Kimchi is a Korean food that’s widely used as a side dish. The dish has a diversity of flavors that mostly depend on how it is cooked and what ingredients are used. Kimchi is made by fermenting vegetables like Napa cabbage, ginger, and cucumber in seasoned brine.
Kimchi mainly tastes spicy, umami, and sour. Sometimes salt and sugar are added to Kimchi to enhance the flavor. In addition, the bacterium in Kimchi produces lactic acid during fermentation which is why it has a sour or tangy taste.
Kimchi has a strong flavor of umami because there are fish products used in it. Because of its strong odor and taste, Kimchi may be an acquired taste.
What is kimchi
Kimchi is a staple food of Korean cuisine. It is prepared from vegetables, garlic, ginger, and fish sauce, ranging from sweet flavors to sour and spicy ones. It can be used as a central dish and a side dish. Kimchi is hot red because of the Korean dried chili powder used in it.
It has a wide range of varieties- there are about 300 types of Kimchi, each one has its unique taste because of the different types of ingredients used in it.
The most common type of Kimchi used in Korea is Napa Cabbage Kimchi because of the fermentation process. People often assume that you’re referring to this kind of kimchi when you ask for kimchi which is another reason why its so famous.
How to store Kimchi
Kimchi should be stored in a refrigerator. If you have an unopened pack of Kimchi, don’t keep it at room temperature because it will most likely ferment.
You should use the refrigerated Kimchi within six months. Keep Kimchi in an airtight container topped with brine. It can last for one week if it is kept at room temperature.
Depending upon your preference, if you like crispy Kimchi, you should use it within three months because it will start to ferment and becomes sour.
How to know if Kimchi has gone bad
The fresh Kimchi has a powerful smell. If it has a strong bad odor than usual, it’s not safe to use. Another indication is if it starts to mold.
When identifying molds, look for numerous small dots, ranging from black to blue and green. If you are ever in doubt about the texture and smell of Kimchi, throw it away.
Dishes with kimchi
Dishes that you can try with Kimchi:
- Kimchi dumplings – Use Kimchi with Tofu/Meat to stuff dumplings and steam them. Serve them with Kimchi sauce and enjoy.
- Kimchi fried rice – Kimchi tastes perfect with fried rice and sautéed vegetables.
- Kimchi stew – This dish is loaded with Pork/tofu, and Kimchi serves best as a main course.
- Kimchi pancakes – Kimchi paired with pancakes serves best on the breakfast menu.
- Ham and egg cups with Kimchi – Ham and egg cups served with Kimchi are great for brunch.
- Tofu Kimchi – It is used as a side dish that can accompany many meals. Tofu is boiled and served with Kimchi.
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