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Sep 13, 2012 12:28 PM

Korean Radish Kimchi question

Is the recipe. It didn't occur to me 'til just now to wonder - do you have to minimize surface area/contact with air? I don't have a big enough jar to ferment the stuff (I'm planning on getting a couple of half-gallon size mason jars but I don't have them yet). The picture on the site shows the kimchi in a baking dish - I was planning on using a Pyrex covered casserole dish.

Is that going to be ok, or do you HAVE to do this in a jar to minimize surface area?

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  1. Do you mean the picture captioned with "Mix all of the ingredients. Leave it at room temperature for one or two days, and then put it in the refrigerator for at least five days before you serve it." ? It's hard to tell exactly what she used but it's obviously not a jar and I'm 99.999% certain that your Pyrex dish will be fine.

    2 Replies
    1. re: eepi

      It looks like in picture that there is a red top for the dish

      1. re: jpr54_1

        Yeah, it looks like Pyrex Bake 'n Store or whatever they call that now. Pyrex baking dishes that come with plastic lids.

        I have a covered glass casserole - heck, I'll load a picture up below there.

        What I was wondering was if it is ok to have like 10" of kimchi in contact with the air, as opposed to having this stuffed into a mason jar (vertical storage as it were) with only 2 to 3 " exposed to the air, as it would be in the narrower, taller mason type jar.

        Now all I have to do is convince my son that it is NOT rotting if it stays out of the fridge for a couple of days.

    2. The container does not matter as long as it is Nonreactive.
      Just use wrap to cover if you do not have a lid.
      What do think would be gained by reducing the surface area?

      11 Replies
      1. re: chefj

        It's fermentation process - I've never fermented anything before. Never made sauerkraut or pickles in my life. I've done a ton of jellys, preserves, and canned veggies, but nary a pickle in sight.

        I know it's not going to explode on me like an improperly vented wine carboy, but heck, what do I know? There must be a reason everybody uses great big jars for this kind of thing - maybe excessive oxidation is bad for it.

        Apparently not - but that was what I was wondering about.

        1. re: KitchenBarbarian

          Fermenting foods produce CO2 that sits in the container in and displaces air(and its Oxygen)and creates a Hypoxic environment which suppresses Oxidation.

          1. re: chefj

            Well then there might still be a problem, as my casserole dish is not airtight. It's just a gasketless glass lid that sits loosely on top of the casserole. It'll keep dust and bugs out, but I strongly doubt it'll keep CO2 in.

            Perhaps I should resort to the plastic wrap after all? Though I doubt that is non-permeable to gas.

            1. re: KitchenBarbarian

              I loosely top my containers with plastic wrap when making kimchi, but I don't bother too much with making the container airtight.

              1. re: JungMann

                +1 - if air tight, you could have a mess as the carbon dioxide production will eventually crack an non-pressure resistant vessel

                1. re: Bkeats

                  I'll add some plastic wrap then (though it's been fermenting for a whole day already, LOL!

                  But I doubt it would crack my casserole dish before blowing the plastic wrap, don't you think?

                  1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                    No issue on cracking. My point was that you don't need an airtight seal. You do want to minimize exposure to air and other things settling into your kimchee. Just press the plastic wrap onto the surface and you should be fine. Kimchee benefits from being tightly packed, but preparing it loose works.

                    1. re: Bkeats

                      THAT'S what I was looking for! Thanks!

              2. re: KitchenBarbarian

                You do not have to seal it the CO2 will sit in the dish. it is heavier than air.

                1. re: chefj

                  I covered it up with plastic wrap anyway. If nothing else, it helps keep the very top layer moist.

                  Tomorrow it'll be ready for the fridge. Hmmm, guess I'd better make room for it, huh? LOL!

                  1. re: KitchenBarbarian

                    Your good. Kimchi (and all fermenting) is pretty easy and forgiving. Just remember it is alive so not too cold, not too dry, and it needs to breath a bit.
                    Kind like all of us.