cold kimchi in a white bowl

Can you microwave kimchi? It’s really more of a should you microwave kimchi? If you’re a fan of Korean food, then you’ve probably had kimchi before. Kimchi is a traditional dish from Korea that is made of fermented cabbage and other vegetables. It has a spicy and sour taste, and is usually eaten cold. But in the recent years, there has been interest in eating it warm.

Kimchi is considered to be very healthy, packed full of vitamins, minerals, and probiotics. But can you microwave kimchi? Yes, you can microwave kimchi, but there are certain precautions to take.

Read on to learn more.

cold kimchi in a white bowl

Can You Microwave Kimchi?

Kimchi can be microwaved, but it’s important to heat it at the lowest setting to avoid killing the bacteria or probiotics in it. Kimchi is a fermented dish, and the fermentation process produces healthy bacteria that are good for your gut. These probiotics can help with digestion and boost your immune system. So, if you’re looking for an easy way to add some probiotics to your diet, kimchi is the way to go. And you can still enjoy eating it warm by heating it up in the microwave.

Below we will go over step by step how to microwave kimchi so all vitamins, minerals, and bacteria are retained as much as possible.

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables. The most common ingredients are cabbage, radish, and scallion, but there are many variations. Kimchi is typically served as a side dish, but can also be eaten as a main course.

The fermentation process gives kimchi a sour and spicy taste. It is usually eaten cold, but can also be heated. Kimchi can be found at most Korean restaurants and is also available in grocery stores.

Health Benefits of Kimchi

The health benefits of kimchi are vast. The bacteria strain found in kimchi, Lactobacillus plantarum, has been shown to have a host of health benefits.

These include:

  • reducing inflammation
  • boosting the immune system
  • aiding in digestion, and
  • helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

Kimchi is also high in antioxidants, which help to protect the body against damage from free radicals.

All of these health benefits should be taken into consideration when you are asking yourself, can you microwave kimchi?

Is Kimchi supposed to be eaten hot or cold?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables. It has a tangy, pungent acidic taste, a flavor profile very specific to pickled vegetables, that you can only experience when eaten cold. However, kimchi has been added to soups and stews over the years adding a nice contrast. While kimchi can technically be eaten either hot or cold, and there are pros and cons to both.


Eating it hot provides a slightly different flavor profile, while eating it cold allows the flavors to meld together more and makes it a bit crunchier. Eating it cold will give you more of a pronounced traditional flavor.

Health Benefits

Kimchi is loaded with healthy gut loving bacteria. Unfortunately, when heated or microwaved improperly, the heat can kill them. In order to retain the most benefits health wise, it’s best to eat kimchi cold. However, as we will discuss below, there is a right way to microwave kimchi so many of the nutrients are still retained.

How to Microwave Kimchi Step by Step

It’s actually perfectly safe to microwave kimchi when done correctly. In fact, microwaving kimchi is a great way to heat it up quickly without losing any of its nutritional value. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to enjoy kimchi, then microwaving it is the way to go.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to microwaving kimchi!

What you Need:

  • Microwave Safe Bowl
  • Lid or saran wrap
  • A little water
  • Portion of Kimchi
  • Internal Thermometer

Step One: Place the kimchi in a microwave-safe dish. Only use the amount you want to eat at that time. It isn’t a great idea to reheat kimchi multiple times, as this will further decrease the nutritional value.

Step Two: Add a little water to the dish, just enough to moisten the kimchi.

Step Three: Cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap and microwave on the lowest setting and heat it in 15 to 20 second intervals. After these intervals, take an internal thermometer and measure the kimchi’s temperature.

Step Four: Remove the dish from the microwave and let it sit for a minute or two to cool down before eating.

And that’s all there is to it! Microwaving kimchi is quick, easy, and doesn’t require any special equipment. You just need to pay a little extra attention to it so it retains all nutritional value!

Does Microwaving Kimchi Kill the Probiotics?

Microwaving has potential to kill the probiotics in kimchi. Using heat >115 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the bacteria. However, if you are using the lowest setting on the microwave as detailed above and checking it every 15 to 20 seconds, you will retain as much healthy bacteria as possible.

Final Thoughts, Can You Microwave Kimchi?

Yes you can microwave kimchi! You really just need to make sure you don’t heat it up too hot though so you retain the majority of the probiotics and healthy bacteria!

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