Kombucha, kimchi and other fermented foods you can make at home

Step into the world of fermentation with these simple projects.

Low Jia Ying
Low Jia Ying

Published: 11 August 2020, 9:00 PM

While staying home over the past couple of months, I fell down the rabbit role of binge-watching Bon Appétit’s YouTube series, It’s Alive.

The series, in which the host tries to make different fermented foods, inspired me to try out different fermentation projects at home.

And let’s just say that my family now has a very active digestive system after feasting on kombucha and kimchi all the time.

Here are four fermentation projects I have tried at home:

1. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented sweetened tea that is made with the help of a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).

It has a distinct sweet and sour flavour, and I’ll admit: it’s a bit of an acquired taste.

After you get used to the initial sourness, it’s a deliciously fizzy and sweet drink that is perfect for hot days.

Check out this video to learn more about the process.

I fell in love with the drink while I was on exchange in the United States, where drinking kombucha was becoming a trend.

Unfortunately, Singapore’s supermarkets sell them for at least $7 a bottle. Refusing to pay that much, I bought my very own scoby off Carousell, and began my kombucha-making journey.

This ‘mother’ scoby, as it is often referred to, produced many scoby babies for us over time. This meant that we had almost a never-ending supply of kombucha.

The squishy scoby is what ferments the rest of the tea.


One of the many scobys that have grown from the original one I bought. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/LOW JIA YING


The second fermentation was when things got messy in the house.

I would often forget that I had bottles of flavoured kombucha lying around the kitchen, only to wake up in the morning to find that they had exploded from the buildup of carbon dioxide inside the bottle.

This particular incident almost led to my mother banning my hobby.


Unfortunately, the explosion of my cherry flavoured kombucha onto my ceiling made it look like I was part of a horrible murder. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/LOW JIA YING


Remember to let some of the gas out of your kombucha bottles once every few days!

2. Kimchi

If you’re a Korean food lover like me, you won’t be able to get enough of this staple dish.

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish that is made from fermented vegetables and is often seasoned with gochugaru (Korean chili flakes).

I love adding kimchi to my instant noodles or my favourite grilled cheese sandwich.

Here's a video to guide you through the process.

I made a huge container of it a month ago and my family’s barely made it halfway through.

This isn’t a problem though, because kimchi can stay in the fridge for three to six months without going bad.


The massive container of kimchi that’s been in my fridge for the past month. PHOTO CREDIT:YOUTH.SG/LOW JIA YING


As the kimchi stays fermenting in the fridge, it develops a stronger sour taste!

3. Sourdough

If you have been scrolling endlessly through Instagram like me, you may have noticed that everyone seems to be making sourdough.

Sourdough is different from other baked breads as it does not use commercial yeast to rise. Instead, it is made with a starter, which is a mixture of fermented flour and water that contains wild yeast and bacteria.

Sourdough has a light, tangy flavour due to this fermentation, and it has become my favourite bread to make sandwiches with!

Check out this video to find out more about making your own sourdough.

The sourdough starter that you need to make sourdough can be kept for a long time, as long as you remember to ‘feed’ it every day with equal parts flour and water.

Some starters are passed down over generations, and there are even some over 100 years old!

My starter is nowhere near that age, but I guess I could pass mine down to my kids (if I remember to take care of it) one day?


My sourdough starter after its feeding for the day. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/LOW JIA YING


4. Yoghurt

Store-bought yoghurt has never really appealed to me because of all the added sugar in it.

Making my own yoghurt also saved me so much money as it is something I have for breakfast almost every day.

You will be shocked to know that making your own yoghurt only requires two ingredients: Milk and a little bit of yoghurt.

Here's a video to show you how DIY yoghurt is made.

The only difficult part is making sure you get the temperatures right, so that you don’t accidentally kill the active cultures in it.

After a couple tries, I made my very own batch of yoghurt, and have something to enjoy every morning!


Coupled with the sweet granola and fruits, my homemade yoghurt’s sour flavour cuts through the sugar. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTH.SG/LOW JIA YING


So why not get started on one of your very own fermentation projects today, and surprise yourself with how easy the process is? All the best!


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