What is Kimchi? Kimchi is a common side dish in Korean cooking, usually of steamed and salty vegetables, like cabbage and Korean radish, prepared with a wide range of seasonings, mostly including shoes (licorice) and gochu, etc. It’s also frequently used in a wide range of stir-frying recipes, where it adds tangy flavor to dishes. Traditionally, it’s eaten as a side dish. Here are a few facts about Kimchi.
Kimchi is an abbreviation for Korean ginseng. Technically, ginseng is not a part of the name, but the root is derived from the same root word, which comes from the Chinese meaning “grains of red” or red earth. So ginseng is the main ingredient of Kimchi. Traditionally, it’s prepared by steaming and drying various combinations of vegetables. Typically, you’ll find two main ingredients in kimchi: cabbage and kimchi leaf.
The typical seasonings used in making kimchi are soybean oil, sugar, vinegar, ginger root, garlic, and ginger. Although the use of seasonings varies according to regions and culture, generally all of these seasonings are added to the mix. Sometimes, raw red ginger is mixed with vinegar to create a more sour flavor.
Kimchi has many health benefits. The primary purpose of steaming vegetables in order to make Kimchi is to release the natural nutrients from them. By doing so, the nutrients within the vegetables are more readily absorbed and utilized by the body. This is the basis of most traditional Korean and Chinese food that utilizes kimchi. By incorporating kimchi into your diet on a regular basis, you will find that you will experience many health benefits.
One of the key health benefits associated with eating kimchi is the promotion of digestive health. During the fermentation process, the carbohydrates (which are unprocessed foods like rice, noodles, and cereals) break down into simple sugars (glucose), resulting in high levels of blood sugar. High blood sugar is associated with excess fat deposits throughout the body, as well as unhealthy cholesterol levels. Kimchi helps to counter the negative effects of both by encouraging the body to use its own digestive enzymes to break down the glucose within the food. Kimchi can also be used as a natural sweetener to sweeten soups and other dishes that would otherwise lack nutritional value due to the sugar content of the ingredients.
Kimchi fermentation also produces beneficial bacteria that can be added to your diet to promote overall intestinal health. These helpful bacteria can fight off many opportunistic infections, some of which can be life threatening. One study conducted at the University of Chicago found that patients who took part in a 5 day fermented tea experienced a significant reduction in the number of colds they contracted during the study.
Beyond the health benefits, one of the most popular reasons for eating fermented foods is the delicious taste. Kimchi is especially popular in South Korea, where it is used in everything from boiled eggs to candies. In the United States, consumers regularly enjoy kimchi either at home or at restaurants. The great thing about this fermented food is that it is easy to store. The natural enzymes that cause the tart and flavor can sit in the back of the fridge for up to a week, where they develop a lovely tangy flavor that is both tasty and healthy. The best way to make sure that you are having plenty of fermented foods on hand at all times is to buy a container with an air lock installed
To prepare your own fermented foods, simply add a couple of pints of vinegar, a couple of pints of cider vinegar, and a couple of bouquets of fresh greens to a glass jar. Add a lid and shake well. Strain the mixture into a tight jar and refrigerate. A few days later, strain again, seal the jar, and store in the fridge. A few weeks after that, you will have a delicious pickle that you can use over the holidays. No matter what kind of Kimchi you make, you can be sure that it will be enjoyed for months to come.