Part 5: Kimchi vs. Sauerkraut – Fermenting Vegetables

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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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8 Comments
  • Elatia Harris
    August 13, 2012

    A fabulous series — put it together and sell it as an ebook right here! Many successful ebooks are nice and short and very highly focused, and this series has all the makings of one like that.

    As a professional cook and for my own life in food, I am getting more interested in food for storage — it comes with being an always more dedicated locavore. I would love to build a reliable electronic library on different types of food for storage, a library that was not just a lot of bookmarks…

    • Jonell Galloway
      August 14, 2012

      That’s a brilliant idea to turn it into an e-book. There are more and more people who are going back to the old traditions of storing food. That’s a super idea to create an e-library on the various types of food storage.

    • Diana Zahuranec
      August 14, 2012

      What a great idea for the e-book. I also like the sound of starting an e-library–perhaps not just on food storage, but other series, as well.

      • Elatia Harris
        August 14, 2012

        TRE is a great imprimatur! My take is that people read cookbooks in hard copy at bedtime, and don’t cook from them. But thy ARE beginning to take the iPad into the kitchen and cook from the screen. And they want the “All U Need to Know” approach. If you designed an interactive one with room for notes, it would encourage groups to cook together — perfect for putting up foods for storage.

        • Jonell Galloway
          August 17, 2012

          Thanks for the appreciation and suggestions, Elatia. Yes, the iPad is almost a given these days, and with Diana’s training at Slow Food, she would be the perfect candidate for doing “All You Need to Know” books. What a great idea to create interactive groups. You’re just full of great ideas.

      • Jonell Galloway
        August 17, 2012

        Yes, an e-library sounds like a grand idea. But how could we go about it?

        • Elatia Harris
          August 17, 2012

          Here’s a formula! Create a few volumes in download pdf form along with a forum site. Test the waters by creating a marketing plan that outlines the project tantalizingly and gives away a free away a free download of volume I as a gift for subscribing to the rest of the series, which would be x times a year and ongoing, your subscription allowing special subject feedback through the forum. Then, the “living book” idea — password-protected access to subsequent “chapters” created from the ideas on the forum. Campaign on Pinterest, campaign on FB, create widget for cooperating bloggers. There are niftier ways to do this, but not cheaper ways.

          • Jonell Galloway
            August 19, 2012

            Another one of your amazing talents: creative business and commerce. Thanks for all the suggestions!

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