Can You Microwave Kimchi?

Yes, you can microwave kimchi. Use a microwave-safe container or dish and heat the kimchi on medium heat to avoid overcooking or drying it out. The spice levels may intensify slightly when heated, so adjust accordingly.

Can You Microwave Kimchi

How to Microwave Kimchi

Follow this step-by-step guide for microwaving your kimchi:

Step 1: Scoop the Required Amount of Kimchi

Scoop the required amount of kimchi into a microwavable bowl. This ensures that you have precisely the right amount to be heated, and it helps to maximize the flavor and texture of the dish.

When transferring the kimchi, it is important to use a microwavable bowl or dish that is safe for microwave use. This ensures that the kimchi is heated evenly and thoroughly without any risk of harmful radiation. Look for a microwave-safe container that can withstand medium heat.

It is crucial to only transfer the necessary amount of kimchi into the bowl. Avoid re-microwaving any leftovers as it can affect the taste and quality of the kimchi. If you have any leftover cold kimchi, save it for another dish or enjoy it as a side dish.

Step 2: Use a Lid on the Bowl

Use a lid on the bowl. This simple step serves two important purposes.

Using a lid helps prevent moisture loss during the microwaving process. Kimchi, being a fermented dish, already contains some natural liquids that contribute to its flavor and texture. By covering the bowl with a lid, you can retain these moisture levels, ensuring that the kimchi remains juicy and tender.

Using a lid on the bowl helps to minimize the spread of the strong aroma that kimchi is known for. While the aroma is incredibly appealing to those who love the dish, it can be overpowering and may linger in your microwave if not contained. Using a lid helps trap the aroma within the bowl, preventing it from permeating the entire kitchen.

Step 3: Adjust the Settings of the Microwave

Kimchi does not require high heat, as excessive heat can alter its flavor and texture. For optimal results, it is recommended to reduce the heating power of your microwave to medium or low.

By reducing the heat, you can preserve the unique taste and texture of the kimchi while ensuring that it is heated evenly. This moderate heat allows the flavors to meld together and creates a delicious side dish that complements a variety of Korean dishes.

Step 4: Hit the START Button

Once you have adjusted the heat settings of your microwave, it’s time to heat the kimchi. Place the microwave-safe container or dish with the kimchi inside the microwave and close the door securely. Now, it’s time to hit the START button and let the microwave work its magic. Set the heating time for 20 seconds and let the microwave do its job. This short burst of heat should be sufficient to warm up the kimchi without changing its flavor or texture.

After the time is up, it’s important to check the temperature of the kimchi. Use a fork or spoon to see if it has reached your desired warmth. If you prefer it a bit hotter, you may repeat the heating process in 20-second intervals until it reaches the desired temperature. To ensure even heat distribution, leave the kimchi in the microwave for about a minute before removing it. This allows the heat to spread evenly throughout the dish. Be cautious when handling the container, as it may be hot.

Now that your kimchi is perfectly warmed, it is ready to be served as a delicious side dish or used in other Korean recipes. Remember, microwaving kimchi in short intervals and with moderate heat helps retain its original flavors and benefits. Enjoy the spicy taste, the powerful aroma of fermented goodness, and the health benefits it brings to your everyday meals!

Is It Safe To Microwave Kimchi

Yes, it is safe to microwave kimchi as long as you use a microwave-safe container or dish. Place the kimchi in the dish, cover it with a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap with a small vent, and heat it on medium heat for short intervals, like 20 seconds, until it reaches your desired temperature.

Does Microwaving Kimchi Interfere with its Health Benefits

Microwaving kimchi can slightly reduce its health benefits as it may kill some of the beneficial bacteria present in the fermented food. However, it still retains many of its nutritional properties and can still be enjoyed as a healthy food option.

Helpful Tips When Microwaving Kimchi

Microwaving kimchi is a convenient way to enjoy this popular Korean dish while maintaining its delicious flavors. However, there are a few helpful tips to keep in mind to ensure the best results. Here are some of the most important ones:

1. Add a splash of water or broth

It is important to add a splash of water or broth to keep the dish moist and prevent it from drying out. This simple step helps to retain the juiciness and freshness of the kimchi, ensuring that it remains flavorful and delicious.

