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  1. #1
    Leida's Avatar
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    Can I make Kimchi without sugar/honey?

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    I got a great book of Korean pickling recipes, and itch to try it, but every recipe has standard 2 tsp or so of sugar. I am going for W30, so I'd rather not add it if it is just for flavor. Does anyone know if it's flavor or a fermentation process must?
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    If you search for occurrences of "sugar" in the comments here Kimchi - Perfect Health Diet | Perfect Health Diet it looks like it's not necessary

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    It's part of the fermentation process. You have to feed the bugs! The good news is that when it ferments the sugars get changed into vinegars. So as long as you let it ferment properly you aren't really eating sugars anymore!

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    my family recipe used to have sugar in it, but now we use apples or pears instead.

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    Leida's Avatar
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    I saw a recipe for water kimchi that uses a pear & no sugar. I will try that (I like pickling liquid anyway) before I risk the no-sugar version. There is another recipe that is pretty much for eating in a few hours, so I think I can risk it w/o sugar too. Can't wait to put it into production. Love pickles!

    The classic kimchi tough, I might have to pass on for now. The paste I need to add is apparently 6 months to make and is made from soy beans/rice flour. I know that sauerkraut doesn't need sugar to ferment. Why would napa cabbage?PHD links says that the kimchi actually spoils faster with sugar...

    Yeah.
    Last edited by Leida; 05-09-2013 at 09:38 AM.
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    primal me's Avatar
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    Check out a book called Wild Fermentation, I don't recall the kimchi recipe having sugar in it. He has a lot of great fermentation recipes in that book and his bigger book, The Art of Fermentation. Both are great reads.
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    Leida's Avatar
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    I will. I kindda always try to go for 'as intended' recipes before going into spin-offs and modifications.
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    I make "Kraut-Chi" which is basically Savoy cabbage, red cabbage, julienned carrots, home grown chillies, sometimes sprigs of cauliflower, and a big tablespoon of garlic ginger paste. No sugar or salt. I use a small amount of a lactobacillus culture you can buy - just a bit on end of a sharp knife does the trick - in fact the pack is enough to make over a third of a ton of kimchee or sauerkraut

    The stuff in the photo has the red cabbage, alternate batches I leave out the red and put in a couple of teaspoons of turmeric and get a yellow kraut-chi.

    Must try Napa Cabbage for the next batch, it would be less crunchy than the regular, I guess.

    kraut chi.jpg

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    I made the water kimchi on Saturday. I did add that 1 tbsp of sugar, but seeing it is for a about 3 lbs of veggies and 4 cups of water, I am just gonna let it be & hope it gets consumed. Should be ready to try on Tuesday. Fingers crossed!
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    Leida's Avatar
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    Okay, it is a nice pickle, but not salty enough and too mild. It doesn't taste like kimchi I remember from a restaurant. I will see if I can get that gochung (?) paste and try a kimchi recipe. If I can't ge the paste, not sure. I can mix my own and wait 6 months, I suppose.
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