Kimchi Not Salty Enough: 4 Easy Ways to Fix That

Kimchi – a stupefying symphony of salt and spice kick your head and mouth with indelible savor. However, have you ever made kimchi not salty enough?

Saltiness may not be everyone’s cup of tea; salt in kimchi is crucial; after all, who loves a bland pickle? However, several reasons may lead to unsalted kimchi.

The not-salty-enough kimchi may result from improper fermentation, less salt, less salty vegetables, too much water, less brining, or low-grade salt. However, rescuing the savory saltiness is necessary; and you have 4 ways – right cabbage, correct cure, sufficient seasoning, and suitable storing.

Let’s explore what makes insufficient salty kimchi, how to fix it, and make it more flavorful to satisfy your taste buds with perfectly salty kimchi.

Why Is My Kimchi Not Salty Enough?

Kimchi Not Salty Enough

Unsalted kimchi is neither savory nor satisfactory. However, what makes unsalty kimchi is a question.

Here are some possible reasons contributing to your not having enough salty kimchi. 

1. Improper Salt-Water Ratio

One common reason for less salty kimchi is the inappropriate proportion of salt in the mixture.

You put your vegetables and other ingredients into a kimchi brine – salt-water mix – for even salt diffusion while making kimchi. Therefore, if you don’t maintain the correct ratio of salt and water, your kimchi will become less salty due to salt absorption by the ingredients. As a result, you get under salty kimchi.

In addition, if you add more water, the ratio will be improper, and you will have unsalted kimchi.

Usually, the water-salt ratio is 1 ¼ 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt in 1 cup of water.

Why Is Your Kimchi Too Watery – Find the 5 Facts Today

2. Too Less Brining

Brining is a crucial stage during kimchi-making. The duration of brining depends on personal preferences. However, if you want perfectly pickled cabbage, you need to brine the cabbage for at least 8 to 10 hours.

Too less brining may result in less salty kimchi as the vegetables will not soak thoroughly in a salty solution.

3. Fermentation

The Kimchi has not had enough time to ferment properly. Fermentation is a crucial part of kimchi-making. If salt is less during fermentation, it will lose saltiness. If you ferment more, it will lose saltiness as vegetables tend to absorb salt during fermentation.

4. Vegetables

Vegetables are the primary ingredients of kimchi. However, if you use vegetables that are not salty can lead your kimchi to the road of less saltiness.

Some vegetables (like cabbage) release water as they ferment, so the Kimchi will become less salty over time if you’re not adding enough salt initially.

5. Low-Grade Salt

Cheap table salt will not have the same flavor impact as pricier salts. Experiment with different salts and find what works best for your recipe. And lastly, make sure to use high-quality sea salt or kosher salt.

How Salty Salted Enough?

How Salty Salted Enough

This is a matter of personal preference, but in general, Kimchi should be salty enough to make your lips pucker when you eat it. If it’s not salty enough, it will lack flavor.

Kimchi that is too salty will be inedible, so it’s essential to find the right balance. If you’re not sure how much salt to add, start with less and then taste as you go. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out once it’s in there.

Does Kimchi Get Less Salty As It Ferments?

Does Kimchi Get Less Salty As It Ferments

Kimchi is all about spice and salt. Though the spice level can differ from batch to batch. However, one common question is whether spice levels decrease over time due to fermentation?

The fermentation process does not necessarily make food spicier. The opposite is often true. For example, the longer kimchi ferments, the milder the flavors become. This is because the bacteria break down the compounds that contribute to spiciness.

So, if you find that your Kimchi is not as spicy as it used to be, it is because it has been fermenting for a longer time.

How To Fix Kimchi That’s Not Salty Enough

How To Fix Kimchi That's Not Salty Enough

Kimchi is usually served as a side dish but can also be used in stews, soups, and other dishes. However, the expected result is always spicy and salty. So if you make Kimchi that’s not salty enough, a frown may appear on your forehead; however, there are ways to fix it.

1. Only The Best Cabbage Will Do

The best type of cabbage to use for kimchi is Napa cabbage. It’s a type of Chinese cabbage, longer and thinner than regular green cabbage. Additionally, it has a milder flavor and a crunchier texture, perfect for Kimchi.

However, if you can’t find Napa cabbage, you can use regular green cabbage, thinly chopped. However, your Kimchi may not be as crunchy or flavorful as napa cabbage kimchi.

2. The Cure Mixture

The cure mixture is a popular way to fix that. All you need is some water, sugar, and salt. Simply mix those ingredients and pour them over your Kimchi. The sugar will help balance out the saltiness of the Kimchi, while the salt will add flavor.

Let it sit for at least an hour before eating to absorb all flavors.

3. The Kimchi Seasoning

Using kimchi seasoning is a great way to make your less salty kimchi salty. This seasoning is perfect for adding spice and depth of flavor to any meal.

Kimchi is typically made with salt, sugar, and spice, so if it’s not salty enough, it might just need more of one (or all) of those things. You can add a little more salt, sugar, or spice to the Kimchi and see if that does the trick.

You can try SEOUL SISTERS Korean Kimchi Powder Seasoning Mix to add more flavor to your dish.

4. Storing Your Kimchi

Proper storage is essential if you want to enjoy kimchi season long. You can keep it in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for six months.

Here are some tips on how to store your Kimchi properly.

  • When storing Kimchi in the fridge, use a clean, airtight container. You can use Crazy Korean Cooking Premium Kimchi Containers for kimchi fermentation and storing.
  • Kimchi will continue to ferment in the fridge and may become too sour if left for too long. It’s best to eat Kimchi within two weeks of fermentation.
  • If you’re storing Kimchi in the freezer, use a freezer-safe container. You can store it in the freezer for up to six months, but it’s best to eat it within two months of freezing.
  • To thaw frozen Kimchi, place the container in the fridge overnight. Do not thaw it at room temperature, as this can cause bacteria to grow. Once thawed, Kimchi can be stored in the fridge for two weeks.

Rice Paste Vs. Flour Paste For Kimchi?

There are two ways to make Kimchi paste: rice flour or wheat flour. Each type of flour has its unique taste and texture. Some people prefer the taste of rice paste, while others find it too bland. 

Kimchi PastePros Cons
Rice Pastea good source of carbohydratesGluten-freeslightly sweet in flavorless sourharder to ferment
Flour Pastea good source of proteinRarely cause stomach upsetnutty flavorToo sourerHard to digest

Rice flour is made from finely milled rice. It’s a good source of carbohydrates and provides Kimchi with a slightly sweet flavor. Rice flour is also gluten-free, making it a good choice for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. However, rice flour can cause Kimchi to be less sour and can make the Kimchi harder to ferment.

Wheat flour is made from grinding wheat into a fine powder. It’s a good source of protein and gives Kimchi a nutty flavor. Wheat flour is also less likely to cause stomach upset than rice flour. However, wheat flour can make Kimchi sourer and can make the Kimchi harder to digest.

So, which is better? Rice flour or wheat flour? The answer may depend on your personal preferences.

If you’re looking for a gluten-free sweeter Kimchi, go with rice flour. On the other hand, wheat flour is the way to go if you want a heartier Kimchi with a nutty flavor.

Whichever you choose, make sure to add enough salt to your Kimchi paste to offset the sweetness or bitterness of the flour. Otherwise, your Kimchi won’t be as flavorful as it could be.

You might be interested to read also our another comprehensive article of: Fresh Kimchi vs Fermented – Quick Comparison Between Them and Why Is My Kimchi Not Bubbling? – Most Possible Reasons

FAQs:

  • How can i make my kimchi more salty?

There are a few different ways to make your Kimchi saltier:

  1. Add more salt to the recipe: This is the most obvious solution, and it is usually the best way to fix Kimchi that is not salty enough. Simply add more salt to the recipe, and then let the kimchi ferment for the usual amount of time.
  2. Ferment for a longer period: If you find that your Kimchi is not as salty as you would like, you can try fermenting it for a longer period. This will give the salt more time to work its way into the Kimchi and make it sourer.
  • What happens if kimchi is not salty enough?

If kimchi is not salty enough, it will lose its proper taste, its shelf life will decrease, and your time will be wasted. However, there are a few things you can do to fix that.

First, try adding more salt to the cabbage during the initial salting process. This will help draw out more water from the cabbage, resulting in a saltier final product.

Another option is to add a salty liquid (such as fish sauce or soy sauce) to the Kimchi during the fermentation process. This will help add saltiness without making the Kimchi too wet.

  • How much salt do I add to kimchi?

The key to making delicious Kimchi is adding the right amount of salt. Too little salt and your Kimchi will be bland. Too much salt, and your Kimchi will be too salty.

The amount of salt depends on a few factors – the type of Kimchi, the water content of the vegetables, and how salty you want your Kimchi to be. However, a good rule of thumb is to start with one tablespoon of salt for every two pounds of vegetables.

  • How do I add flavor to kimchi?

There are a few ways to add more flavor to Kimchi. One way is to add more salt. This will help bring out the flavors of the vegetables and give the Kimchi a more pronounced taste.

Another way to add flavor is to use fish sauce or oyster sauce. These sauces will add a flavor to the Kimchi, making it more savory and delicious. Finally, you can also add sugar to Kimchi to balance the spice and give it a sweeter flavor.

Conclusion

Kimchi is a Korean dish made of fermented cabbage and other vegetables, typically spicy and salty. However, why is your kimchi not salty enough sometimes?

It can happen due to less salt, improper fermentation, low-grade salt, etc. But don’t despair. There are a few simple ways to fix that. Use the right cabbage, maintain proper seasoning and curing, and store it correctly.

So, next time you’re in doubt, remember these four methods and try them.

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