Taste of Korea
A Chinese literature Book of Odes written about 3,000 years ago is the first document to mention kimchi. It has a word jeo that represents pickled cucumber. The origin of the word kimchi lies in the Chinese word chimchae, a word that referred to kimchi-style dishes with vegetables preserved with salt.
"In the book The Chronicles of the Three States written 2,000 years ago, the list of things to be prepared for pyebaek for the wedding of King Sinmun in year 683 included soy sauce, fermented bean paste and salted fishes; this shows how fermented food was widely spread at the time."
History of kimchi
Kimchi that originated from the period of the Three States changed throughout the Koryo Dynasty and became the kimchi we see today in the Joseon Dynasty. The history of kimchi followed the history of Korea. It continued to develop and is more than a simple dish – it is now a culture and history.
- Prehistoric age
Period of Three States
- During the prehistoric age and the period of Three States, people settled in one place for a long time, therefore kimchi, pickled vegetables (in salt, paste, grains), was popular as it can be stored for a long period.
- Koryo Dynasty
- As various types of vegetables were cultivated, different types of kimchis were invented such as watery kimchi made of sliced radishes and dongchimi. Another type was seasoned kimchi that used various spices.
- Early Joseon Dynasty
- New kimchis came into the picture: jangajji (vegetables pickled in soy sauce), radish preserved with salt, watery kimchi, kimchi with meat such as pheasant, and kimchi fermented without salt.
- Late Joseon Dynasty
- Red pepper became the main ingredient for kimchi seasoning, and the types of ingredients used to make kimchi increased. In particular, various salted fishes were used for harmony of nutrition.
Component and the efficacy of kimchi
Ingredients and benefits of kimchi Ingredients used in kimchi contain different nutrients. Garlic, pepper, and cabbage contain dietary fiber that eliminates toxic substances and prevents cancer.
- Increases appetite, improves blood circulation, promotes hemolytic action
- Anti-cancer effect, prevents fatigue, strengthens immunity
- Improves digestion, prevents aging, prevents obesity
- Lowers the blood cholesterol level, prevents cancer
- Green onion
- Eliminates infection, kills germs
- Other ingredients
- Antioxidant effect, anti-aging effect, anti-cancer effect, and immunity improvement
Kimchi becomes a great fermented food as various types of microorganisms grow in the process of preservation. At it matures, the antibacterial activity increases and the lactic acid bacteria are formed, improving the taste and preventing the activity of harmful bacteria.
Taste and nutrition
"Kimchi is made using different vegetables, thus it is rich in dietary fiber. Each ingredient is healthy that it can be used as an ingredient for oriental medicine.
Kimchi is a rich-nutrient food as salted fishes add amino acid on top of nutrients provided by other ingredients like pepper, garlic, ginseng, and spices."
Nutrient content in 100g of cabbage kimchi
- 29 kal
- 88.8 %
- 2.2 g
- 0.5 g
- 4.7 g
- 0.7 g
- 45 mg
- 28 mg
- 0.4 mg
- Vit. A
- 16 R.E
- Vit. B1
- 0.08 mg
- Vit. B2
- 0.05 mg
- 0.5 mg
- Vit C
- 21 mg
Source: Food composition table, Rural Development Administration Rural Nutrition Institute (1995)
Kimchi by season
- SpringVegetables produced in Spring are used to make kimchi that tastes fresh. Cabbage geotjeori (unfermented kimchi), water parsley kimchi, wild chive kimchi
- SummerSummer vegetables like young radish, cucumber, and chives are used as main ingredients. Seasoning or salted fishes are not used, so the kimchi tastes clean and light. / Cucumber kimchi, chive kimchi, balloon flower root kimchi
- AutumnIn the season of abundant harvest, it is good to use ingredients like red pepper and burdock to make new kinds of kimchi. / Red pepper kimchi, burdock kimchi, oyster kkakdugi (sliced radish kimchi)
