Can You Microwave Kimchi?

Can You Microwave Kimchi?

Q. This may be a weird question, but I need to know the answer. I really enjoy eating kimchi. Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented food made primarily from cabbage that is traditionally fairly spicy. It is sometimes eaten on its own, but more often used as a condiment. The thing is, I don’t particularly enjoy eating it cold. I know that traditionally it’s eaten chilled or at room temperature, but I prefer mine heated up. At home, I add it to soups, rice, and stir fries. Sometimes I even put it on my hamburger! I typically heat it up on the stove as part of the meal it’s put in. Lately I’ve been wanting to bring it to work for lunch, but we only have a microwave at work. I’ve never tried microwaving kimchi before and I’m not sure the best way to do it. Can you microwave kimchi?


A. Yes, you can microwave kimchi. Kimchi is a fermented food with a strong flavour and smell, and eating it warm can make the taste a little less sharp. However, it is likely to make the smell stronger, so be aware of that when microwaving it at work! If you are planning to eat it as a side dish heated up, make sure to heat it in small portions. It is not recommend to heat an entire container of kimchi that will not be consumed within a few days.

Whether you plan on microwaving kimchi by itself or as part of a dish, begin by placing it in a microwave-safe container. If you have a microwave cover available, place that on top to help speed up the process and heat the food more evenly.

When heating up kimchi, you want to heat it gently so that the nutritional value stays intact and the flavour profile stays much the same. I recommend heating it on low or even medium. Begin with 15-20 seconds, checking on the heat after each interval until the desired temperature is achieved. Then, allow the kimchi to stand for a minute or two before consuming to allow the flavours and the heat to be distributed evenly.

Refrigerate any leftover portions of kimchi immediately, and consume within a few days. It is not recommended to reheat kimchi that has already been heated in the microwave. Discard any unused portions after a few days.

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