Uses For Kimchi Brine Leftovers
If you are anything like us your kitchen just isn’t complete without a jar of kimchi on hand at all times. But what can you do with the leftover kimchi brine? Here are some unique and tasty uses for kimchi brine.
Our sweet Korean kimchi recipe is ideal for serving as a side dish, that even your kids will love. No matter what type of kimchi you decide to make at home, there will inevitably be leftover brine after the fermentation process. The brine is essentially the salted water that is used to ferment the vegetables into kimchi.
We love experimenting with new, innovative ways to use our food leftovers. There is nothing better than knowing you used every part of your food and the leftover ingredients. Food waste is a huge problem with one-third of food produced for human consumption going to waste globally every year, so cutting back our waste is just one way we can have a positive impact.
As well as reducing food waste, using the kimchi brine in other recipes adds a powerful flavor that you would be hard-pressed to replicate with other ingredients.
Give a new life to your kimchi brine and find the leftover brine a new purpose from this helpful list.
You may like: What Does Kimchi Taste Like?
1. Kimchi Pickled Eggs
Considering how easy it is to make kimchi pickled eggs at home, they taste insanely
delicious. Once you try kimchi fermented eggs you will struggle to go back to simple
hard-boiled eggs. The kimchi-pickled eggs are bursting with flavor and take just a couple of minutes to prepare with your leftover kimchi brine and a handful of other ingredients.
2. Kick Start Your Next Fermentation
Although you can certainly make great kimchi without using brine as a starter culture, this can speed up the fermentation process. Fermented vegetable brine can be used to boost the process of creating sauerkraut and kimchi. If you enjoy the more sour taste of fermented foods you can enhance this using older brine from a previous batch of kimchi. This can also help unify your batches so that your homemade kimchi tastes similar to former batches.
3. Drink as a Gut Shot
Drink diluted brine concentrate as a “gut shot” and capitalize on the kimchi juice’s ability to aid immune system support and act as a digestion aid supplement. To take a kimchi ‘gut shot’ simply mix the brine with purified water in a 1:1 ratio.
4. Bloody Mary Mix
Speaking of drinking, why not use the brine to add a kick to a spicy Bloody Mary. This drink is made with other classic ingredients such as tomato juice, tabasco, celery, and vodka. You can swap the lemon juice for kimchi brine as the kimchi will add that acidic element.
5. Substitute for Acidic Ingredients
Many acidic ingredients in cooking can be substituted with kimchi brine. This is especially popular in Asian cuisine but you can use the acidic brine in replacement of vinegar or lemon juice. This will also add a lovely spice to your dish to help bring it alive.
A lot of marinade recipes will use a base of vinegar with your can substitute with kimchi
brine. The brine marinade will tenderize many types of meat. A personal favorite of ours is chicken, as it tastes wonderful with the brine flavor after being grilled, roasted, or sautéed.
7. Salad Dressings, Sauces, and Dips
Any big fans of the tang in kimchi will love adding the brine to their sauces, dressings, and dips. You can level up the taste factor in many dips from ketchup, mayo, and aioli to hummus and guacamole. For the latter, use brine in replacement of lemon juice.
It can even be used alone, similarly to how you would use a hot sauce, such as sriracha.
Add your spicy kimchi brine as a topper to mac ‘n’ cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, or
The acidity in the brine can also work insanely well in salad dressings. Plus you get the
additional benefits from the probiotics in the kimchi you wouldn’t get with an alternative, such as vinegar. Get busy in the kitchen and mix up your recipes. The best way to know how much kimchi brine to use is to just get going and experiment to find the perfect combination of ingredients.
8. Use In Recipes
Honestly, we could write an entire blog post on what recipes work well with kimchi brine. As well as the salad dressings, sauces, and dips we covered you can also use kimchi as a star ingredient in your dishes. I’m sure the spice lovers amongst you will argue that you can add kimchi and its brine to just about anything, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Top your veggies with a splash of kimchi brine to bring them alive.
- Incorporate brine into your ramen to add a spicy element to the noodle soup.
- Use kimchi and the brine as a star ingredient in kimchi egg fried rice, or vegan
- Mix up your deviled eggs.
- As a vegan-friendly alternative to cultured dairy and yogurt in soup, use leftover brine as a soup base.
- Sub in for pickle juice in tuna salad for the same tangy flavor.
9. Enhance Breakdown Of Food
If you struggle with your digestion you may benefit from soaking your grains, legumes,
pulses, and even ground flour in brine. Add a few tablespoons of acidic brine to your water when soaking and leave for a minimum of 12 hours to get maximum benefits. The probiotic lactic acid bacteria in kimchi reduces phytic acid concentrations and allows the soaked foods to be broken down more easily and therefore limit digestive issues. This is enormously helpful for those who suffer from bowel disorders such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome).
If you haven’t got the energy to make a gutshot, use your brine in a recipe, or for any of the other ideas listed then the next best option would be to compost your kimchi brine using the bokashi method. Bokashi is a Japanese word that simply translates to “fermented organic matter” which feeds your compost with beneficial microbes.
If you make kimchi that is particularly high in salt you may wish to brew it in a compost teapot for a couple of days to reduce the salt concentration which may damage your plants in large quantities. Even diluted Kimchi brine is packed with essential probiotics, vitamins, and minerals that your garden can benefit from.
This post was all about the many uses for leftover kimchi brine.
Did I answer all your questions about how to use leftover kimchi brine?
We looked at how we can prevent food waste and give new life to everyday recipes by adding kimchi brine.
We examined Bokashi, the technique of feeding your compost with beneficial microbes.
Ultimately, we answered the question of “What can we do with leftover kimchi juice?”
Again, make sure and check out my list of recommended tools for fermenting.
I take all the guesswork and legwork out of it for you by only listing the best of the best, including fermentation crocks, perfect for making kimchi.
These are items I either own, have used, or just researched thoroughly, so I know they are the highest-rated and will get you precisely what you need.