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Postcards from the Bench

Creating Kimchi Salt

September 2020 | Brian, Associate Scientist I

I grew up overseas, grateful to experience a wide variety of food and cuisine. Prior to becoming a food scientist, I was a chef at a James Beard Award Winning restaurant group – so food has truly been a focal point across my entire life. When I received the opportunity to work on a kimchi salt project, I jumped at the chance to incorporate all the flavors, techniques, and food I’ve been exposed to from different applications of my work.

Crunchy, tangy, and sometimes spicy - kimchi, celebrates Korean roots at its core but has evolved into a popular profile across many dishes and cultures, adding depth to sandwiches, eggs, rice and more. My vision for the kimchi salt was to create a surprisingly complex flavor profile that balanced the funkier notes of kimchi, with a combination of spices, extracts and flavors, resulting in a subtler, less ‘in-your-face’ taste experience that would be an approachable complement a wide array of bases. Gochugaru, a Korean chili powder provided a pleasantly smoky heat up front, followed by allium notes of garlic and onion. The taste experience pops in the middle with punchy ginger notes and a slight hint of shrimp/seafood umami. The finishing touch? A subtle pucker from a slightly fermented cabbage flavor.

Complex? Of course! The opportunities are truly endless when it comes to kimchi salt. From popcorn to a dry rub for meats – think chicken wings or fried fish – and an exciting seasoning for French fries and vegetables, it’s easy to bring this profile to life in any applications.

To add a kick of kimchi salt to your innovation, contact your McCormick account manager or contact us today.