Kimchi: from Seoul to soul

Posted by Tyler on 2021 Apr 13th

Posted by Tyler on 2021 Apr 13th

We now understand what Koreans have known for generations—Kimchi is the perfect food.

For generations, kimchi might have been Korea’s best kept culinary secret, but like all national (North and South) dishes, the rest of the world eventually caught on. Now you can find dishes using kimchi around the globe, which makes sense—it’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s delicious, and it’s one of the healthiest foods a person can eat.

Like most foods with deep cultural roots, kimchi has changed over the years. Fermenting large amounts of vegetables was first developed as a method of preservation, so people could enjoy fresh and healthy vegetables during the cold winter months. This early version of kimchi was stored in earthenware containers set in the ground to keep cool, and was pretty bland by today’s standards. Over the centuries the process evolved to add a variety of spices and seasonings that give it the rich and complex flavour that’s made it so popular today. ( Here’s a nice, brief history of kimchi if you’re interested in the origins of the dish.)

So What’s In It?

There’s no single recipe you can point to and say “That is definitively kimchi“—different regions and people have their own take on the dish. The necessary components are bok choy or another Chinese cabbage, Korean radish and gochugaru chilli powder, with onion, garlic, ginger and hot peppers often included. These are combined and then fermented over days or even weeks.

Through the fermentation, the flavours combine and deepen, leaving a profile that’s simultaneously sour and salty and sweet and spicy. There’s also a subtle fizziness on the palette that is very much a part of the taste experience. This complexity is why foodies are very into kimchi—it’s delicious, versatile and unlike anything else.

Good for the Soul, Better for the Body

People might come for the flavour, but they stay for the health benefits. During fermentation, the vegetables in kimchi not only develop their taste, they become a playground for lactic-acid bacteria (lactobacilli)—probiotics that help with good gut health. The science on kimchi and its positive bacteria has revealed anti-oxidant, anti-cancer and anti-aging properties. It’s also rich in vitamins A and B, calcium and iron, high in fibre and low in fat. Calling it "the perfect food" might seem like hyperbole, but the truth is it's about as close as you can come. 

Get started making your own kimchi with a Heyday Seoul Sister kimchi kit - doing it yourself doesn't mean doing it alone.

Fermenting. Pickling. What is the difference?

Read More

A forkful a day will do

Read More

How ultra-processed foods rob us of fiber, one of the keys to a healthy gut

Read More

Kimchi: from Seoul to soul

Read More

Seoul Sister Deviled Eggs - kimchi recipe

Read More

Fermented foods for a probiotic win

Read More

Morning Sauerkraut? Boost your juice!

Read More

GABA, the calming chemical

Read More

Sauerkraut Tradition - Good luck for the coming year

Read More

Water Kefir - Getting Tibi With It

Read More

More Articles

Fermenting. Pickling. What is the difference?

Fermenting. Pickling. What is the difference?

Read More
A forkful a day will do

A forkful a day will do

Read More
How ultra-processed foods rob us of fiber, one of the keys to a healthy gut

How ultra-processed foods rob us of fiber, one of the keys to a healthy gut

Read More
Kimchi: from Seoul to soul

Kimchi: from Seoul to soul

Read More
Seoul Sister Deviled Eggs - kimchi recipe

Seoul Sister Deviled Eggs - kimchi recipe

Read More
Fermented foods for a probiotic win

Fermented foods for a probiotic win

Read More
Morning Sauerkraut? Boost your juice!

Morning Sauerkraut? Boost your juice!

Read More
GABA, the calming chemical

GABA, the calming chemical

Read More
Sauerkraut Tradition - Good luck for the coming year

Sauerkraut Tradition - Good luck for the coming year

Read More
Water Kefir - Getting Tibi With It

Water Kefir - Getting Tibi With It

Read More