Fizzy kimchi is perfectly natural and a positive sign of well-executed fermentation. While many people appreciate the subtle carbonation of kimchi, others can’t stand it. Perhaps it reminds you of rotten fruit juice? Maybe you simply don’t like the sharp, tingly sensation on your tongue or the roof of your mouth? Luckily you can prevent kimchi from going fizzy by released trapped carbon dioxide or adjusting your go-to kimchi recipe.
Why can kimchi start bubbling?
Fizzy kimchi is perfectly natural and a positive indicator of the fermentation taking place correctly. During the metabolism of the probiotic lactobacilli, bacteria in your kimchi, lactic acid, hydrogen peroxide, and carbon dioxide are produced. The lactic acid gives kimchi its acidic taste, while the CO² carbonates the kimchi, thus causing it to bubble and taste fizzy.
Is kimchi that tastes fizzy bad?
There is nothing worrisome about kimchi, and as long as it doesn’t taste “off,” the fizziness itself isn’t concerning. Fizzy kimchi is simply a matter of taste; some embrace it as a sign for a successfully fermented batch, while others can’t stand the subtle “burning sensation” on your tongue. The taste of bubbly kimchi is also somewhat reminiscent of spoiled apple juice. Thus, it may remind people of the time they took a blind sip of old (aka. fermented) juice.
Easy tricks to prevent kimchi from becoming too fizzy
If you are not a fan of carbonated kimchi, there are a few tricks and tweaks for future batches to avoid fizziness.
Don’t trap the CO² in the jar for too long.
Kimchi usually tastes the fizziest after first opening the jar. This is caused by the CO² being unable to escape in the tightly sealed jar and thus on the surface of the kimchi. Thus you should release the CO² by either:
- Loosening the lid of the jar, so the CO² has room to escape, or
- Opening the kimchi jar once or twice a day to allow for better air circulation.
- Use a kimchi jar with an airlock. An airlock allows air (in our case CO²) to escape without letting new air in.
Adjust your recipe
Fizzy kimchi is a telltale sign of advanced fermentation taking place in an airtight, compressed environment. If you prefer a milder taste or simply can’t be bothered to release the gas build-up in your bubbling kimchi jar, you can tweak your recipe. Sugar catalyzes the fermentation rate, while salt inhibits it. By either reducing the sugar content or increasing the salt content in your recipe, you can avoid carbonated kimchi. Alternatively, you can also skip the initial fermentation at room temperature and refrigerate your freshly prepared kimchi jar right away.
Let your kimchi “breathe”
If you want to remove the fizziness of your current batch of kimchi, you can just remove it from the jar and spread it on a large plate. This will remove the carbonation after a few minutes. Do not let it aerate for too long, as this will dry out your kimchi.
Admittedly, this kimchi container isn’t the prettiest, however, we believe the end justifies the means. At the end of the day, we want to create the best kimchi possible, that suits our individual taste buds. Besides the air nozzle, that lets you seamlessly control the fizziness, there are other functionalities and features that make this container the ideal option for both, professionals and newcomers alike.
- A great variety of sizes to choose from
- Very functional and beginner-friendly with its air nozzle
- Easy to clean
- Made from plastic
If you want to showcase your fermentation skills to your friends or at your restaurant, aesthetics may be a priority for you. Luckily, you can get kimchi jars, that do not entirely sacrifice functionality for appearance. These kimchi jars also boast an airlock to regulate the air flow and thus control the carbonation of your kimchi: