Meet my new pet – Kimchi. Each morning for the last three days, I’ve stumbled into the kitchen, peeked under the kitchen towel covering my kimchi jar, and bid my kimchi good morning before stealing a quick taste and re-submerging any floating vegetables back into the brine.
By day three, the kimchi was noticeably sour with a little sweetness from the apple, a spicy kick from the chile peppers (fresh and dried), a wisp of smoke from the pimenton, and some deep savory notes from the seaweed and garlic. Even though I didn’t see any CO2 bubbles in the brine, I thought I felt an effervescent tingle on my tongue – which might have just been the subtle spice from the gochugaru.
So far, I’m completely tickled by the results. I split my large batch of kimchi between three jars (after boiling them for 10 minutes to sterilize). Since I’m pretty happy with where the flavors are now, I tucked one jar in the fridge to slow down fermentation. In the spirit of experimentation and exploration, I’m leaving the other two jars out to ripen a bit longer. I’m thinking I’ll put a second jar in to cool after 5 days and the third after 10, but I’ll taste every day to compare and see how the sour, funky, sweet flavors develop.