For Better Tasting Store-Bought Kimchi, Let It Ferment More At Home

jarred kimchi
jarred kimchi - Ollo/Getty Images

We remember the days when you could only find jarred kimchi in an Asian supermarket or Korean grocery store in America. Today, you can find jarred kimchi in American grocery stores and supermarkets like Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and Krogers. However, in our honest opinion, if you're not getting jarred kimchi made with a recipe by a Korean auntie or grandma, chances are, your store-bought kimchi will come home with you tasting a bit underwhelming. However, we have a trick for you for better tasting store-bought kimchi -- simply let it ferment more at home first.

The easiest way to further ripen or ferment kimchi is to transfer the contents of the kimchi jar to a bowl. Add some fresh ingredients like chopped scallions and garlic. We personally like to add a dash of fish sauce to store-bought kimchi. Give it a stir, with clean hands, and re-jar the kimchi. Cover with the lid and just let the jar sit out on the counter at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, for few hours to overnight or even up to 2 days. Longer than that and the kimchi will be over-fermented and too sour.

In any case, give the kimchi a taste and if it has developed more flavors and is better tasting to you, store it in refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process. And don't forget that to help you choose the best store-bought kimchis available in the United States, we ranked some of the best kimchi brands.

Read more: Vinegar Cooking Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Bubbling And Fizzy Kimchi Is A Sign Of Active Fermentation

kimchi
kimchi - HEROTOWN/Shutterstock

The reason you want to ferment store-bought kimchi further at home is because often, store-bought kimchi hasn't fully developed its flavors by the time it reaches store shelves. Giving the kimchi more time to ferment to improve its flavors. Additionally, the kimchi may be pasteurized, leading to a stop in the fermentation process.

A sign that the kimchi is actively fermenting is bubbling and fizzing in the kimchi juice. This means the good bacteria in the kimchi are working hard to ferment the veggies. Now if your kimchi is slimy and soft rather than crunchy, and it smells and taste too vinegary, chances are the kimchi has over-fermented and spoiled even.

If you're still not happy with the taste of your store-bought kimchi, this may be your sign to craft kimchi at home. Contrary to popular belief, making homemade kimchi is actually easier than it is daunting. To start, check out our easy classic homemade kimchi recipe. It's a great idea to always have kimchi, a powerhouse staple handy at home.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.