Kimchi is a traditional fermented dish from Korean cuisine, prepared with assorted vegetables and seasonings. Also spelled as kim chee, gimchi or kimchee, this traditional dish is also known as unfermented vegetable. Although the dish has a wide range of variations, most of the variants are made with similar main vegetables like cucumber, cabbage, green onions, napa and radish. It is also one of the most popularly used side dishes while serving authentic Korean meal. It is also used as an main ingredient while making various other Korean dishes such as kimchi soup, kimchi stew and kimchi fried rice.
History of Kimchi Dish
The history and origin of this dish can be traced back to 2600 to 3000 years ago. The name of the dish was mentioned for the first time in the very first Chinese poetry book named as Shi Jing. However, the dish was referred as jeo in this book. Before naming the dish as chimchae, dimchae, and timchae in the time of Three Kingdoms of Korea, the term ji was utilized to refer to the dish. Later, the term was modified as jimchi. Currently known as kimchim, the dish was traditionally prepared only by using beef stock and cabbage.
Later, after 15th century, the Koreans started adding some red chilies. Red chili was the newest vegetable at that time before Korea actually came in contact with the Americans. However, the modern version of the same dish uses some red chili pepper flakes to add some spicyness to the dish. Later in the 12th century, some other colorful and tasteful seasonings such as sweet and sour tastes and white and orange colors began to be added in the dish.
Kimchi Recipes : Ingredients Used
Kimchi has many variants that are classified by the different vegetables and ingredients used to make this dish. The most commonly prepare dish is made by using napa and cabbage as the main ingredients. Apart from these, some other ingredients used to make this dish are chopped cabbage, sea salt, warm water, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped radish, minced garlic, finely chopped ginger, green onions, anchovy sauce or fish sauce. Moreover, a concoction of half a ripe apple, half a yellow onion, half a ripe pear and water can also be used to make this dish with difference. Korean spices like saeujeot and aekjeot are also used for seasoning.
Kimchi Recipes : Popular Method
The kimchi dish is simple to prepare and usually starts by using chopping the whole head of fresh Napa cabbage. Generally, the shredded cabbage shrinks about 25 percent, so it is very important to take cabbage about 30 percent more than required. Secondly, sea salt is dissolved with warm water to toss the shredded cabbage with this solution. This tossed cabbage is kept aside for few hours or until it moisten the cabbage completely. Some red pepper paste with minced garlic and chopped ginger is added in the cabbage. Similarly, all other ingredients are added in the mixture. This is the basic structure of making any type of kimchi variants.
Health And Nutrition Factors Related to Kimchi Recipes
This dish is a very nutritional dish as it is made with lots of vegetables. Since vegetables are the main ingredients, the dish is rich in high levels dietary fiber and at the same time less in calories. The dish is considered very healthy as a single serving of it can provide about 80 percent of the daily required dose of carotene and vitamin C. Almost all varieties of this dish is prepared by using salutary ingredients such as onions, garlic, and peppers. The use of various vegetables makes this dish highly nutritional. It is rich in iron, vitamin A, riboflavin (B2), thiamine (B1) and calcium. It also contains a wide range of lactic acid bacteria.
Kimchi Recipes: Trivia
1. Recently, a popular Health magazine listed this dish amongst their list of top five "World's Healthiest Foods." This is because the dish is rich in various aiding digestion and vitamins. It is also considered effective in reducing the growth of cancer cells.
2. The Kimchi Field Museum located in the Seoul city has produced and documented about 187 historical and modern varieties of this dish.
3. According to a study held by Seoul National University, different chickens infected by the H5N1 virus that is also named as avian flu, improved after consuming food having the same bacteria as present in kimchi.