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Everyone Say Kimchi!

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You’ve seen it on a k-drama table at every meal, and the idols name it when taking a picture. Do you recognize it? Yes! I’m talking about none other than kimchi (김치). If you want to know more about its origin, taste, and benefits, this blog is for you. So without further ado, let’s get started!

Picture by makafood from Pexels

What is kimchi?

Firstly, it is the national dish in Korea.  

Kimchi is a culinary preparation made from vegetables, greens, or wild plants seasoned with spices, fruits, meat, fish, or fermented seafood. Then, all the ingredients together undergo lactic fermentation. That gives it a fresh, spicy, salty flavor and a crunchy texture.

Picture by ANTONI SHKRABA from Pexels

What is its history?

According to the numerous records on kimchi preparation and consumption, it is supposed to have been prepared and consumed since the 3rd or 4th century A.D. in Korea; at that time, radish was its first raw material. Later, the Baechu cabbage (Chinese cabbage) was used as the main ingredient, along with red bell pepper and other spices. The kimchi we eat now has been produced and consumed since the 18th century.

Picture by 621hjmit from Pixabay

What are its benefits?

Kimchi contains high levels of vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and probiotics, thanks to its ingredients. Its health benefits are amplified during the fermentation process. Resulting in functional properties such as stimulation of immune function and antioxidant, anti-atherosclerotic, and anti-diabetic effects. In addition, kimchi reduces the risk of certain types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome and delays aging.

Of course, this is obtained by eating kimchi every day, as part of our diet.

Picture by cegoh from Pixabay

How to eat kimchi?

It is a must at the Korean table. Can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is served as a side dish, although you can eat it as a main dish with rice, soups, meats, and salads. Another feature that makes special kimchi is that there are many types – more than 167! They depend on the main ingredient it is made from, the region, and the preparation methods.

Picture by touchngo from Pixabay

The most popular types are that made with cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, garlic, ginger, and peppers. No kimchi is the same, since it varies according to the region, climate, and particular tastes. When it comes to preparing it, each family gives it its particular touch according to its traditions. The idea of making it is passed from generation to generation, which is why it has become a tradition. And it is customary for the family recipe to be passed from mother-in-law to daughter-in-law or mother to daughter.

I like the fresh, fermented, and spicy taste the most. I eat it mostly with rice and noodles. Now tell me, how do you like kimchi?

I’m Mar, and I’ll be waiting for you in the next post with another interesting food topic or recipe to try. Bye-bye.

 

Written by: Marisol Montiel

Reviewed by:  Andrea Ramírez 

References:

Korean Net. (30/12/2021). El kimchi es un superalimento tendencia en Occidente. El kimchi es un superalimento tendencia en Occidente : Korea.net : The official website of the Republic of Korea

UNESCO. Patrimonio Cultural Inmaterial. (s/f). La preparación tradicional del ”kimchi” en la República Popular Democrática de Corea. La preparación tradicional del ”kimchi” en la República Popular Democrática de Corea – patrimonio inmaterial – Sector de Cultura – UNESCO

Park, K.-Y., Jeong, J.-K., Lee, Y.-E., & Daily, J. W. (2014). Health Benefits of Kimchi (Korean Fermented Vegetables) as a Probiotic Food. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17(1), 6–20. doi:10.1089/jmf.2013.3083

Cheigh HS, Park KY. Biochemical, microbiological, and nutritional aspects of Kimchi (Korean fermented vegetable products). Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 1994;34:175–203.

Song YO. The functional properties of Kimchi for the health benefits. Food Ind Nutr 2004;9:27–33.

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