Korea (now South Korea and North Korea) is a country famous for its rich and varied cuisine. But among the country’s various fussy dishes, the best known one is still kimchi – a side dish with simple ingredients and simple recipes.
In North Korea, it is so popular that Koreans also built a museum for kimchi, called Kimchi Field Museum. Each year, the museum attracts thousands of visitors.
The museum introduces many artifacts related to this dish, including tools and ingredients to make kimchi, the processing of kimchi, health benefits… In addition, while in the museum, you can also learn to make your own kimchi.
Kimchi is one of the dishes with oldest history in Korea. There are even theories that it appeared in this country about 2600 – 3000 years ago.
Initially, it was called chimchae, means “pickled vegetables”. Over time, the name was changed gradually into jimchi, and finally kimchi like today. Just like its original name, kimchi is made by fermenting vegetables, mixed with chili and other spices.
There are many vegetables you can use to make kimchi. According to the Kimchi Field Museum, there are totally 187 types of kimchi has been present in this country. However, the most common ingredient is still napa cabbage (baechu). Also, there are many other vegetables are used seasonally, such as radish, scallion, cucumber, perilla, broccoli…
Besides vegetables, the minor but still important ingredients to make kimchi are brine, garlic, ginger, chili, sauce (mainly shrimp sauce or fish sauce). Some Koreans even add seafood to make their kimchi more delicious, like squid, shrimp, oyster…
Korean people eat kimchi every time, everywhere. It’s like an irreplaceable part of their daily life. With gently spicy and sour flavors, kimchi can be eaten alone or served with different types of food. This versatile dish can even be used to cook delicious dishes like fried rice, noodles, soup…
Besides excellent taste, kimchi also provides special benefits for your health. America’s Health Magazine had praised kimchi food as one of the best 5 foods for health. Kimchi is usually made from cabbage, ginger, garlic, chili… These are all very good food for human health.
Also, like yogurt, kimchi contains helpful microbial enzymes. Many scientists assumed that, this dish is rich in vitamins, which are beneficial for your digestive system and even help prevent cancer.