kimchi to become too liquid? Here are some reasons-

1. Scanty Salt

Salt is an essential ingredient of kimchi. Brining is a crucial step in kimchi making, where you add salt to your vegetables to draw out water. Adding salt also helps seasonings to penetrate the vegetables.

Now, if you add less salt, cabbage and other vegetables will not extricate all the water, leading to mushy kimchi.

In addition, if you don’t spread salt evenly, your kimchi may become watery. Some veggies will not get enough salt, so all water will not draw out from them. As a result, watery kimchi. Less 

2. Less Salting Time

As you know, salt is crucial to remove all the water from veggie. However, along with salt, you have to invest time too if you want perfect kimchi. If you don’t wait for long enough, the dehydration will be insufficient, leaving water in the veggies.

Therefore, it’s essential to wait for a few hours after adding salt to your veggies to remove the water before fermentation.

3. Hot Water Means Watery

Cabbage is a delicate vegetable that becomes easily soggy. Now, if you wash cabbage or other vegetables with hot water, the vegetables become too moist and watery. It can lead to liquidy kimchi.

4. Quivering Squeeze

After salting and rinsing your vegetables, compress them to absorb any leftover water. If you neglect this step, your kimchi will get watery, and the flavor will suffer. So, squeeze as much water as possible.

5. Soaky Submerged Vegetables

After salting your vegies, you need to rinse them. Some people rinse their veggies by dunking them in water. It may make your veggies watery. You can rinse the salt from your veggies in different ways.

How Do You Thicken Kimchi Juice?

How Do You Thicken Kimchi Juice

Traditional Kimchi is supposed to be thick, not watery. There are some tricks and tips to keep the consistency and make thick kimchi. This may help to avoid making your kimchi too watery

You can prevent your kimchi from getting watery by maintaining these steps-

1. Sufficient Salt Means Savory Kimchi

Before the fermentation process, you should add an adequate amount of salt. Remember that you’ll be rinsing the veggies before combining them with the rest of the ingredients.

Therefore, if you add less salt, the leftover salt will be washed off, and your kimchi will be less salty as a result. You can use seasoning. Click here to explore various kimchi seasoning salts.

2. Salt-Wrapped Vegies

Spread the salt carefully so that all your veggies get salty enough to draw out water. Remember, it is the only way your vegetables will dehydrate.

3. Power Of Rice Powder

An excellent way to make your kimchi thicker and less watery is to use sweet glutinous rice powder. It is different from rice flour.

Stir 1 teaspoon glutinous rice powder and 12 cups water to a boil in a small pot, mixing frequently. The water will absorb soon, making your kimchi perfectly thick.

4. Patience Is The Key

Nothing can defeat a patient person, not even your watery kimchi. So, be patient and wait at least three hours after salting your veggies. However, six hours is preferred. After 6 hours, all the moisture will evaporate, and the salt will enter the veggies. Then you can wash them.

5. Cold Water Is The Corrector

Hot water makes your veggies sticky, moist, and watery; you already know that. So, use cold water to wash your veggies. It will retain the veggies’ crunch and crispy texture.

6. Shower The Salty Veggies

Soaked vegetables result in watery kimchi. Therefore, don’t submerge them. Instead, rinse your veggies by showering under water.

7. Firm Steady Squeeze

After rinsing the vegetables, you need to squeeze out all the remaining water. Or else your kimchi will be mushy. Therefore, squeeze tight. You can use your hands, tongs, or gloves; make sure all water is out.

Should Kimchi Be Covered in Liquid?

Should Kimchi Be Covered in Liquid

In traditional Korean cuisine, Kimchi is produced by combining a variety of spices, including ginger, garlic, and pepper.

The primary source of the liquid is the food being fermented.

Recipes frequently ask for the addition of sticky rice flour paste. This thickens it, allowing it to cling to the vegetables. The produce is virtually sealed in a liquid-like state due to this method.

If you don’t prepare a thick paste to stick to the cabbage or vegetables, you’ll run into difficulties. In most cases, the vegetables and seasoning are thick enough to seal the urn effectively.

Alternatively, Mul kimchi, or water kimchi, is made using a brine-based on water, similar to the brine used to make typical western pickles.

to know the Most Possible Reasons Why Is My Kimchi Not Bubbling click here

Can You Ferment Kimchi Wrong?

Can You Ferment Kimchi Wrong

There are a couple of ways to ferment kimchi in the wrong way.

First and foremost, make sure your kimchi is stored in an airtight container. Bacteria such as E. coli or salmonella can grow in an unclean jar and spoil your meal.

To keep your kimchi from spoiling, you must keep it in an airtight container. Use Crazy Korean Premium Kimchi Container, ensuring perfect fermentation and preservation.

Another possible reason why your kimchi isn’t fermenting is that you didn’t leave it in the jar long enough. Kimchi ferments in three to four days at room temperature. If you keep it in the fridge, it’ll take two to three weeks.

Kimchi Not Fermenting? check the Reasons and Solutions

Does Kimchi Have to Be Air-Tight?

Does Kimchi Have to Be Air-Tight

An air-tight container is a highly suitable pot for kimchi. However, it’s not set in stone. You don’t have to use an airtight lid precisely.

Quarter mason jars are also convenient and less expensive than a fermenting crock for preparing large batches.

Furthermore, pick a container with a water lock, such as the pickl-it jars. Using an airtight jar will make the fermentation gas nowhere to go, and you risk bursting the lid or destroying the jar.

Plastic containers are a fantastic and affordable method to keep kimchi. They don’t have an airtight seal; thus, they won’t blow up.

You’ll be successful if you use them in conjunction with a weight on your kimchi. However, they have two drawbacks: they can cause your entire fridge to smell like kimchi since they aren’t airtight, and because the outside air is allowed in, fermentation occurs faster than in a specialist container.

You’ll have the same issues with a classic ceramic/stone pot without a water lock with plastic containers. Containers built specifically for fermenting items are known as specialty containers.

They are available in plastic, glass, and ceramic/stone/pottery. The plastic ones contain “one-way valves,” which allow gas to escape but not air to enter. The water lock on the glass and ceramic/stone/pottery varieties have the same effect. Click here to check out some of the best kimchi containers.


  • How long to ferment kimchi at room temperature?

The kimchi fermentation process is quite quick. Kimchi ferments quickly at ambient temperature and takes longer in the refrigerator. Because the quality of kimchi deteriorates with longer fermentation, it should be kept frozen and consumed within one week.

  • What happens if kimchi is not refrigerated?

The only method that may help take more time for the fermentation process and the functioning of those little microorganisms is to keep kimchi in the refrigerator. If kimchi is left out of the refrigeration for too long, it’ll get over fermented and as a result, lose its quality and start to rot.

  • How Long Does Kimchi Last?

When stored in the open at room temperature, kimchi lasts for a week. It can stay fresh for 3 to 6 months in the freezer It starts to ferment after that and gives off a sour taste that indicates the rotting. Keep your kimchi refrigerated at or below 39°F (4°C), since higher temperatures speed up the rotting process.

You might be interested to know about Fresh Kimchi vs Fermented – Quick Comparison Between Them

Final Words

Kimchi is a very delicious traditional food in Korea and is loved by people worldwide. It may be interesting to make your own version of kimchi, depending on personal preferences of veggies and seasonings. The preparation of the veggies might take some time. It’s basically a relaxing activity.

Several factors might cause your kimchi too watery as it requires special attention. We’ve demonstrated the many reasons and remedies for this issue.

Don’t be too hard if one batch wasn’t up to the mark. You’ll be able to make the perfect kimchi through time and experience.

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