How To Tell If Kimchi Is Bad?

While it is impossible to tell if kimchi is terrible, it is possible to recognize when it is past its prime. The best time to eat kimchi is the same day it was made. It will last for up to a year if stored properly, but if you open it up before then, you’ll probably end up wasting it. Even if you don’t see any obvious signs, it’s best to avoid buying kimchi unless it’s been opened, as it will lose its quality over time.


Kimchi can last a long time if it’s stored properly. Its appearance and smell are usually quite distinct, but some may be past their best. A good rule of thumb is to ensure the kimchi has not gone bad before its recommended shelf life. This way, you’ll be able to use it right away. Once it’s been opened, it’s time to eat it.

Kimchi Nutrition Fact

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How To Tell If Kimchi Is Bad?

When properly preserved, kimchi has a lengthy shelf life. However, it does go wrong. Evil doesn’t necessarily imply that this K-something food is spoilt, but there will be symptoms that indicate that kimchi should be consumed in moderation for health reasons. The following are the signs:


Mold does not imply that kimchi is damaged; nevertheless, it grows on old kimchi and signals that it should not be consumed. Mold contains microorganisms; thus, ignoring the warning and eating it could result in food illness.

If you see mold on the top of the jar, it’s time to throw it out. The cap may have a swollen appearance, which signifies that the kimchi has gone wrong. If you notice a strange odor or taste, kimchi is probably old and should be thrown out. The smell of rotten kombu should be enough to put you off the dish.

If you notice mold, moldy kimchi should be discarded as soon as possible. Rotten kimchi smells terrible and should be discarded. You can tell if kimchi is rotten by looking at its skin color. If it’s too dark, it’s not fresh. If the kimchi is brown or orange, the container should be airtight. If it’s too dark, it is past its best date.

Smells And Tastes Off

It’s difficult to define, but if you examine your kimchi and notice a strange smell or flavor in addition to it being sourer, it’s a sign that it’s past its prime and should be destroyed for health concerns.

The kimchi is most likely bad if you smell a strong, sour smell or mold. It may be too soft and sour to eat, and it may have gone wrong. The cap may be bulging, or the liquid inside has a fizzy or squirting consistency. Those things are signs that the kimchi is old and should be thrown out.


The first step to tell if your kimchi is terrible is to look for visual signs. If you see a white film on top or any mold, you should throw it out. Otherwise, it could be a good sign. If you’re not sure how to tell if kimchi is spoiled, keep reading for some tips and tricks. In the meantime, you can always use this information to avoid wasting your money on contaminated kimchi.

Another key sign that kimchi is no longer good is the presence of mold or an unsavory smell. The mold will appear as fuzzy white spots on the surface of the kimchi and will be a definite warning sign that it’s no longer suitable. It may also be orange or red. If you notice either of these signs, throw the unused kimchi away. It’s essential to make sure your kimbap is fresh and smelling well.


When It Comes To Kimchi, How Long Does It Last?

Seasoned kimchi is usually put into a sterile, airtight jar and covered with brine before fermenting. Some individuals like to add a splash of rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar to their salads.

Sterilization is essential for preventing the growth of pathogens like E. coli, Salmonella, and others that can cause food poisoning.

It ferments in 3–4 days or the fridge at room temperature, and it takes 2–3 weeks. Lactic acid bacteria, as well as other helpful bacteria, are produced during this process.

Kimchi keeps for a week at room temperature after being opened.

It keeps much longer in the refrigerator — around 3–6 months — and ferments, resulting in a sourer taste. Keep your kimchi refrigerated at or below 39°F (4°C) since warmer temperatures will hasten deterioration.

After three months, you may opt to toss your kimchi if you prefer a milder flavor or a crunchier texture. Its flavor may alter dramatically beyond this stage, turning mushy.

However, kimchi may be okay to consume for another three months if no mold indicates deterioration. If you don’t want to throw it away but don’t enjoy the sour flavor, try incorporating it into fried rice or stew dishes.

What Is The Best Way To Store Kimchi?

Kimchi should be refrigerated once opened to extend its shelf life.

Kimchi is not shelf-stable because of its various beneficial bacteria and should not be kept at room temperature. In truth, store-bought kimchi is fermented and kept at a consistent temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit.

Before resealing the container, ensure that all components are entirely submerged in the brine.

Furthermore, whenever you handle kimchi in its container, you should use clean tools since used or dirty utensils may introduce undesired bacteria that might cause spoiling.

Additionally, it would help if you refrained from opening and closing the container regularly. Unwanted organisms may be attracted to your kimchi due to exposure to air.

If you have a large jar of kimchi, it can be easier to portion it out into smaller containers as you go, and this will aid in its preservation.


Is Kimchi Freezable?

Kimchi may be frozen, and the shelf life of unopened kimchi can be extended to up to seven years when frozen. If you wish to freeze kimchi that has already been opened and used, keep it in the freezer for no more than three months.

Unopened kimchi can be found in either a glass or plastic container.

Use a clean tool, such as a clean and well-built kitchen tong to keep unopened kimchi that comes in a glass bottle. The kimchi inside the bottle should then be transferred to freezer bags or freezer-safe containers.

In a freezer, a glass bottle can explode, which is dangerous. If you’re transferring it to a freezer-safe container, leave 1–2 inches of space at the top. Also, before freezing, make sure the freezer bags or freezer-friendly containers are adequately sealed.

You can freeze the unopened plastic container immediately in the freezer if you wish to store unopened kimchi that comes in a plastic container.

Use a clean tool to shovel opened kimchi into freezer bags or freezer-friendly containers. Allow 1–2 inches of space on top for freezer-safe containers. Before freezing, make sure the freezer bags or freezer-friendly containers are well sealed.


Despite its long shelf life, kimchi can still develop mold. The same applies to kimchi made from seafood. Although the veggies themselves do not spoil, the seafood in kimchi is susceptible to bacteria and fungi. If kimchi is spoiled, don’t discard it. If you’re not sure whether kimchi is terrible, keep it in the refrigerator to prevent it from causing further damage.

If you’re not sure whether your kimchi is terrible, you should check the fermentation process. It will only last a week as long as it is not fermenting. Assuming that you’re not using it immediately, it’s best to refrigerate it to slow down the fermentation process. If the fermentation process is too fast, you can store the kimchi at room temperature.