The delicious Korean traditional condiment, which goes by the name kimchi, is becoming very famous. Different individuals of different countries and continents are beginning to consume this dish. Some people may prefer homemade or decide to purchase commercially produced ones.
A lot of people do no have an idea of what to do with leftover kimchi. Kimchi can be frozen and defrosted easily and will still maintain its taste or texture when done properly. Most individuals do not know, but freezing kimchi can extend its consumption period for about 2 to 3 months.
What is kimchi?
Kimchi can be described as a staple cuisine which was originated from Korea. Kimchi is a condiment that is made up of a variety of vegetables. For example, one of the most famous kimchi from the varieties is made from mostly shredded cabbage.
Some of the other vital ingredients for making kimchi include cucumbers, Radish, ginger, carrots, garlic, and other vegetables involved in the preparation of kimchi. After the vegetables have been pickled and left to ferment properly, you can use them to prepare a wide variety of dishes, including rice, hamburgers, stews, sauces, soups, etc.
As you see fit, kimchi can also be served and eaten as a condiment with any meal during breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. In contrast, Some individuals may like their homemade kimchi and wait for several weeks for the vegetables to be used to ferment well enough.
Other individuals can decide to buy their kimchi in the supermarket to avoid stress. This condiment is now widely available in most countries because most people like kimchi.
Some people do not know what to do with leftover kimchi and throw the condiment away, but you can freeze kimchi because it is known as a salt brined dish, making it better to stay good for long. But in cases where the kimchi available is much and can’t be consumed in about 2 to 3 weeks, the best option will be to store it in the freezer for preservation because, with luck, kimchi freezes perfectly.
And the longer the kimchi stays frozen, the vegetables will become less crispy, and the taste and flavor of the kimchi will reduce. Although before the kimchi stays long enough for all of the above to happen, you can easily defrost the kimchi and enjoy it within the space of 3 months.
Can You Freeze Kimchi – Method for freezing kimchi
Kimchi is a delicate dish that has to be handled with care, and freezing kimchi wrongly will change its flavor or change its texture. You would have to take your time to prepare the condiment properly for freezing.
The method or rules abided by freezing kimchi are almost identical for either homemade kimchi or commercially bought kimchi. The following are a few ways to freeze kimchi successfully;
- When freezing kimchi, you can divide it into portions for easy defrosting and in an air-tight container.
- You should not store kimchi in its original packaging even if it hasn’t be opened; that is For commercially bought kimchi. It mostly comes in glass jars, and you can’t freeze glass because they break and shatter into a million pieces due to cold there for eradicating its content and environment in the process.
How to properly freeze commercially bought kimchi
To properly freeze kimchi, you must transfer the kimchi from the original glass package into a plastic airtight container or a transparent zip-top bag. If you are using a container, you should avoid one with too much space left when you place the kimchi in it.
So it will not trap too much air in with the kimchi; there should be at least 1 or 2 inches of space between the kimchi and the lid because the liquid in kimchi increases when it freezes.
Freezing with zip-top bags, you should let out as much aid as possible after putting the kimchi on to keep the kimchi fresh for a long. If the amount of kimchi to be frozen is much, you can divide it into little portions; you can also label the container or bag and freeze.
If there is the availability of many zip-top bags, you can flatten the kimchi in the bag and place them in the freezer; this will be better because freezing flat foods is easier and space-saving.
If the commercial kimchi you bought was originally packaged in an airtight plastic container undamaged, you don’t have to transfer the kimchi into another container; you can either store it in portions or as desired.
How to freeze homemade kimchi
Ways To freeze homemade kimchi is almost the same as freezing commercially bought kimchi. However, if you made a large amount of kimchi, and you know you wouldn’t be eating all of it in the next few weeks, you should freeze the kimchi a few hours after it is made.
The following are a few ways to freeze homemade kimchi
- Divide the kimchi into different portions, transfer the kimchi into zip-top / freezer bags or plastic containers. When using zip-top bags, push out all the air from inside the bag to avoid getting in and keep the condiment fresh for long.
- Label the container or the zip-top bag with the date; this is optional and places in the freezer.
How long can kimchi stay fresh when frozen
Kimchi can last for up to 3 months hen frozen, and it is best to eat kimchi before the 3 months elapses because it will still retain its flavor and texture. However, you should know that the longer the kimchi stayed in the freezer, it will lose its taste, flavor, and texture.
How To Defrost frozen kimchi
When the kimchi is frozen, the crispiness of the vegetables will surely get affected, and when you defrost the kimchi the wrong way, their texture will get affected even more. So to avoid more defects, you will have to defrost the kimchi while still in the fridge.
You should avoid exposing the kimchi to sudden temperature change; if you attempt to thaw it at regular room temperature, it will come out mushy, maybe even soggy.
An easy way to defrost kimchi is to transfer it from the freezer into the fridge, the less cold part. You can decide to put the kimchi into a plate to avoid water spilling into your fridge, leave and wait for a few hours after removing it from the fridge until the kimchi has been successfully defrosted.
You should know that the amount of time the kimchi will take to defrost depends entirely on the portion or size; however, it will defrost in a few hours. Therefore, putting the kimchi in the fridge the night before you would like to eat for less stress is advanced.
If you are going to add the kimchi into another dish, for example, a hot dish, stew, sauce, or any dish where the kimchi will not be required to be crispy, you can easily just put the frozen kimchi into the hot dish because the heat from the sauce or sauce will quickly defrost the frozen kimchi. Just a few minutes of heat will defrost the kimchi, and the flavor of the kimchi will come alive and mix with that of the dish.
Is it possible to refreeze kimchi?
It is totally unacceptable to refreeze kimchi. Refreezing kimchi will affect its texture and flavor heavily. When food is frozen, it will cause its cells to expand and burst. Due to this, it is not good to repeat freezing a dish multiple times because the vegetables present will become soggy and mushy, which will make the condiment lose its flavor because of refreezing.
It is advised to freeze kimchi in little portions because it is the only way to avoid refreezing. This way, you would be able to finish the portion of defrosted kimchi and won’t have to refreeze any leftovers because there will be no leftovers.
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Things to do with defrosted kimchi
Sometimes some people do get satisfied with the texture they get when they defrost their kimchi. Even after abiding by all the rules for freezing and defrosting kimchi, you can still defrost kimchi, and when you defrost, you can add them to another dish, cook them with another dish.
Here are some things you can do with defrosted kimchi: Stews, sauces, dumplings, fridge rice and kimchi, pancakes, fritters.
How to know that kimchi is spoilt
Some people may believe that kimchi only becomes ripe and tastes sour and does not go bad. However, kimchi does get sour but to an extent. Some signs will warn you that the kimchi needs to be discarded, which you shouldn’t ignore.
The longer kimchi stays, the riper it gets, and the sourer doesn’t mean the kimchi has gone bad. Although some people are not able to eat sour kimchi, you can put it into a stew. Also, if you notice that the vegetables like cabbage are not as crunchy as usual, the kimchi isn’t bad; it is normal for vegetables to become less crispy after a while.
When you discard the kimchi, you notice an offensive odour; sour kimchi smell sour, but it is not offensive. When you notice mould, frozen foods are not free from mould, so it isn’t safe to eat if you notice molding. If the texture is sticky or slimy, the kimchi has gone bad.
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