In recent years, Kimchi has become increasingly popular worldwide. No matter whether it is homemade or commercially manufactured, kimchi is enjoyed around the world.
There are tons of ways to use leftover kimchi, but not everyone knows how to cook it.
Can you freeze kimchi? Yes, It is possible to freeze kimchi. The texture of Kimchi does not change much when frozen and defrosted properly. Keep kimchi in the freezer for up to 3 months so it has an extended shelf life.
The following steps will guide you through freezing and defrosting kimchi. In addition, we will explain how you can distinguish good kimchi from bad kimchi if you are unsure.
What Is Kimchi?
Korean cuisine is incomplete without Kimchi. Most kimchi varieties contain shredded cabbage, but some are made out of various vegetables.
You can also use other vegetables to make kimchi, including carrots, cucumbers, garlic, ginger, and other root vegetables.
Pickled and fermented vegetables are used in making kimchi. In addition to stews, hamburgers, sauces, rice, and kimchi can be used in many dishes once it is fermented.
Various meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, include Kimchi as a side dish or condiment.
If you’d like to buy kimchi instead of making it at home, you can find it at your local supermarket. It is now widely available and well-liked in many countries around the world.
Does Kimchi Freeze Well?
The long shelf life of kimchi is due to it being salt-brined. You should freeze any kimchi you have made that you cannot eat within a few weeks.
It freezes well, luckily. Keeping kimchi in the freezer for a long time will cause the vegetables to lose their crispness and the flavor will deteriorate.
Rather than throwing away a half-filled jar full of pickled goodness, you can defrost your kimchi before it freezes and enjoy it for 3 months.
How To Freeze Kimchi
If kimchi isn’t frozen properly, the taste and texture may change drastically. Prepare the condiment properly to avoid these issues.
In order to thaw kimchi easily, you need to freeze it in airtight containers and in small portions.
You can learn how to freeze kimchi by following these steps.
Freezing Store-Bought Kimchi
Glass jars are usually used to package commercially manufactured kimchi. Don’t store kimchi in its original packaging in the freezer, even if the jar is tightly sealed and hasn’t been opened.
You can damage your freezer and food in it if you keep the glass in a cold environment. Glass shatters in cold environments. Furthermore, the pickled vegetables in Korean sauce will go to waste in cold environments.
Check out these instructions for freezing store-bought kimchi.
- You can also place the kimchi into a zip-top bag or container once it has been transferred from the glass container.
- Make sure the container you are using is not too big for the amount of kimchi you are freezing so that there is not too much air in contact with the food. Keep in mind that kimchi, when frozen, expands as the liquid expands in the kimchi. To keep kimchi fresh, squeeze as much air as you can out of zip-top bags. For best results, vacuum-seal your bags at home.
- If you plan to freeze a large quantity of kimchi, divide it into multiple portions.
- Make sure that the container or bag is dated and put it in the freezer.
- Flatten and store several zip-top bags in the freezer if you have several. Storing flat-packed food is much easier and space-efficient.
If the kimchi you bought at the store comes in airtight and undamaged plastic packaging, you don’t have to repackage it. Freeze it the way it is, if you want a smaller portion.
Freezing Homemade Kimchi
Using the same principles as when freezing commercial kimchi, freeze homemade kimchi.
You can freeze kimchi while it is still freshly brined if you have made a large batch of it and know you won’t consume it all within a few weeks.
Follow these steps to freeze homemade kimchi.
- Make portions of the homemade kimchi.
- Place the kimchi in an airtight plastic container or a freezer bag.
- To ensure maximum freshness for the condiment, push out the air from freezer bags before using them.
- Add the date to the container or the bag and put them in the freezer.
How Long Does Kimchi Last In The Freezer?
The best texture and flavor of kimchi are obtained from eating it within three months of having it stored in the freezer. However, frozen kimchi will remain safe for at least a year if properly stored.
Its flavor and texture will deteriorate significantly if left in the freezer for too long.
How To Defrost Kimchi
It is best to defrost kimchi in the fridge to prevent sudden texture changes. When frozen vegetables are defrosted incorrectly, their texture will be further impacted.
Be sure not to alter the temperature of the kimchi drastically. Kimchi becomes too mushy if thawed at room temperature.
You can defrost kimchi by simply placing it in the freezer. Place the kimchi bag or container on a plate to prevent water from leaking into your refrigerator. Let the kimchi defrost for a few hours.
Depending on how big the portion is, kimchi thaws differently.
Remember, however, to defrost the kimchi the night before you plan to eat it, place the frozen portion of kimchi in the refrigerator.
Tip: You can add the frozen kimchi right into your hot dish if you need kimchi in a stew, sauce, or another hot dish where the crispiness isn’t as important.
After a few minutes of cooking, kimchi will gain back its life and enhance the flavor of the dish by thawing in the hot stew or sauce.
Can You Refreeze Kimchi?
Refreezing kimchi is not recommended. The flavor and texture will be affected. Food expands and bursts when it is frozen.
Because of this, refreezing the shredded vegetables in kimchi more than once will result in them becoming too mushy. Refreezing also decreases the flavor of the condiment.
It is best to freeze kimchi in small portions in order to avoid refreezing. It will not be necessary to refreeze any leftover defrosted kimchi since you will have eaten it all.
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What To Do With Defrosted Kimchi
If you follow all the instructions for freezing and defrosting, you may still want to freeze leftover kimchi if you dislike its texture. Kimchi can also be cooked.
Here’s what you can make with defrosted kimchi.
- Fried rice with kimchi
- Fritters and pancakes, etc.
Kimchi can be used in a variety of ways. If the crispiness of the shredded vegetables is needed for a dish, keep kimchi stored in the fridge. When it is not needed for a dish, keep kimchi in the freezer.
Signs That Kimchi Has Gone Bad
Kimchi, according to some people, never really goes bad. Nevertheless, there are a few signs that indicate you should throw out kimchi.
You may also be confused by a few signs of kimchi’s bad taste or whether it is simply overripe. Kimchi grows sour as it ripens.
Kimchi does not have to be this thick to appear this way. Alternatively, you can make stews and fries with overly sour kimchi.
Do not throw out kimchi after it has been sitting for a few weeks with less crunchy cabbage or other vegetables.
When the shredded vegetables are left out for a long period of time, they lose their crispness.
Here are some signs your kimchi is going bad and needs to be thrown away:
- The smell is off-putting. Most Kimchi has a sour smell. The kimchi should be discarded when it smells so sour that it smells like alcohol.
- Mold. When you see mold on the kimchi, you should discard it. Even refrigerated food can grow mold if stored at a warm temperature. The kimchi should be discarded if visible dots or fuzzy masses are found on it or in its container.
Make sure the kimchi is not spoilt before freezing it and again after thawing it. In case of doubt, discard the kimchi if you’re unsure.