KimChi is a living, continuously fermenting natural product. To keep it alive, it should not be vacuum packed. It goes through a ripening process until the lactic acid formation reaches its peak. Then the KimChi develops its fantastic aroma and slight sparkle. NaNum’s KimChi is sold at exactly this stage of ripeness; ideally, you should keep it cool and consume it within a few days. It doesn’t go bad afterwards, but tends to become increasingly sour, so be sure to store it in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
An opened jar should also be kept tightly sealed in the refrigerator. Squeeze the leftovers in the jar and cover with foil. It is best to wrap the jar additionally in a bag so that the butter does not take on a KimChi taste in the refrigerator (Koreans therefore also usually have a KimChi refrigerator). Of course, the best thing is to leave no leftovers at all.
KimChi is a science onto itself. There is an infinite number of varieties, with each region boasting its own special preparation. What is common to all KimChi is that it requires a great deal of experience to make. In Korea Kimchi is a standard side dish that is being served with every plate. Next to indigestive dishes it counters with freshness and lactic acid as well as being a perfect neutraliser for strong flavours of fish, meat or beans. A real puristic treat is the combination of KimChi on rice with a hint of roasted sesame oil.
Other popular delicacies would be iced Kimchi on cold noodles or steamed pork belly on sparkling Kimchi. When it comes to the point that Kimchi has surpassed it’s maturity peak and starts tasting much like sauerkraut, it is time to turn it into a beautiful KimChi pot dish.