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

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

by Gina Elizabeth
How to fix salty kimchi

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.

Related: 19 Spicy Foods List (Dishes, Peppers, Snacks, & Hot Sauce)

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

Be sure to rinse your cabbage after salting. 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.

5. Make Another Dish Out of It

Here are some ideas for how to turn salty kimchi 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.

Recipe from KoreanBapsang.com

Ingredients

  • 1 large Napa cabbage about 5 to 6 pounds
  • 1 cup Korean coarse sea salt for making kimchi
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 pound Korean radish, mu or moo
  • 3 – 4 scallions
  • 1 piece dashima (about 2 to 3 inch square)
  • 1 tablespoon glutinous rice powder
  • 1/2 cup gochugaru, Korean red chili pepper flakes – adjust to your taste
  • 3 tablespoons myulchiaekjeot fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

Instructions

  • Cut the thick white part of the cabbage lengthwise in half. Then, slowly pull apart by hand to separate into two pieces. Do the same for each half to make quarters. Running the knife through all the way would unnecessarily cut off the cabbage leaves.
  • In a large bowl, dissolve 1/2 cup of salt in 5 cups of water. Thoroughly bathe each cabbage quarter in the salt water one at a time, shake off excess water back into the bowl, and then transfer to another bowl.
  • Using the other half cup of salt and starting from the outermost leaf, generously sprinkle salt over the thick white part of each leaf (similar to salting a piece of meat). Try to salt all the cabbage quarters with 1/2 cup salt, but you can use a little more if needed. Repeat with the rest of the cabbage quarters. Pour the remaining salt water from the first bowl over the cabbage. Set aside for about 6 – 8 hours, rotating the bottom ones to the top every 2 – 3 hours.
  • The cabbages should be ready to be washed when the white parts of the leaves are easily bendable. Rinse thoroughly 3 times, especially between the white parts. Drain well, cut side down.
  • Meanwhile, make the optional dashima broth by boiling a small piece (2 to 3 inch square) in 1.5 cup of water for 5 minutes, and cool. Mix the rice powder with 1/2 cup water (or optional dashima broth) and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a thin paste, and cool.
  • Prepare the garlic, ginger and saeujeot. Combine all the seasoning ingredients, including the rice paste and about 1/2 cup water (or the optional dashima broth), and mix well. Set aside until the red pepper flakes to dissolve slightly and become pasty.
  • Cut the radish and optional pear into matchsticks (use a mandoline if desired), transferring to a large bowl. Cut the scallions diagonally into about 1-inch long pieces. Add the prepared seasoning mix to the radish, and mix well by hand. Throw in the scallions, and mix everything lightly. Taste a little bit. It should be a little too salty to eat as is. You can add salt, more salted shrimp or fish sauce, as needed. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld nicely.
  • Cut off the tough stem part from each cabbage quarter, leaving enough to hold the leaves together. Place one cabbage quarter in the bowl with the radish mix. Spread the radish mix over each leaf, one to two tablespoons for large leaves. (Eyeball the stuffing into 4 parts and use one part for each cabbage quarter.)
  • Fold the leaf part of the cabbage over toward the stem and nicely wrap it with the outermost leaf. Place it, cut side up, in a jar or airtight container. Repeat with the remaining cabbages. Once all the cabbages are in the jar or airtight container, press down hard to remove air pockets. Rinse the bowl that contained the radish mix with 1/2 cup of water (or any remaining optional dashima broth) and pour over the kimchi.
  • Leave it out at room temperature for a full day or two, depending on the weather and how fast you want your kimchi to ripen. A half day is recommended during hot summer days. Then, store in the fridge.

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 Coarse Sea Salt

Using Korean coarse sea salt for making kimchi is crucial to the flavor of your kimchi. Coarse salt is thicker than regular kosher salt.

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.

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 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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