How to Fix Watery Kimchi?

Making kimchi is a bit of an art form. But even the most experienced kimchi makers can make mistakes from time to time. Some of the most common mistakes include making kimchi that’s too dry or too watery. Luckily, there are some quick solutions for the latter. 

Drain the kimchi juice

The quickest way to fix watery kimchi is to drain out some kimchi juice. Simply place your kimchi in a colander and let it drain for about 15 minutes. It helps remove some excess liquid and makes your kimchi less watery. Needless to say, your kimchi may also lose some of its tanginess and saltiness. You can use the excess kimchi juice as a base to make other dishes, such as kimchi pancakes, soups, stews, or other recipes that require kimchi juice.  Here are some more ideas on how to repurpose excess kimchi juice!

Add a mixture of glutinous rice flour

Another way to fix watery kimchi is to add glutinous rice flour to thicken the kimchi juice. First, take out all the kimchi from the jar. Next, mix 1/4 cup of water and one tablespoon of glutinous rice flour in a bowl. Once mixed well, pour this mixture over the kimchi. Put the kimchi back in a jar, seal it tightly, and let it sit for 24 hours. 

Add more cabbages or other veggies

Adding more cabbages will help absorb some excess liquid and make the kimchi less watery. You can also add other vegetables, like carrots, radishes, and leeks, to enhance the taste of your kimchi.

How to prevent watery kimchi?

Now that you know how to fix watery kimchi, you may be wondering how you can prevent it from happening in the first place. Here are a few tips:

Choose the right type of veggies

One of the most common reasons for making watery kimchi is using the wrong type of vegetables. Avoid using green or red cabbage, as these cabbages are more likely to make your kimchi watery. Additionally, Napa cabbage, carrots, radishes, and leeks are some of the great vegetables for kimchi. 

Add a generous amount of salt

Spreading a generous amount of salt into the cabbage after washing them is a crucial step in making successful kimchi. Let it sit for at least 2 to 3 hours before rinsing it off. Make sure to dry the cabbages and squeeze out any excess moisture to prevent your kimchi from being too watery.

Use cold water

Use cold water to rinse or soak your vegetables, as hot water can cause the vegetables to release more moisture, which leads to watery kimchi. Cold water also prevents the vegetables from becoming soggy and slimy.

Pack the kimchi tightly

When packing the kimchi into jars or containers, seal it tightly. It helps remove any air pockets that could cause your kimchi to be watery.

Why is my kimchi not crunchy?

If your kimchi is not crunchy, it could be for a few reasons. One reason could be that you didn’t salt the cabbage properly. Make sure to generously salt your veggie and let it sit for a few hours before rinsing it off. Another reason could be that you ferment it for too long. The longer you ferment your kimchi, the tangier and the softer it will get. Simply taste it daily, and store it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation and prevent it from getting mushy and soft.

Does kimchi need to be fully submerged in liquid?

Yes, Kimchi needs to be fully submerged in liquid to ferment properly. In addition, you may need to push down the veggies to create an oxygen-free environment. These are the key to the fermentation process.To push down your kimchi, we recommend using a sauerkraut pounder. This one here suits mason jars of all shapes and sizes:

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