Kimchi is a dish with Korean origins. It is well known for its versatility in the kitchen and varying degrees of ingredients. As a result, there are different varieties of Kimchi that can be found in various regions of the world. Kimchi is a mix of vegetables, ginger, pepper, garlic, salt, soy sauce, or fish sauce, which is then left to be fermented.
KImchi takes a while to be prepared, but like other fermented foods, it does not require hands-on experience. Cabbage is favored for use in Kimchi but other vegetables like scallions, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, or leftover vegetables can be used. These other vegetables would give you a subtle flavor as opposed to Cabbage.
What does Kimchi taste like? Kimchi varies a lot because of its ingredients, so the taste also varies. But Kimchi has a sour, umami, and spicy taste that depends on the amount or type of pepper used. The kind of vegetable used in your Kimchi also greatly affects the taste and flavor of the Kimchi.
Kimchi has an acquired taste that one needs to get used to. Once you acquire the taste you get to appreciate it for more than what it tastes like.
Kimchi can be homemade and doesn’t require hard-to-procure resources to make. It is quite readily available and not expensive to purchase.
Nutritional Benefits of Kimchi
Many nutritionists would advise that you acquire the taste for Kimchi as it has so many health benefits to offer the human body. Koreans seem to be so obsessed with the Kimchi and use it as a side dish at every opportunity they get. It is not only because of its taste but also because of the nutritional value that it has.
Kimchi is an excellent source of probiotics like Lactobacillus. Probiotics are the healthy kind of bacterial present in our mouths that aids digestion. Kimchi is also an excellent source of carbs, proteins, and vitamins. It has a low-calorie content because it is made with vegetables.
It is known to have a serious impact on cholesterol levels in the body. Constant consumption of Kimchi can result in a significant reduction in the cholesterol levels in the body. LDL cholesterol is the bad kind of cholesterol that is responsible for weight gain and health-related problems. The addition of kimchi to one’s everyday diet can take care of that.
It also contains vitamins A, C, and minerals like Iron. All of these can serve as boosters for the immune system and keep the human body from being infected with chronic and everyday diseases.
Culinary Uses of Kimchi
Kimchi is well known for its versatility in the kitchen. Kimchi is a dish of fermented vegetables with a taste that is unconventional. It can act as a contrast in various dishes and recipes. In Korean cuisines, Kimchi is served with almost every dish you can have. This doesn’t mean that it can only be used as a side dish.
Kimchi could also be used to make more complex dishes, or serve as a major ingredient in a bigger dish. You can have the Kimchi fried rice, Kimchi noodle soup, or the Kimchi fried rice with chicken.
Kimchi lends textural and savory contrast to dishes like tofu. It can take any culinary challenge you offer up to it. The taste and feel are very basic so it would work with almost anything. While making pancakes, you can mix Kimchi into the batter to give the pancakes some amount of crunch and make them more spicy and savory.
Kimchi dumplings are very popular in and outside Korea, they are a highlight of Korean cuisine. It is quite easy to make, all you need to do is make a mixture of minced beef, tofu, or pork with Kimchi before you wrap it in a dumpling wrapper to be steamed or fried.
Where Did Kimchi Originate? How Do You Procure It?
Kimchi is one of the Korean national dishes. It was used as a method of preserving vegetables and keeping them from going bad in the winter months of the year.
The original Kimchi did not contain pepper and is not as spicy as the variety we all have come to love. It also did not contain cabbage back then as it was not readily available in the region. Korean radishes and salt were used instead. The native Kimchi was usually made using clay pots that are buried in the earth until fermentation takes place.
The popularity of Kimchi has increased over time. So, it is not too hard to find. If you check around in grocery stores that are situated close to you, you should find it in the refrigerated section close to sauerkraut and pickles. Kimchi is not easy to make, but some restaurants make it and sell it as part of their menu.
Can You Eat Kimchi by Itself?
Yes, you can. Kimchi can be enjoyed as a standalone dish. Aside from being an integral part of some dishes and recipes, Kimchi can be eaten and enjoyed as it is. It can be enjoyed as a quick breakfast, brunch, or enjoyed as a snack.
Facts You Don’t Know About Kimchi
- Kimchi derives its name from the Korean word “chimchae” which means “bringing of vegetables”. This refers to the process through which Kimchi is made, where you have to ferment vegetables in salt.
- Kimchi is similar to Sauerkraut, but they are not the same. It has a higher antioxidant content and is spicier than Sauerkraut.
- Some varieties of Kimchi can have a more sweet rather than salty taste depending on the ratio of sugar or salt that is added to it.