Kimchi that is too sour can be a problem for many people, that are new to making kimchi. The taste of kimchi can vary depending on the person’s preferences, but there are some excellent ways to fix it if you happen to make too much or didn’t do it right the first time. You can remove some of the acidity by rinsing your kimchi in water or balancing out the sourness by adding sweet or neutral-tasting foods. If your kimchi tastes more like vinegar than vegetables, here are some steps you should try before throwing away any food!
What makes kimchi sour?
The lactic acid causes the sourness associated with kimchi, that’s produced during the fermentation. When you over ferment kimchi, or ferment it for a long time or at a higher temperature, your kimchi will have more lactic acid, thus making it sourer, as well as softer.
How to stop kimchi from turning sour in the first place?
Here are some tips to keep the sourness at bay when making your own batches:
1. Stick to recipes you can trust
Follow specific recipe instructions rather than just throwing food into a jar and hoping for the best! Kimchi recipes usually have detailed steps on how much salt needs to be added or what temperature is needed. There are also many online resources with reliable information about fermentation if you’re still not sure which method would work better for you.
2. Use clean, sterilized equipment
Make sure all materials used during the process (including your hands!) are thoroughly cleaned and sterilized before coming in contact with any of the ingredients. This prevents unwanted bacteria from entering the jar and turning your food into something that tastes more like vinegar than vegetables!
3. Keep an eye on your kimchi
Checking up on your batch every day will help you prevent any tartness or other negative changes in quality. The taste of kimchi can vary based on what spices are used, so if one type doesn’t seem to be working for you, then try another brand or recipe next time around. Do keep track of the progress of your batch, but don’t drive yourself crazy either!
How to fix kimchi that’s too sour?
There are several ways that you can try if you’ve ended up with some seriously sour cabbage! Here are five tips that might help. Try them out in the following order:
- Soak your kimchi overnight in cold water (or at least six hours). Then drain the water. This is obviously less than ideal because it will not just remove the sourness, but also other intricate flavors that we all love!
- If soaking doesn’t work, add sugar to balance out the tartness if soaking doesn’t work on its own. Use about one teaspoon of white sugar per cup of kimchi. Don’t use artificial sweeteners!
- Add some fish sauce to your kimchi if it still tastes too acidic. Mix two tablespoons of the salty condiment into one cup of chopped Kimchi and allow it to sit overnight in a container with an airtight lid. (We recommend Ocean’s Halo Vegan Fish Sauce – it complements the sour kimchi’s flavor profile really well)
- Try bulking up your kimchi with non-sour ingredients, such as fresh radish, carrots, cabbage minced garlic, or ginger along with other ingredients like soy sauce or hot pepper flakes
- Bulk it up with some store-bought kimchi. Of course, you could also mix in some store-bought kimchi, such as Picky Wicky’s.
- Add ripe fruits such as apples, pears or grapes cut them up into little pieces, and mix them into your cabbage. The sweetness and bulkiness of these fruits can help balance out the acidity, but it will also ruin the authenticity to a point, where you’ll never be allowed to set foot in the local Korean grocery store again.
How much acidity is kimchi supposed to have?
Kimchi is supposed to be sour and, depending on the type of kimchi you’re making, it will vary in acidity. The kimchi found at Korean markets usually has a pH level that hovers around three or four, which means that it’s still “safe for human consumption” but definitely not as delicious as kimchis with higher levels! It also contains more salt than homemade kimchi.
Researchers claimed that the optimal ph for kimchi should be around 4.2 and 4.5 with lactic acid making up 0.4 to 0.8 percent of the kimchi’s mass.
You should also know that acidity levels are not only influenced by how long kimchi has been allowed to ferment (which is usually done at room temperature) but also by what types of spices and vegetables were used. Some recipes call for more vinegar than others while others include larger amounts of garlic, ginger, and hot pepper flakes – all these factors influence its level of acidity so make sure to keep track of that when making your own.