Product Review: Granny Choe’s Kimchi
Greetings! Sunnie and I have been very bad bloggers lately…. I thought I would break the drought with a long, long overdue post, and a first of its kind on Vegan8Korean – a product review!
One of the biggest challenges of being vegan and eating Korean is the kimchi. You’ve got to have kimchi, but so often, the available kimchis in stores are not vegan – they have shrimp or other sea animals in them. This isn’t always the case, and you can find vegan kimchi, but things get even more complicated if you’re trying to find kimchi that doesn’t have msg in it either (seriously, why do we need that crap in our healthy, pro-biotic kimchi?!).
We were contacted by the good people at Granny Choe’s to see if we’d be interested in trying out their kimchi. They are available in some stores, but not around here, and so they mailed us over three sample jars in a cold pack. You can buy their kimchi directly from them online, so this was a good opportunity for us to check out how their shipping process works too as they aren’t yet available in stores in our area.
As you can see in the picture above, their kimchi is actually labeled vegan! Right there on the label! You don’t have to look at the ingredients to figure it out yourself – what a brilliant concept! Right away we can tell these guys are onto something here. They also don’t have msg or artificial preservatives in any of their kimchis. You’re getting legit, healthy kimchi from them.
The three samples they sent us arrived in a cold pack, and we received a jar of the traditional cabbage kimchi, a white kimchi (this is the traditional, non-spicy kimchi that was in Korea before the chili pepper was introduced and transformed Korean cuisine), and one of my very favorite kimchis, ggakdugi, radish cube kimchi.
The first kimchi we sampled was the traditional, cabbage kimchi. Sunnie’s mom and dad were visiting us (well, visiting their grandson – but we were here too), and so we had some hardcore kimchi experts lending their opinions to our review.
Our conclusion – yummy! This was a good, solid kimchi. It is definitely a more traditional kimchi, meaning that some kimchis you find in restaurants are quite young and not aged, which makes them less sour, but your traditional kimchi will have a bit of that sour flavor and bite to it – and that’s a good thing. We had that here and really liked it.
The second kimchi we tried was the white kimchi. Now this is a very mild, non-spicy kimchi. Sunnie loves this kind of kimchi, but I’ve never been a big fan of it. I like it better if it is sauteed, which gives it an almost buttery sort of flavor, but otherwise, it’s a bit mild for me. I go more for big flavors.
However, Sunnie, being a fan of these kind of kimchis, liked this one best of our three samples. Her mom also was a fan of it. The two of them went through this jar pretty quickly, and it was gone first.
The final kimchi we reviewed is one of my favorite kimchis, ggakdugi – radish kimchi. This is one that I seldom get because it’s hard to find a vegan version available locally, and we don’t make it as often as we make our regular, cabbage kimchi.
Unfortunately, this one, while very pretty, was our least favorite amongst the three. The main issue was the texture was a little too soft. We want some bite and crispness to it. We were all unanimous in this. I don’t know if the softness was from being too warm in shipping, aging (kimchi is probiotic – so the bacteria continues to culture and the kimchi changes as it ages), or just preparation, but we definitely wanted more crispness (that being said, I still ate the whole jar).
So, many thanks to Granny Choe’s for letting us review their kimchi (and apologies for taking so long to get the post up). It’s great to have a company making healthy, vegan kimchi available. Check out their website to see if their products are available near you or to place an order directly from them!