Facts about Kimchi

17 Kimchi facts

Traditional Korean dish

Kimchi is a staple Korean delicacy, served as a side dish with almost every meal. It consists of salted and fermented vegetables, including various cabbages and radishes. It ventured beyond Korean borders, gaining popularity around the world.

Kimchi comprises salted and fermented vegetables.
The base of the most common kimchi includes various types of cabbages and radishes.
The word kimchi comes from the Chinese chimchae, meaning salted vegetables.
The first kimchi was prepared in Korea in the 6th century when people were looking for a way to store turnips over the winter.
The key ingredients of kimchi are napa cabbage, radish, carrot, garlic, chili pepper, onion, ginger, pepper, mustard, watercress, salt and sugar, sometimes accompanied by salted shrimp, anchovies or other seafood.
Sometimes soy sauce and sesame are added to the pickle.
There are two types of kimchi: seasonal and winter.
Seasonal kimchi requires vegetables available at a given time of the year.
The most popular kimchi is Baechu-kimchi.
It consists of spicy napa cabbage in a pickle composed of rice gruel, flakes of chili peppers, ginger, garlic, and spring onions.
There are around 200 variants of this dish, often of a local range.
Kimchi is also an ingredient of other dishes, such as gimchijjgae (kimchi stew), gimchiguk (soup), gimchibuchimgae (pancake) or gimchibokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice).
Kimchi is a wealth of nutrients.
There are many vitamins in fermented napa cabbage (mainly A, C and B) as well as at least 10 different minerals and over 34 amino acids.
It is a source of valuable probiotics.
Its most valuable component is considered beneficial Lactobacillus bacteria, belonging to the group of lactic acid bacteria. They have a positive effect on health, aid digestion, and regulate the functioning of the intestines. They also inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria, increase resistance to infections and strengthen the body.
Kimchi is a tasty and low-calorie dish; 100 g of kimchi contains 32 kcal.
Kimchi has a positive effect on the heart, lowering cholesterol and sugar levels.
Preparation of kimchi is very simple, it is the same way as any fermentation of vegetables.
A special blend of spices for kimchi can be purchased online.
Koreans eat 1.6 million tons of kimchi annually.
The word kimchi is so popular in Korea that it is used when taking pictures to make people smile.
Kimchi was sent into space aboard the Soyuz TMA-12.
The traditional way of preparing winter kimchi (kimjang) was inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013.
Traditionally, kimchi is kept in clay pots, partially buried in the ground outside of buildings.
Due to the specific smell and intense aroma, the pots are placed away from other products and household members.
Hungry for more facts?

Related content