What is Kimchi?
You are probably well-acquainted with the popular Korean dish, but let’s it break it down for those who don’t. Essentially, kimchi is fermented vegetables. The health benefits of kimchi are wonderful; apart from being providers of vitamin A, B, and C, kimchi houses a healthy bacteria called lactobacilli. Many Americans know it best as fermented Napa cabbage, but the variations of kimchi are extensive. Because of these variations, it’s important to place them in the proper conditions to prolong the fermentation process.
What is a Kimchi Refrigerator?
I know it sounds crazy, but hear us out: a fridge for your kimchi. If you’re someone who indulges in plenty of kimchi, you may want to invest in a fridge that preserves it, because the fridge slows down the fermentation process significantly. As mentioned before, kimchi refrigerators operate under a certain set of conditions, including consistent temperature, to lengthen the fermentation process. You don’t want the cool air to circulate around your kimchi the way that ordinary refrigerators do. Unfortunately, most kimchi will sour quicker under the conditions of conventional refrigerators. These refrigerators are also helpful in preventing the strong odor of kimchi from spreading to the rest of your food when placed in the same conventional refrigerator.
Prior to the development of the kimchi refrigerator, many people would store the vegetables in jars and bury them! Thankfully, this technology saves you the hassle of digging a hole just to maintain your health! These specialized devices can be found in the corners of many Korean appliance stores, but may be slighter harder to access from the United States. It is still difficult to access specialized kimchi refrigerators without visiting a Korean appliance store, or splurging on a refrigerator online from the small pool of offered options, unfortunately, but if you can get your hands on one of these, we advise that you do it. We know they’re a pretty penny, but kimchi can be a great investment for your health. Whether you’re a business or an ordinary kimchi-lover, here are the top 4 best options for refrigerators made for kimchi fermentation!
The 4 Best Kimchi Refrigerators
With an 80% stock in the kimchi refrigerator market, Dimchae is a brand that specializes in bringing high quality kimchi refrigerators to your home or business. Luckily, they also recently began importing them to the United States, which is awesome for the numerous local businesses and avid kimchi connoisseurs in the states. The Dimchae Kimchi Refrigerator 180 L is a kimchi refrigerator meant for all kimchi consumers and distributors.
It is a grassland white chest-size refrigerator with two separate rooms, which is important for holding and sustaining all types of kimchi. Its dimensions are 37”(W) by 23.6”(D) by 33.5”(H) in, so don’t worry about it being too bulky. It fits just right! What’s great about the dual storage is that you can store kimchi in different stages, so waiting on a batch to mature? Store it in one side. Just made a new batch? Store it in the other! We love the option to customize the setting based on the batch you’re fermenting and the batch you’re preserving. And it also comes with eight kimchi containers for all your batches! You’ll never have to worry about contaminating the other meals in your refrigerator.
The most important part of kimchi refrigerators is its setting variation. Because you have little control over the settings of conventional refrigerators, the success rate for kimchi fermentation is quite low. We appreciate the option to change temperatures offered by this kimchi refrigerator. The kinds of cooling options are also dependent on what you’re fermenting. For instance, there is a choice to adjust the settings for root/vegetable-based or radish-based fermentation, so you’ll be sure to get the best results from each fermentation session. The precision is amazing. All in all, the types of cooling modes include health care fermentation technology, various types of fermenting, and one night fermentation. Amazon also offers help with installment, if you need it.
We think this takes the cake because it is a great fit for both individual purposes and business intentions; it’s neither too big nor too small. But the bottom line is good kimchi requires good attention to detail, and with this option, you’ll have all your bases covered.
Absolutely adorable in design, the Dimchae Petite Kimchi Refrigerator is a smaller alternative to your average kimchi refrigerator. In general, though this refrigerator lacks some of the precision of the first one, the features still get the job done all while taking up less space. This refrigerator has three different modes of consistent cooling: kimchi storage, standard refrigeration, and storage, as well as an exclusive overnight fermentation mode. Talk about functional!
If you’re having trouble deciding between this refrigerator and the previous, consider how much kimchi you actually plan on consuming. Families and restaurant customers may consume more whereas individuals may not consume as much kimchi to need as much space. So we recommend this version to smaller households and advise that those feeding larger groups invest in a larger kimchi refrigerator!
The dimensions of this bad boy are 21.37"(W) by 24.21"(D) by 38.50"(H), allowing you to hold 100 L of kimchi, so even though it’s not quite as large as the previous, it’ll still hold a hearty amount! It also includes six free containers to store your kimchi.
Oh, it gets cuter, too. This model allows you to choose between a white colorway, a mint green colorway, and a true pink colorway! The design of this thing is retro and fits so seamlessly with any kitchen theme that you’ll be wondering why you didn’t invest in one sooner.
There’s also no installment needed; just plug it in and you’re good to ferment! With this refrigerator, you won’t have to commit to a kimchi refrigerator that takes up too much space in the kitchen or the backyard.
Again, if you’re someone who prefers making kimchi at home, what are you waiting for? You don’t find kimchi refrigerators like this everyday!
