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How To Fix Salty Kimchi: 5 Easy Hacks That Actually Work

by Gina Elizabeth

If your kimchi is too salty, you’re not alone.

With 5 quick & easy tricks, you can reduce the sodium levels in your kimchi.

#UltimateKimchi

What do I do if my kimchi is too salty?

How to Fix Salty Kimchi

1. Add Unsalted Kimchi

Add half the amount of (unsalted) kimchi you used into batch of salty kimchi. Double the original amount of Kimchi if the Kimchi is very salty. Gently combine both batches thoroughly.

2. Add a Root Vegetable

Add a root vegetable like an Asian radish, daikon radish, colored radish, burdock roots, carrots, or Jerusalem artichokes.

3. Add Bulk

You can also add green onion, cilantro, mustard greens, cucumber, red pepper, mushrooms and other veggies. The extra bulk reduces the sodium levels in your kimchi.

4. Rinse With Water

Place the salty Kimchi in a strainer. and move it around in the strainer. Pour water the over the Kimchi thoroughly. Shake the excess water out of the strainer. Be sure to rinse the cabbage after salting.

5. Make Another Dish Out of It

Here are some ideas for how to turn salty guacamole into a masterpiece:

  • Kimchi fried rice
  • Kimchi pancakes
  • Kimchi stew
  • Tofu kimchi
  • Kimchi spaghetti
  • Kimchi quesadilla
  • Kimchi guacamole

The kimchi limit does not exist.

Did you know?

Kimchi has a long history, dating back to the 7th century.

Classic Kimchi Recipe

When you need a filling and inexpensive staple, there’s nothing better than Kimchi.

Ingredients

  • 2 head large Napa cabbage
  • c. kosher salt
  • 10 clove garlic
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/4 c. Asian fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp. Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 lb. daikon
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 3/4 c. Gochugaru (Korean coarse red pepper powder)

Instructions

  1. In each of 2 very large bowls, layer the cabbage with the salt. Let stand for 45 minutes. Toss the cabbage well and let stand for 45 minutes longer.
  2. Fill a sink with cold water. Swirl the cabbage in it to remove the salt; drain and repeat. Drain the cabbage well, lightly pat dry with paper towels, and transfer to a very large bowl.
  3. In a mini food processor, combine the garlic, onion, ginger, and sugar, and purée. Add the fish sauce and process until blended.
  4. Add the Daikon and scallions to the cabbage and toss. Add the garlic mixture and the red pepper powder and toss thoroughly. Pack the cabbage into three 1-quart jars. Press plastic wrap on the surface of the Kimchi and put the caps on loosely. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, until the cabbage is tangy and bubbling. Store in the refrigerator.

5 Kimchi Making Tips

1. Take Your Time

Once you do your research on the fermentation process, commit to spending at least five days waiting for the kimchi to pickle.

2. Use Fresh Produce

You’ll want to use the freshest produce that you can find.

3. Use Rock Salt

Salt is crucial to the flavor of your kimchi. Rrock salt is thicker and coarser than regular kosher salt—to salt your vegetable of choice.

4. Make Kimchi Paste

Customize according to your tolerance for spiciness. Fish sauce is another necessary ingredient if you hope to match the flavors of traditional kimchi. The one ingredient you should be careful with using is ginger—too much can completely overwhelm the kimchi’s flavor, Choi warns.

5. Mix up the fermentation temperatures

First, you’ll want to let your kimchi ferment at room temperature. You’ll be able to see the process happen as the mixture begins to bubble. A too-full jar could explode or bubble over, leaving your entire kitchen and everything in it smelling like partially fermented vegetables. Once it’s fermented at room temperature, place the jar in the refrigerator, where the cooler temperature will slow down the fermentation process.

Kimchi and Salt Q&A

How is Kimchi served?

Kimchi is most commonly served as a side dish or condiment. But it can also be combined with other ingredients to make a main dish. 

Do I need to rinse my kimchi cabbage after salting?

Traditionally, kimchi is over-salted to remove as much of the water as possible, which requires a lot of salt. Always use plenty of running water to rinse the cabbage after salting.

How long do you salt cabbage for kimchi?

Use 1 cup of coarse sea salt for one whole napa cabbage. After sprinkling coarse sea salt between the leaves, let the cabbage sit for 4 hours. Flip the cabbage and leave for another 4 hours (total of 8 hours).

Does kimchi get less salty as it ferments?

Kimchi tastes less salty after fermenting. Although it starts off quite salty.

Is Kimchi high in sodium?

Kimchi, pickles, and sauerkraut are high in sodium, 3/4 cup of kimchi contains close to 1,000 milligrams (mg) of sodium.

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