Does Kimchee Go Bad?

How long does kimchee last? It doesn't go bad for a very long time, says Humbucker, if it even goes bad at all— it just gets more sour and pickled-tasting over time.

"Whether fresher or older kimchee is better is a matter of personal preference," says Humbucker. "Sour kimchee is often used as an ingredient in other dishes, but I like a more sour and pungent kimchee even for eating straight, so the older the jar the better. To accelerate the fermentation process on a new jar, I leave the kimchee outside unrefrigerated for a day or two, making sure to loosen the lid and put the jar in a bag in case the liquid bubbles over."

hannaone agrees: "I prefer very fresh (salad like) while my wife and sons prefer aged and sour." hannaone has never had an issue with kimchee going bad—it just gets more and more sour.

It is possible for kimchee to go off, though. "Whether or how soon kimchee will go bad probably depends on the recipe used," says hannaone, especially if it contains rice or other flour as an ingredient. luckyfatima thinks it does go off, and has noticed it acquires a yeasty taste and smell when it's too old.

luckyfatima's tip: "If you are using the kimchee in recipes, like kimchee dumplings or kimchee fried rice and you have very sour old kimchee and don't want your dish to come out sour, sprinkle some sugar on it."

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