Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Mar 1, 2013 06:58 AM

Kimchee for Novices

I'll admit to knowing almost nothing about kimchee. Sure, I know what it is, but I'm stymied about what to do with it exactly. Last week, I bought some kimchee at H Mart. I asked the person nearby to recommend one that was a little spicy, but not mindblowingly so. It's in a package with a lable that says "Tobagi," and I don't know if that is a brand or a type. Its sell by date is 3/15, so I guess that I have a couple of weeks to figure out what to do with it. This is the ingredient list:
Cabbage, radish, onion, scallion, chive, water parsley, apple, red pepper, garlic, ginger, hot pepper powder, oyster, fish sauce (anchovy), salted shrimp, salt, xlitol, sesame seed. It is an 8 ounce package.

Help, please!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. lol

    most kimchee is hot.

    it is served in different ways

    Han Ah Rheum in NJ always has bowls out for customers to sample items.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jpr54_1

      To the kimchee lovers,

      Did you eat it as a kid? Did you take your first bite and like it right away? I love sauerkraut but kimchee doesn't make me happy. Maybe I'm trying the wrong kind/source/pairing.

      1. re: ItalianNana

        I didn't grow-up with kimchee.
        I got my first taste of kimchee in 1990's
        I didn't like it right away. My son encouraged me to eat it.

        I tried the samples at Han Ah Reum (H Mart)and I was hooked.

        1. re: ItalianNana

          I grew up in Colorado and Southern California, and the only thing I knew about Korea was that it was a name on the map.
          Joined the Air Force, got stationed in Korea in 1978. Tried a lot of Korean food, including Kimchi, fell in love with both the food and the second best cook in the country. Got married, got the best cook as mother in law, and got both of them into the states. Sponsored the third best cook (sister in law) into the states a few years later. Win/Win/Win.

          1. re: hannaone


            What a great story! I will heist my old butt to the kimchee section!

          2. re: ItalianNana

            I first tasted it about 38 years was definitely love at first bite. Some kimchee is part of my lunch several times a week. I particularly like the 'poot baechu', made from baby napa.
            Korean sauerkraut definitely _rules_.

            1. re: ItalianNana

              My dad loved it as a kid and I wouldn't go near it because of the smell but as an adult had it for some reason I can't remember and loved it.

              1. re: ItalianNana

                I first tried kimchi when we moved to a Korean neighborhood when I was in the sixth grade. Brother and I loved it but the parents never seemed to develop a taste for it.

                1. re: ItalianNana

                  didn't eat it until well into my late 30s - loved at first bite.
                  it's definitely an acquired taste for some - with its tart/funky/spicy mix, all of which i love.

                  1. re: ItalianNana

                    I had it first as a kid - the wife of one of my dad's colleagues made it for us periodically. My dad grew up in Japan with german parents and has a love for all things pickled - daikon pickle, sauerkraut, the stinkier the better.

                    Now, I really crave those flavors.

                2. I like it plain with rice, stir fried with some shredded pork, or as an addition to soup (it even dresses up a quick ramen if you find yourself in a rush).

                  Regarding the "sell by" date, you can usually disregard it; as on many packaged foods, it's fairly meaningless to a degree. In fact, kimchee is often tastier when it has had a chance to ripen more.

                  1. I like to eat with heavy meats (beef, pork) to cut down the heaviness and fattiness.

                    Old kimchi (when it really starts to stink) is great in kimchee fried rice, kimchee stew, and kimchee "pancake."

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: Unraveled

                      So you eat it just like that? Plain? Is it heated or eaten cold from the fridge, or best left to stand at room temperature?

                          1. re: LMAshton

                            I'm not Korean and I eat it cold, right out of the jar. Or in fried rice, or as a side dish.

                            ETA - make fried rice, toss kimchi in towards end, top with a fried egg and soy sauce/sesame oil/gojuchang (Korean pepper paste). Mix, yum.

                            1. re: HillsofBeverly

                              I recently tried a kimchi soup - essentially cooking chopped kimchi with some pork and a lot of water. A good way of using a lot of kimchi at once

                              1. re: HillsofBeverly

                                besides eating it with korean bbq-style pork/beef, this is my favorite thing to do with kimchi.

                        1. Tobagi is a brand that is widely available across the states.

                          Usually eaten as one of many side dishes with a Korean meal but with almost unlimited other uses. Usually eaten from chilled to room temp, but can also be fried or even grilled and served hot (usually with beef).
                          If the pieces are large enough you can wrap a bite sized piece of grilled meat in it.
                          Use it in lettuce wraps, seaweed and rice rolls, omelets, in tacos, spring rolls, dumplings, etc
                          You are only limited by your imagination.

                          4 Replies
                            1. re: hannaone

                              Made myself hungry so had to have an omelet

                              1. Kimchee is awesome. I think the best way for you is to make kimchee fried rice. There are lots of recipes on the internet, or if you have a favorite fried rice you make, just add chopped kimchee to it and stir in in enough to heat it up.

                                By itself, cold, makes a nice snack or side. Also think about using it wherever you'd use pickles- on a burger or hot dog, in a sandwich.