The Dimchae Maman Kimchi Refrigerator 418 L is slim refrigerator that was made to hold a significant amount of kimchi. At 26.06”(W) by 31.81”(D) by 74.80”(H), this baby holds a whopping 418 L, with three independent cooling rooms. Each room has a different storage function: one for long-term storage, one for vegetables and fruits, and one for chill storage. Unlike the others, this one is great for storing all kinds of food, not just kimchi, without contaminating the food with the strong kimchi odor. This means that if you and your family are kimchi lovers looking for a completely new refrigerator, the Maman Kimchi Refrigerator would work for all your needs!
Like the first option, this refrigerator offers plenty of flexibility to adjust to your kimchi fermentation process; it offers health care fermentation technology, various types of fermenting, and one night fermentation. The cold air curtain zones are what really perform the magic of fermentation, because these allow for direct cooling. So if you’re a business or restaurant hoping to ferment and preserve your own kimchi, you may want to invest in one of these larger alternatives for maximum capacity. This option is quite slim, so it won’t take up your whole kitchen. Additionally, this kimchi refrigerator is so up to date that it also has a hidden display touch control panel for your convenience!
We are in love with this hot, romantic red design, because it adds personality to otherwise simple kitchens. Dimchae is excellent at making sleek and efficient kimchi refrigerators, and this one is no different. Special for its size and multi-functionality, the Maman Kimchi Refrigerator is a trouble-free, labor-saving for all those kimchi lovers out there.
Dimchae Mild Titan Standing Kimchi Refrigerator
This next Dimchae Kimchi Refrigerator may look quite similar to the previous option, having 418 L and three separate compartments available for storage and cooling. The Mild Titan Standing Kimchi Refrigerator is 26.06” (W) by 30.19” (D) by 73.62” (H) inch with a lustrous silver finish that may suit your kitchen better than an eccentric bright red one. Don’t worry though! This one is just as effective as the previous refrigerator.
Like the previous kimchi refrigerators, the customization of settings makes this significantly better than your run-of-the-mill fridge. Its fermentation modes include health care fermentation technology, various types of kimchi fermentation, and one night fermentation, and storage is just as convenient. Like the Maman Kimchi Refrigerator, this Mild Titan version allows for kimchi/long term storage, vegetable and fruit storage, and chill storage. And yes, this also has cold air curtain zones for direct cooling!
The differences between this version and the red hot Maman version are not drastic, but you can’t go wrong with this option, especially if you’re a restaurant spreading the beneficial health effects of kimchi. The silver finish is a visible difference and makes this option much tamer for most environments. Trust us, this is one sexy refrigerator.
Fermenting Your Own Kimchi
Fermenting kimchi has never been easier; before, communities would have to store them below the earth to keep them cool enough for the fermentation process. Now, we have brands like Dimchae that utilize a mechanism for fermentation involving particular consistent temperature conditions and humidity control. The ideal conditions for kimchi would be a 4.5 pH level and between 0.6 and 0.8 acidity level.
Fermenting your own kimchi can be a waiting game, depending on your desired outcome. This process typically involves chopping up and julienning your vegetables of choice. America is most familiar with the Napa cabbage as the foundation of kimchi, but many Koreans take advantage of the vegetables in season, often utilizing cucumber or radish for the base of it. You’ll want to season accordingly with things like ginger, garlic, onions, radishes, and chili powder for that signature taste.
It’s up to you how mature you want your kimchi to be. In general, the more mature it is, the more sour it is, so you’ll want to adjust the length of the process to your liking. However, keeping kimchi stagnant for too long may result in a soggy texture and an overly-sour flavor, so examine your fermentation options as you go. Also, kimchi doesn’t necessarily go bad; it merely ripens to a higher degree.
Why Should You Eat Kimchi?
Number one: its health benefits are worth it. Aforementioned, kimchi is a superfood that provides an abundance of vitamins and supplies healthy bacteria and lactic acid. These kinds of effects prevent cancer and heart disease, help with digestion, improve the immune system, decrease your cholesterol levels through the Selenium and Allicin content, and enables anti-aging through the production of antioxidants! And that bad breath? Consider it gone! When you feel good internally, it translates externally, so kimchi rewarding all around. We’ve heard stories of people who can feel the benefits of kimchi within hours of consumption.
And not to mention: it’s just that GOOD! Koreans actually tend to consume about 40 pounds of kimchi per year. The blend of spicy, salty, and savory flavors accompany such amazing benefits for your physical and mental well-being. It is truly no surprise that many people across the globe consume kimchi.
Ways to Eat Kimchi
It’s pretty simple. Kimchi has a rather sour and savory taste, but it can complement so many dishes. Here are some ways to consume kimchi:
- On its own. Yup, just pop that fiber-filled superfood into your mouth and call it a day!
- With fried rice. This is a common dish everywhere; it’s just so classic, it’ll never lose its popularity within the foodie community.
- With eggs. Whether they’re scrambled, sunny-side, or boiled, eggs can always be elevated with the right amount of kimchi.
- With Korean BBQ. This is a no-brainer.
- With noodles. You can’t go wrong with vegetables and udon! This option is excellent, because there are endless variations of this dish; it all comes down to what you want!
- With stew. This fits seamlessly with traditional Korean tofu stew.
- In a grain bowl. Yes, eating kimchi CAN get healthier!
- As a pancake. This is an innovative one.
- On pizza. Nope, this isn’t a joke! This Korean side dish augments this classic Italian dish quite nicely.
Despite its popularity, kimchi is often referred to as an acquired taste, but because there are countless ways to serve it, there’s bound to be something there for everyone.
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