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You must have definitely come across the term kimchi in recent times. Korean foods are trending like a storm since the K-Drama has gripped people's minds. One such amazing food is kimchi which is often regarded as the national dish of Korea. In this article, we have provided you with all the information regarding this super tasty food, kimchi. So let us get started by knowing what kimchi is.

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a type of traditional Korean dish made with vegetables, chili powders, ginger, garlic, salt, and fish sauce. The ingredients can be different, but they usually include a lot of vegetables, salt, and fish sauce. This prepared mixture is then pickled and left for fermenting. Originally, people used this method to store vegetables for a longer period of time.

You can make kimchi in hundreds of ways as per your taste and liking. You can arrange and cook it how you like, making it a good choice for many different types of dishes.

Origin of Kimchi

Kimchi has been one of the favorite side dishes of people for a long time. You can trace its origin from the first century BC until the 7th century AD, when people in Korea kept their food in jars and preserved them. Families back then had to come up with a way to have a lot of food on hand, especially during the winter when the refrigerator was still a long way off.

Origin of Kimchi
Origin of Kimchi

Kimchi was made with radish and was not spicy and fermented in pots called ‘Onggi’, which was buried in the ground. After the arrival of Europeans and the introduction of chili to Koreans in the 17th century by the Portuguese, the trend of spicy kimchi started and evolved in many different variants.  

What is Kimchi Made of?

Kimchi is made using salted and fermented vegetables. It consists of the blend of the following vegetables:

  • Cabbage
  • Cucumber
  • Radish
  • Eggplant
  • Carrot
  • Beets
  • Celery
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Spinach
  • Scallions

Some of the seasonings that are used in kimchi are:

  • Salt
  • Ginger
  • Chili peppers
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Sugar

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How to Make Kimchi?

With so many recipes to choose from, it is not possible to list them all. Kimchi goes well with a lot of dishes, and therefore its uses are pretty limitless. 

Adding kimchi to tofu is a great way to make it taste and feel different. When you cook tofu, its flavors are absorbed by the tofu. This is one reason it works so well with tofu. Also, kimchi can be used to make pickled eggs. Or, you could make it into a savory pancake for a snack or a light dinner. You have endless options that you can try out to enjoy different tastes.

How to Make Kimchi
How to Make Kimchi

You can cook kimchi in various different styles. It can be meat-based, or it can be completely vegetarian and vegan. You do not have to use any meat or fish products to make a recipe. You can look online for recipes that do not use them.

It is recommended to try scallion kimchi, Korean kimchi pancake, and kimchi fried rice. You can find their recipes online, and they are very easy and quick to prepare. 

How to Eat Kimchi?

There are many ways to serve kimchi in Korea. It can be a main dish or a side dish with rice, noodles, or soup. Some of the most popular foods at Korean restaurants are kimchi pancakes, kimchi stew, and kimchi soup. You can add many different kinds of meat and vegetables to these tasty stews. They are the best thing to eat when it is cold and rainy outside.

The fact that these are the traditional ways to serve kimchi does not mean that you can not make other things as well. You can eat kimchi by trying out various recipes like beef kimchi buns, kimchi mac and cheese burgers, and tofu kimchi peanut butter sandwiches. 

What to Eat with Kimchi?

Some of the foods that go well with kimchi are:

1. Shrimp Fried Rice

This dish pairs perfectly with kimchi and is sure to become a family favourite. After the rice is crispy, just add a cup of coarsely chopped kimchi to the pan to enhance the flavor.

2. Shoyu Cabbage Soup

This soup has a great taste, but its taste enhances with the addition of spicy fermented kimchi. 

3. Shoyu Ramen

Shoyu ramen is one of the best foods to eat, but giving it a blend with kimchi can bring up a new taste, and your taste buds will get tickled by the flavors.

4. Potato Salad

Potato salad is great, but half a cup of minced kimchi would be an excellent addition to the creamy, starchy side dish.

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What Does Kimchi Taste Like?

There are different variations in how the food tastes depending on the recipe. Spicy, umami, and sour are the primary flavors of kimchi. The amount of salt or sugar in it, the veggies, and the length of time it was fermented are some of the significant factors that affect the flavor of kimchi.

Is Kimchi Good for You?

To know whether kimchi is good to consume or not, it is necessary to know its benefits. So let's ponder upon some of the amazing health benefits of kimchi.

1. Source of Probiotics

For a healthy stomach, probiotics are a must. So many dietitians and other professionals recommend consuming fermented foods like kimchi on a daily basis because they are excellent sources of probiotics. 

2. Helps Lose Weight

Adding kimchi to your diet could help you lose weight in combination with other healthy eating habits.

3. Strength Immune System

Antioxidants included in kimchi can help enhance your immune system. Adding antioxidants to your diet can help protect your cells from the harmful effects of free radicals, as well as lower inflammation in your body, making it easier for you to battle infections.

It can be clearly seen that kimchi has some great health benefits; therefore, consuming it can be good for you and your health. 

Conclusion

This is all you need to know about kimchi. So if you are searching for food that has a great taste and long shelf life, then kimchi is a great choice. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How long will kimchi last?

A. After opening kimchi, it has a shelf life of 1 week. If you keep it in the refrigerator, it can stay for a long period of about 3 to 6 months and keeps fermenting. 

Q. What kind of jar do you use for kimchi?

A. Mason jar is the perfect jar to store kimchi for a long period of time. You can use an airtight container, but remember not to overfill it. You should fill the container in which you store kimchi by 3/4th.

Q. Is rice flour needed for kimchi?

A. Traditional kimchi spice pastes include rice flour porridge as a key ingredient. As a binder, rice flour porridge gives the combination a thick appearance.

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