By adding a small amount of water or broth, the moisture in the microwave helps to steam the kimchi, keeping it moist and preventing it from becoming dry and rubbery. This is especially important if you are reheating leftover kimchi or if you have stored it in the refrigerator, as the cold temperature can often cause the kimchi to lose its moisture.

2. Use a low to the medium setting

It is important to use a low to medium setting on your microwave. High heat can overcook the kimchi, resulting in a texture and taste that may not be as enjoyable. To ensure the best results, follow these steps to adjust the microwave settings:

  1. Start by placing the kimchi in a microwave-safe dish or container. It is recommended to use a dish with a microwave-safe cover or a microwave-safe plastic wrap to retain moisture and prevent any splatters.
  2. Set your microwave to a low to medium power level. This will allow the kimchi to heat through evenly without risking overcooking or drying out.
  3. Microwaving in 20-second intervals is recommended. Check on the kimchi after each interval to assess its temperature and desired warmth. This method allows for better control over the heating process.

By using a low to medium setting, you can preserve the texture and taste of the kimchi while ensuring it is heated thoroughly. This is particularly important for Korean dishes like kimchi fried rice, kimchi dumplings, or kimchi pancakes, where the flavor of the kimchi is an integral part of the dish.

3. Use a microwave-safe dish

It is crucial to use a microwave-safe dish to ensure both the safety of the dish and the quality of the kimchi. Microwave-safe dishes are specifically designed to prevent harmful chemicals from leaching into the food during the heating process.

Using a dish that is not microwave-safe can lead to the transfer of potentially harmful substances from the dish into the kimchi. This can compromise the taste, texture, and overall quality of the dish. Additionally, it may pose health risks if these chemicals are ingested.

4. Stir after each interval

Stir the dish after each interval. Stirring helps to distribute the heat evenly throughout the kimchi, preventing overcooking in one spot and maintaining its delicious taste and texture. When microwaving food, the heat is often concentrated in certain areas of the dish, leading to uneven cooking. This can result in some parts of the kimchi being overcooked and others remaining undercooked.

By stirring the kimchi after each interval, you can mix it well and evenly distribute the heat. This allows the kimchi to cook more uniformly, ensuring that every bite is flavorful and perfectly cooked.


How should you heat kimchi in the microwave?

To heat kimchi, place it in a microwave-safe dish or container and cover it with a microwave-safe cover or plastic wrap with a small vent. Heat it on medium heat for short intervals, such as 20 seconds, until it reaches your desired temperature.

Does microwaving change the taste or texture of kimchi?

Microwaving kimchi can reduce its powerful aroma and moderate its spiciness. While the flavor may be slightly altered, the overall taste and texture of the dish remain delicious.

Can microwaving kimchi destroy its health benefits?

Microwaving kimchi at moderate heat doesn’t significantly affect its health benefits. The beneficial bacteria and fermentation process that provide probiotics and aid digestion remain intact.

Can you use microwaved kimchi in other dishes?

Absolutely! Microwaved kimchi can still be used as a flavorful side dish or added to various Korean meals like kimchi fried rice, kimchi dumplings, or cold kimchi noodles. It remains a versatile and all-around delicious ingredient.

How Long Should You Microwave Kimchi?

It is best to do so in short intervals to avoid overcooking or damaging its beneficial bacteria. If you are reheating a small portion, 20-second intervals on medium heat should be sufficient. For larger quantities, increase the time accordingly, but remember to check the kimchi’s temperature and stir it between intervals to ensure even heating.

Does Microwaving Kimchi Kill the Probiotics?

Yes, microwaving kimchi can reduce the amount of beneficial bacteria and probiotics found in the dish. The high temperatures generated in the microwave can potentially kill off some of the live cultures that contribute to the fermentation process and the health benefits associated with kimchi.


While it is possible to microwave kimchi, it is not recommended as it can alter the taste and texture of the dish. It is best to enjoy kimchi in its traditional form to fully appreciate its flavors and benefits. However, if microwaving is necessary, it is important to do so with caution and in small increments to prevent overcooking or drying out the kimchi. Ultimately, the choice of how to prepare and enjoy kimchi is up to personal preference, but it is always important to consider the potential impact on the dish.

Scroll to Top