The Asian market sells homemade kimchi and I bought a large glass jar of it. I ate some today and thought it tasted too strong/spicy. I also started worrying about whether they put MSG or too much sugar in it. I ended up rinsing it and at the end of it, you could barely tell it was kimchi because there wasn't a trace of red. I actually liked the taste a lot better. It was much milder, but still had that sour twist that I like.
I guess my question is whether there is a lot of the good probiotics that I washed away from rinsing it. Are the benefits of the probiotics mostly in the cabbage? Or is most of it in the juice?
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My MIL is Korean and makes kimchi from scratch and never uses sugar or MSG in it. She will leave the fish sauce out if I tell her to, but I'm fine either way. Instead of sugar, she uses Korean pears or apples. There's enough salt used in the recipe to draw the water out of the cabbage that she doesn't need to use the MSG for kimchi, though will use it for other Korean recipes.
I make my own. It is SO EASY!!! I do not add fish sauce (I add a little more salt instead of it) and I use fresh pepper, not flakes. I add apple, not sugar. My kimchi is much better than real Korean, because I make it the way Koreans made it 200 years ago (I keep it in a clay jar and mix it by hand, no rubber gloves).
Do you know what others say about my kimchi?
My mom, who has never tried kimchi in her life, after I brought her a jar, keeps telling me to bring more! Since my mom is a great cook, this is the best compliment I could ever dream about.
You'd have to really work hard to sterilize it, so I wouldn't sweat it. It's got some good bugs still on it, even if you rinsed it with disinfectant-laden domestic tap water.
It's not hard to make; why don't you pick up the right spice from the same place that sells the ready-made stuff, and do it yourself? Then you'll know what's in it and be able to decide how you want it. Try this one: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Traditional-Napa-Cabbage-Kimchi-233839