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When is kimchee too funky?

So, I've had this jar of cabbage kimchee (one of those made in-house kimchees from a mom and pop Korean market) in the back of the fridge. It has a "made on" date of 8/29 so it's about a month and a half old.

It was already too funky to eat plain about two weeks ago when I made kimchee fried rice which was awesome. But that was then and I'm not so sure that it's still edible. But how can you tell when it is too funky? There's no rotten spots on it (that I can tell) but it's at that stage where you crack open the jar and the whole house becomes majorly odoriferous.

Do I dare make more fried rice or a jigae out of this or do I just toss at this point?

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  1. my mom has kimchee that's 2 yrs old..still good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Monica

      I've read that kimchee a year old is best for soup. Or is it the other way around, for kimchee soup (or stew) the older stuff is best?

    2. It's fermented, isn't it? Fermented stuff should last at least a year in the fridge...

      ETA: I mean, if it's pasteurized then the bets are probably off, but if it's homemade and raw, then it should last ages.

      1. Kimchee doesn't really ever go bad. It gets funkier the older it gets. Some people I know like it when its old and fizzy. I prefer it when its only a few days old. I think its common to turn old kimchee into jigae. I like to rinse off old kimchee and then grill it along side kalbi or bulgogi. The grilling caramelizes the cabbage and makes it something entirely new. At least for me.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Bkeats

          I prefer old and fizzy and when I buy store-made usually leave it out on the counter a few days to get the bubbles going. I guess I'd consider it too funky if it's too funky to your taste buds OP.

          1. re: Bkeats

            Also common to use "older than you like" Kimchi In cooking Kimchijeon, Jjigae and the a fore mentioned Bokkeumbap

            1. re: chefj

              Jigai is much better with older kimchi

              1. re: C. Hamster

                Traditional Japanese Suicide ? with Kim Chi (-;
                Sorry I do not know what dish you are referring to.

          2. Kimchee doesn't go bad. It already IS bad. Eat and enjoy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: ricepad

              Having recently bought my first jar of kimchee, I resemble this sentiment!

            2. LOL. The funkier the better. When I buy a jar I leave it on the kitchen counter for 2 days before I'll even begin to eat it (although it's much better if it spends a month or two in the fridge after that).

              1 Reply
              1. re: The Professor

                I didn't see your post here, but responded similarly above. I usually leave it on the counter to let it get nice and funky and prefer it usually when I find some left in the back of the fridge more so than the fresh stuff.

              2. my friend, who is korean, told me about 3 months is how long it usually lasts before the funk is overwhelming for him

                you may have another month

                Ricky Ly

                1. One of the tastiest dishes made with old kimchee is braised mackerel with old kimchee and its juice. You can add thinnly sliced onion, green onion, garlic and mirin...just add everything into a pot and cook it for about 30-40 min until kimchee is very tender.. so so good with a bowl of white rice.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Monica

                    Thanks for that one!
                    Now on my list to try, very soon! :-)

                  2. We have kimchi that's been around for at least 2 years. It stinks, bit tastes great. Funky is good !!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: C. Hamster

                      I have kimchi that's been at the back of the fridge for so long... a couple of years at least... I was kind of afraid of it but now I'm going to check it out. On Monday, when no one else is in the house.