Korean Cuisine: Kimchi
Kimchi was conceived in Korea around the 7th century. Many years ago, Kimchi was merely regarded as a salted vegetable. Yet, throughout the 12th century, with the addition of several spices and seasonings, it grew steadily in popularity. It wasn’t until the 18th century that hot red pepper was finally used as one of the major ingredients for making Kimchi. In fact, the very same Kimchi as we know it today has retained the same qualities and cooking preparations that prevailed ever since it was first introduced. Now, You can mix Kimchi with Japchae too!
The Origin of the Name, Kimchi
It is suspected that the name Kimchi originated from Shimchae (salting of vegetable) which went through some phonetic changes : Shimchae- Dimchae – Kimchae – Kimchi.
Reasons Why Kimchi Was Developed in Korea
Few fermented vegetable foods are found worldwide. Some possible reasons why Kimchi was developed as a fermented food especially in Korea are as follows:
(1) vegetables were popular to the ancient people in Korea whose main industry was agriculture
(2) Koreans had a remarkable technology for salting fish which was frequently used as a seasoning
(3) cabbages (Brassica) appropriate for making Kimchi were widely grown.
Kimchi has been scientifically proven to be high in nutrition by the America Health Magazine ( www.health.com ) which criticize Kimchi is one of the World’s Healthiest Foods. Kimchi contain Vitamin A, B, C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods like kimchi and yogurt. This good bacteria helps with digestion, plus it seems to help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. And more good news: Some studies show fermented cabbage has compounds that may prevent the growth of cancer.
Kimchi is often recommended as a valuable food source both at home and abroad. In fact, there has been a significant increase in Kimchi exports in recent years. Korean immigrants to China, Russia, Hawaii and Japan first introduced Kimchi abroad, and have continued to eat Kimchi as a side dish. It gradually gained popularity even among foreigners. Accordingly, Kimchi may be found wherever Koreans live.
In America and Japan especially, where relatively many Koreans live, packaged kimchi is easily available. In the past, the production and consumption of kimchi was confined to Korean societies, however, in recent years it has become a globally recognized food.
Types Of Kimchi
Whole Cabbage Kimchi
The entire cabbage salt evenly with seasoning. It is the most common Kimchi in Korean meal, ingredients are as follows :
• Napa cabbage
• Sea salt
• Green Onion
• Dried red cjili pepper flakes
Red Water Kimchi
Also known as the Water Kimchi. The two main ingredients are cabbage and carrot. In the past it was popular in the spring, however, it can be enjoyed year around these days.
White Cabbage Kimchi
Originally, this Kimchi came from North Korea where less salt and red pepper are used in cooking.
It’s salt around summer and the seasoning will put inside the cucumber. It is very crunchy and crispy.
Winter White Water Kimchi
The entire carrot will be salt and keep in the Korean Traditional Crock and then it will be buried in the ground.
It is made from small ponytail and it is quite Spicy. Because it is pickled by a lot of salt and chili, it can be kept for a long time even in summer.
Among the basic ingredients for common/classic Kimchi, Korean pear, chestnuts, pine nuts, chopped chestnuts, jujubes and red pepper threads will be added into the Kimchi. It is a luxurious festive dish.
Chopped Radish Kimchi
The carrot will be cut into small cube and then salt with seasoning.
You may want to know how to make Kimchi – Kimchi recipe.