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What is the general science behind using raw oysters in Kim Chi?

takadi Nov 20, 2009 08:33 AM

I've been looking around for different Kimchi recipes and some say that using fresh oysters speeds up the fermentation process. Does anyone know the reason why?

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  1. ipsedixit RE: takadi Nov 20, 2009 09:31 AM


    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      takadi RE: ipsedixit Nov 20, 2009 12:12 PM

      Can you be more specific in why?

      1. re: takadi
        ipsedixit RE: takadi Nov 20, 2009 12:50 PM

        Well, kimchi is basically fermented cabbage. To get the fermentation process going you need a kickstarter, that's where the oysters and sometimes shrimp (or fish) paste come in.

        I suppose you could ferment kimchi without oysters (with just the salt and sugar), but doing so would cut out some of the umami you get with the presence of seafood.

        1. re: ipsedixit
          adamshoe RE: ipsedixit Nov 20, 2009 06:06 PM

          @ipsed, but why or how do oysters or swimps speed up or enhance the fermentation process? This would not fly with vegans ;) adam

          1. re: adamshoe
            Humbucker RE: adamshoe Nov 20, 2009 06:37 PM

            Perhaps the bacteria present on the oysters help somehow.

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