Kimchi, here at Pao we love it and we use it as both a condiment and as an ingredient.
But what is kimchi?
Kimchi, sometimes spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a traditional Korean side dish made from vegetables with a variety of seasonings. Kimchi is a tangy and spicy and is most commonly made with napa cabbage, radish, spring onion or cucumber as a main ingredient. Traditionally, kimchi was made by letting jars of kimchi ingredients ferment underground for months for that je-ne-sais-quoi.
Kimchi is Korea’s national dish and Koreans have kimchi of some variety with almost every meal. During South Korea’s involvement in the Vietnam War, American help ensured South Korean troops Kimchi in the field. Kimchi was also sent into space on board Soyuz TMA-12 with Yi So-yeon after a multi-million dollar research effort to kill the bacteria and lessen the odor without affecting taste.
The Kimchi Field Museum (no I didn’t either, but it is now in my top 5 future travel destinations) in Seoul has documented 187 historic and current varieties of kimchi. Ingredients can be replaced or added depending on the type of kimchi you’re making. The most common seasonings include brine, scallions, spices, ginger, chopped radish, garlic, saeujeot (shrimp sauce) and aekjeot (fish sauce).
At pao we have developed a vegan version of the deliciousness that is kimchi that tastes almost as good as the fishy one. In fact, not all Korean kimchi uses seafood, and now that kimchi culture has proliferated, seasonal and geographical diversity has widened the scope of kimchi even further.
Apart from being wonderfully piquant, kimchi is a total superfood. Health magazine named kimchi in its list of top 5 World’s Healthiest Foods and
South Koreans consume 18 kg of it per person every year. Many credit their industrious energy and its impact on their nation’s rapid economic growth, in part to eating the dish.
Kimchi health benefits:
1. Kimchi is high in dietary fiber
2. Kimchi is low in calories.
3. One serving also provides over 50% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene.
4. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, ginger, and chilli peppers, all of which are have their own individual salutary benefits.
6. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium and iron.
6. Kimchi contains lactic acid bacteria, among those the typical species Lactobacillus kimchii.
Kimchi is extremely versatile and is the base ingredient in a variety of dishes – most famously Kimchi Stew, a Pao staple!