As the national dish of Korea, Kimchi is so popular that the city of Seoul even has a museum dedicated to the spicy, yet tangy dish, and many Koreans say ‘kimchi’ instead of ‘cheese’ when posing for a photo! Kimchi is a fermented side dish traditionally made with cabbage and seasonings such as garlic, ginger, onions and chili peppers, to give it a spicy kick. However, there are hundreds of different varieties of Kimchi, which vary by season, weather conditions and region.
Many variations use vegetables and seasonings ranging from cucumbers and radishes to salted fish. Once prepared, kimchi is usually jarred and left to ferment for up to a few weeks before consuming, depending on personal preference, as the longer it’s fermented, the sourer it will taste. Kimchi is almost always eaten as a side with every meal, either served alone or mixed with rice or noodles. Some even use it as a pizza topping!
Apart from the spicy taste that locals love so much, Kimchi provides a range of proven health benefits. Named by Health magazine as one of the world’s healthiest five foods, it’s packed with vitamins A, B and C and is said to have anti aging properties, reduce the risk of cancer and promote digestion. On average, Koreans each eat around 40 pounds of Kimchi per year. Coincidentally, Korea also has one of the lowest rates of obesity in the world, so it may just be the secret super food we’ve all been looking for!
Now where can we find some Kimchi?