Diana Zahuranec
Diana Zahuranec

Part 5: Kimchi vs. Sauerkraut – Fermenting Vegetables

By Wednesday, August 8, 2012 Permalink
cafemama / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

Part 5 on Fermentation: Kimchi vs. Sauerkraut – Fermenting Vegetables

by Diana Zahuranec

Once again, Harold McGee’s The Science and Lore of the Kitchen comes to the rescue.

In fermented vegetables, remember that the two components that determine aroma and flavor are the salt concentration and temperature of fermentation. Those are the two main differences between kimchi and sauerkraut.

Bowl of kraut, by Diana Zahuranec for The Rambling Epicure, editor Jonell Galloway.

Bowl of kraut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sauerkraut, besides being cut more finely, has no other ingredients besides cabbage and brine. It ferments at 64-76 °F/18-24°C for 1 to 6 weeks. Its final salt content is 1-2%, and its final acidity level is 1-1.5%. That higher temperature for sauerkraut results in more lactic acid bacteria, giving it a tangier flavor.

Kimchi is cut into larger chunks and includes plant leaves and stems, too; and hot Korean chili pepper, garlic, and fish sauce are added for flavor. It’s fermented at a lower temperature than sauerkraut at 41-57°F/5-14°C for 1-3 weeks, with a higher salt content in the end (3%) and lower acidity (0.4-0.8%).

Bowl of kimchi, Part 5 on Fermentation: Kimchi vs. Sauerkraut - Fermenting Vegetables, by Diana Zahuranec for The Rambling Epicure, editor, Jonell Galloway.

Bowl of kimchi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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