Can kimchi expire

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “can kimchi expire?” We will also discuss what kimchi is, how it is made, what is its shelf life, and how long kimchi lasts refrigerated after opening.

Can kimchi expire?

Yes, kimchi can expire. But if you do not detect any odd smell or are mold-free, you can safely eat that piece of kimchi. Kimchi is a Korean traditional dish and is made by fermenting vegetables in a seasoned brine. Have you ever tried it?

If you leave your kimchi at room temperature, it can last 1 week after opening. But if you refrigerate it, the freshness can be held for longer, around 3 to 6 months. Kimchi needs to be refrigerated at or below 4°C.

What is kimchi?

Since Korean culture has been under the spotlight for the last few years, kimchi’s popularity has grown and many may ask what does kimchi taste like? It is completely normal that after binge-watching K-dramas you want to know what kimchi is about.

So, kimchi is widely used in Korean cuisine, it has a unique flavor, and it is very versatile. It is made from cabbage and seasoned with garlic, ginger, and fish sauce. Kimchi has diverse flavors.

Kimchi can work as a condiment, an ingredient, a dip, or even a side dish! Can you imagine such a thing?

What is the history of kimchi?

Kimchi was first prepared about 3000 years ago, and ever since it was common for people to prepare kimchi to preserve their vegetables for longer. This was because during the freezing cold winter many Koreans died of starvation.

The original kimchi was made from radishes, but as time passed some other veggies were used to replicate this dish with different flavors and textures. It is thought that about 200 types of kimchis exist! 

Some of the most popular kinds of kimchi are:

  • Kkadugi, this dish uses cubed radishes.
  • Mul kimchi


  • Chonggak kimchi 

There is such a huge variety of kimchi in popular Korean dishes, and also in some other Asian countries.

How can you prepare kimchi?

We will give you a nice recipe we found, it is from kitchn. Normally, your first experience with kimchi is not the best, as you are not familiar with the flavor of this famous side dish.

Traditional kimchi has napa cabbage and is made by the mechanism of Lacto-fermentation. This mechanism consists in soaking foods in salt water for some time. But how does it work? Well, when this process occurs, certain Lactobacillus bacteria would survive by eating the salt, and that way Lacto-fermentation takes place. 

Is Lactobacillus good for human health?

Lactobacillus is bacteria that can be found in the digestive tract of animals, humans included. Consuming fermented products, like kimchi, provides us with this type of bacteria that has several health benefits, such as:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Antiallergic effects
  • Preservation of food
  • Antifungal actions

There are so many benefits that lactic acid bacteria have on human health, to get further guidance on this subject, click here.

How can you tell your kimchi has expired?

It is known that if your kimchi smells normal or exhibits any mold, then it is not safe for human consumption. Kimchi has a natural pungent odor that works as an indicator, if your kimchi does not have this smell, it might have gone bad.

Avoid consuming kimchi with mold, or any food. You can tell there is mold in kimchi because little blue and green dots will be there, with a fuzzy appearance. Molds are not the only thing to worry about, they can also harbor bacteria!

Whenever you see mold in your kimchi, throw it away and don’t think about smelling it as mold can be dangerous to breathe, and it can lead to some respiratory issues.

How can you avoid kimchi going bad quickly?

The key is to take care of appropriate storage. Once you have opened the jar, it needs to be refrigerated and consumed. It is not advisable to keep kimchi at room temperature because it can lead to harmful bacteria growth.

Kimchi needs to be fermented and stored at a temperature of 4°C, to avoid temperature variations as possible. Once your kimchi is done, make sure you place it in clean containers, as any bacteria from dirt can spoil it.

Also, avoid opening the container too often, and avoid unnecessary exposure to the environment, it is really easy for bacteria to enter the container and cause spoilage. Keep your kimchi as covered as possible.


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “can kimchi expire?” We have also discussed other queries related to the subject at hand. 

Hope you found this blog useful. If you have any questions, please let us know.


What was missing from this post which could have made it better?

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.