Trader Joe’s Dried Kimchi

Trader Joe's Dried Kimchi

I’ve mentioned my feelings about kimchi in one or two previous posts. It scares the hell out of me. It’s strange, it’s fermented and it’s cabbage. It’s not intimidating. 

Not just kimchi is what terrifies my stomach, but also all types of fermented cabbage like sauerkraut.

You can’t deny that I am a trooper. I have eaten sauerkraut with hotdogs, and with porkchops. I’ve had kimchi at excellent Asian restaurants, mostly Korean BBQ places. It’s a variety of different types that I’ve tried. Some varieties were more appealing than the cabbage-based ones, but I don’t think I would eat them every day. It’s just not something I can get into.

Recently, an Excellent article on fermented foods by Ellen Byron went up on the Wall Street Journal site. If that link takes to a screen that says “Get the Full Story”, it means that they have placed the article behind their paid subscriber walls. It really got me thinking. It made me think that Sriracha, a wonderful condiment, could actually be fermented. This was something I didn’t know, so maybe this kimchi experiment deserves another try. 
The dryness of this Trader Joe’s product might have reduced the grossness of the kimchi. It’s like cabbage being slowly broken down by millions of bacteria. After putting off the consumption of dried kimchi for as long as I could, I finally opened the bag. The bag contained dozens of pieces of dried kimchi, along with a dusting a powdered version the traditional red spices that you would find on regular kimchi. It looked and felt like the bag of kale chips I reviewed a while back. However, the taste was quite different to the kale chips.

It could be a result of my aversion toward kimchi. However, I can’t recommend this stuff the same way I recommended that bag of dried kale with weird nacho sauce. It still tastes like rotting bacon!

It tasted a lot better when I had it with ramen. But in the latter case it is still wet. I think the millions of tiny bacteria responsible to the cabbage’s sourness are in suspended animation for several months. When I put it in my bowl of warm soup, they start to swim around, eating bits of cabbage, ramen, and trying to establish their own culture before I can swallow them all.

Sonia, my wife who enjoys regular kimchi, thought TJ’s Dried Kimchi was bland. I disagree. It tastes good to me. Sour like authentic rotting cabbage. I also tried the spices, which I may have enjoyed if sprinkled on, say, rotting cabbage. KaleInstead of rotting cabbage. Sonia and I would never buy this product again. But maybe for different reasons. This product is not recommended if you are a fan of regular cabbage-based Kimchi. I know there are many kimchi enthusiasts out there. I wish I could join them. This is one food that I am afraid I will never truly appreciate.

Sonia rates it 3 stars. I rate it 2.5.

Bottom line: 5.5 points out of 10.