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

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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. Fermentation.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Can you be more specific in why?

      1. re: takadi

        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

          @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

            Perhaps the bacteria present on the oysters help somehow.