Do You Need To Store Kimchi In The Refrigerator?

Save your kimchi.

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If you made homemade kimchi, you might be wondering if you should place it in the refrigerator or not. After all, Korea where the kimchi originated is a much colder country. However, that's no reason why we should not make our own kimchi. Food with kimchi is just so delicious and addictive! Plus, it's an essential element to our samgyupsal feasts and banchan spreads.  

The question now is whether we should be storing the kimchi in the refrigerator or not.

You should store kimchi in the refrigerator but you should let homemade kimchi ferment and age or ripen on your countertop until you get the desired flavor that you like. 

The cold temperature of the refrigerator is fantastic at slowing down time, especially the rate at which vegetables, fruits, and other food start to go bad. Salting, pickling, and other preservation processes are all other ways of slowing down time as well. However, none of these methods are meant to stop it altogether. Your kimchi will still suffer the natural process sooner or later, the refrigerator will just make it much more later than nature intended. 

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If the vacuum package has not yet been opened, it's a good idea to store kimchi in the refrigerator to prevent it from fermenting even more when warmed to room temperature. Once open, it's best to consume it within a few days up to a week, refrigerated, so the cabbage will stay as crisp as possible and slow down the softening of the cabbage.  

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However, if you taste the kimchi that you have and feel like it needs more sour flavors or want the cabbage to be softer than crunchy, you can age or let the kimchi ripen a little more by just leaving it in the refrigerator for another 2 weeks or so.

Do not leave kimchi out at room temperature, especially packets or jars that have already been opened, on your countertop overnight or longer. This might invite dangerous bacteria to grow despite the acidity of the mixture and hasten the kimchi going bad. This can also promote food poisoning which can happen with fermented food. 

Learn how to make another kind of kimchi using cucumber as well as all the ways to use the kimchi you have and ready to eat into any of the recipes listed here: 

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