What is Kimchi and why everyone seems to have lost their minds for this ridiculously healthy food?
Kimchi, a delicious and spicy Korean dish is fermented mixture of vegetables and spices. Although it has gained popularity in western world only recently, (especially cabbage kimchi) it has been part of Korean diet for many centuries.
What is kimchi?
It is a mixture of finely sliced vegetables with various spices. There are numerous recipes out there on how to make kimchi, but the usual kimchi ingredients are napa cabbage, bok choy, radishes and garlic, and spices are mostly kosher salt, chili peppers, sugar, black pepper and ginger. It is mixed together and after 3 to 5 days it results with sour, spicy tasting delicacy, brimming with healthy microorganisms, vitamins and minerals.
Serving and eating homemade Kimch
After it is fermented, you can eat it raw “straight out of the jar”; you can serve it as a separate kimchi salad or use it as a salad coating; you can mix and combine it with just about any other food like rice, potatoes, pasta, fish or even grilled cheese. The choice is yours and you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. Bear in mind that Koreans eat 18 kg (40 pounds) on average of this stuff per year and they put it in everything; it is considered a super-food which boost immune system and protects against diseases like flu, bad digestion and cardiovascular problems.
That being said, since kimchi is alive with good bacteria, for health purposes it is best eaten raw without being thermally processed (same as well known sauerkraut). If you want to preserve all its richness with good gut microorganisms, it is advised to add it after the cooking process is finished.
Health benefits of kimchi makes it a true super-food!
Most of its “superpowers” originate from cabbage, but other vegetables and spices like ginger add to incredibly balanced combination of good bacteria, vitamins and minerals rarely found in any other food in such high concentration.
It is low in calories, but very rich in fibers. It contains almost all known vitamins, especially A, B1, B2 and C. It also contains carotene, iron, calcium but most of all – lactic acid bacteria (probiotics). There is a special kind of healthy gut bacteria called Lactobacillus kimchii that is only found in this delicious food. Including kimchi in your regular diet cuts risk from developing cancer, heart diseases and it prevents growth of harmful gut bacteria like Helicobacter pylori, Shigella sonnei and Listeria monocytogenes.
It boosts immune system and helps faster recovery from illnesses and decreases risk from viral seasonal diseases like flu. Koreans and many other Asians have increased their intake of this miracle food during outbreak of H1N1 flue and SARS since there were certain evidence that kimchi helps recovery from these diseases.
Kimchi has been Korean cultural staple for centuries, for a good reason – it’s one of those foods that feed, cure and maintain good health all at the same time.