- WinterAmong the four seasons, winter is when there are most different kinds of kimchi are made. A lot of seasonings and various ingredients are used. / Kimjang kimchi, Korean lettuce kimchi, white kimchi, water kimchi
Kimchi from different regions
- Seoul:Whole cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi, young radish water kimchi, kimchi pickled in soy sauce
- GyeonggiBossam kimchi, sweet potato stem kimchi, turnip kimchi, white kimchi, young radish kimchi
- Chungcheong-doSedum kimchi, spinach kimchi, Gongju kkakdugi, chives salted fish kimchi, unfermented kimchi
- Jeolla-doKorean lettuce kimchi, eori kimchi, green laver kimchi, red pepper leaf kimchi
- Gangwon-doDeodeok kimchi, turnip kimchi, salt-pickled pollack tripe kkakdugi, dried pollack cabbage kimchi, squid kimchi
- Gyeongsang-doPerilla leaf kimchi, burdock kimchi, chive kimchi, balloon flower root kimchi, red pepper kimchi, bean leaf kimchi
- Jeju-doSeafood kimchi, abalone kimchi, mandarin juice kimchi, hijikia kimchi, leaf mustard kimchi
- Pyeongan-doWhite kimchi, pheasant kimchi, eggplant kimchi, Nabok dongchimi , bean sprout stock kimchi
- Hwanghae-doPersimmon kimchi, pumpkin kimchi, ssam kimchi, seokbakji
- Hamgyeong-doDongchimi, bean sprout kimchi, crown daisy kimchi, Hamgyeongdo cod kkakdugi
Manufacturing process of Kimchi
- 1 Preserving with saltWash the cabbage and preserve with salt for at least 5 hours, and then drain.
- 2 Preparing seasoningFinely chop the garlic and ginseng. Prepare red pepper powder.
- 3 Preparing other ingredientsMix the seasoning and other ingredients to make the kimchi stuffing.
- 4 StuffingStuff the seasoning between the cabbage leaves.
- 5 StoringWrap the cabbage with the outer layer and stack inside the jar.
- 6 Fermenting Various ingredients ferment inside the jar and increase the vitamin content.
From ancient times, the ancestors made different types of kimchi that suit each season and region and figured out the best way to store them. Kimchi ferments under a specific temperature and maintains its fresh taste. Thus, the preservation method and the container are very important.
- Double jar
- It is a kimchi jar that was created to store kimchi fresh during hot summer so the kimchi can maintain its taste for a long time.
- Haeju jar
- Haeju jar was created in Haeju in Hwanghae-do. It is a porcelain jar with a unique form.
- Wooden kimchi jar
- In mountain villages where it was difficult to bake pottery jars, people made wooden jars to preserve kimchi during winter.
- Kimchi shed
- It is usually used in Gyeonggi area. Kimchi jars are buried in the ground and on the ground, thin logs are used to make a cone-shaped cover. Straws cover the cover to maintain the warmth.
Top 5 healthy food
Kimchi and kimjang culture‘ was designated as the UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity at the 8th UNESCO Intangible Heritage Committee meeting held on December 5th in Baku, Azerbaijan
- Kimchi (Korea)
- All ingredients used to make kimchi have different benefits and are ingredients for oriental medicine. As they ferment, lactic acid bacteria form stimulative agents to directly and indirectly boost various immune functions.
- Yogurt (Greece)
- Greeks have been eating thick creamy yogurt for several thousand years. Greek yogurt is rich in vitamin 2 so it prevents food poisoning and is great for detoxification.
- Olive oil (Spain)
- Spain accounts for 40% of olive production in the world. Olives from spain is crucial for diet and health as it improves metabolism and prevents aging.
- Lentils (India)
- Indians have been eating lentils for 8,000 years. Lentil is full of protein and fiber that lowers the blood cholesterol level. At the same time, it contains two times the zinc compared to other beans.
- Natto (Japan)
- Natto, main ingredient for Japanese dishes today, is the most inexpensive source of protein. It is rich in unsaturated fat and it prevents osteoporosis, cardiac diseases, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer.