Kimchi is a traditional
Korean pickled dish made of vegetables with varied
seasonings. It is a delightfully fiery hot and delicious Chinese cabbage dish.
However, it must be prepared far in advance. When you sit down for Korean foods
and they bring you sixteen bowls of vegetables, fish, pastes and sauces - a lot
of that is kimchi. It is always something that's there (at the table).
It is a traditional fermented food from Korea. The most common type of kimchi uses napa cabbage as its main ingredient, but it can also be made with daikon radishes, cucumbers, or other ingredients. It is made mainly by salting Chinese cabbage and dressing it with red pepper powder, garlic, ginger, scallions and radish. This mixture is then placed in clay containers called onggi and left to fermentate slowly. November and December are traditionally when people begin to make kimchi; women often gather together in each others' homes to help with winter kimchi preparations. It is a Korean fiery foods product that few people in the west have even heard of, much less tasted. But all that is changing rapidly as the spicy, fermented condiment has been increasingly exported since the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988.
It is a good source of fiber and, depending on the ingredients, may contain many of the nutrients and naturally occurring chemicals that can help combat cancers of the mouth, throat, lungs, stomach, blader, colon and cervix. During the 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia, many people even believed that it could protect against infection, although there was no scientific evidence to support this belief. Kimchi is an exotic, super spicy side dish. While no one is quite sure whether it is a pickle or a salad, its wide range of flavors, types and styles make it a palatable part of an irresistible side-dish, a great appetizer, and a naturally cultured healthy raw vegetable. It is garlicky, peppery, pungent pickled cabbage, and it may safely be said that kimchi represents Korea. However, this Korea's national dish is in danger because of Japanese copycat kimchi.
It can also be used in cooking. It is full of dietary fiber yet is very low on calories, also high in vitamins, notably B1, B2, B12 and C, as well as iron and minerals, particularly calcium. The lone drawback is the huge quantity of salt used as a preservative. Kimchi is known as a banchan, or side dish in Korea. It is common, in Korean cuisine, to have many banchan served alongside a meal. It is effective in killing food poisoning bacteria left untreated by antibiotics. Seoul National University veterinary professor Park jae-hak and his team helps Cell Biotech company separate the anti-bacterial peptide "LACTOCIN W" from two kinds of lactic acid in kimchi. Koreans believe that the microorganisms formed when the salted fish ferments with kimchi's other ingredients fight cancer.
It is widely regarded among nutritionists as one of the healthiest foods on the planet, full of helpful vitamins and bacteria that promote digestion. Among Koreans, it is regarded as a "manbyongtongchiyak" kind of miracle cure that will help make you strong, prevent cancer and generally give you a garlicky glow. It is also a common ingredient and combined with other ingredients to make dishes such as kimchi stew and kimchi fried rice. The unique taste of kimchi is achieved, in part, by various kinds of organic acids which are formed by the respiration process of the microorganisms which are present in the ingredients.
It is so important in Korean culture, that there is also a museum dedicated to kimchi. There you will be able to learn everything about kimchi. It is served in Japan as a "health food". Thousands of professional scientists are working in kimchi research teams with an industry team functioning along side them. It is probably the most renowned of these preserved vegetable.
The Kimchi refrigerators is specifically designed with precise controls to keep different varieties of kimchi at optimal temperatures at various stages of fermentation, this has made the seasonality unnecessary and kimchi needs to be kept at an appropriate temperature in order to be preserved at its best.
Nutritional composition of typical kimchi
Nutrients per 100 g
Food energy 32 kcal
Crude protein 2.0 g
Total sugar 1.3 g
Crude fiber 1.2 g
Vitamin C 21 mg
Vitamin B 1 0.03 mg
Crude ash 0.5 g
Calcium 45 mg
Moisture 88.4 g
Calcium 45 mg
Moisture 88.4 g
Vitamin A 492 IU
Crude Lipid 0.6 g
Vitamin B 2 0.06 mg
Niacin 2.1 mg
Phosphorus 28 mg
About the Author
Interested to find out how to make exotic Korean Kimchi? Please view the Korean
Kimchi making video.
Albert G.Y Lee