What is kimchi?
If you’ve not heard about kimchi yet, then get ready to learn about an amazing fermented veg dish that is truly beneficial for your health. Kimchi is made from fermented veggies, usually napa cabbage and Korean radishes. This dish originates from Korea. Traditionally, kimchi was stored underground in jars to keep cool, and unfrozen during the winter months.
The health benefits of kimchi
Kimchi is a ‘super food’ full of antioxidants, vitamins A, B, and C and most importantly healthy probiotic bacteria. It is also rich in essential amino acids and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium.
Kimchi is an excellent food to promote healthy digestion, it’s high probiotic content encourages health bactieria to grow in your gut, improving your immune system. Regular consumption of kimchi has also shown to have a beneficial effect on the levels of cholesterol. As kimchi is traditionally made using ingredients including ginger, garlic, and peppers it has a beneficial effect on the immune system, helping to fight infections.
Is kimchi alcoholic?
Although kimchi is a fermented food, the fermentation is lactic fermentation by the lactobacilli, meaning that lactic acid is produced during the process of fermentation. So it does not contain alcohol.
How to prepare kimchi
There are many types of Kimchi available, which are made using vegetables including Chinese cabbage, leek, scallion’s radish, cucumber, ginseng, garlic, cayenne peppers, and Indian mustard leaves. It can be prepared in different ways depending on one’s taste and preference.
Traditionally vegetables are mixed with desired spices and seasonings and kept for fermentation for specified days before eating as a side dish.
Make your own kimchi
- Rinse and cut 1 head of napa cabbage into strips and place in mixing bowl. Remove the core first.
- Place the cabbage and 1/4 cup of sea salt into a bowl, using clean hands, massage the cabbage until it begins to soften, then add water (filtered if possible) to cover the cabbage fully. Put a plate ontop to keep the cabbage weighed down.
- After 1-2 hours, rinse the cabbage under cold water and and drain.
- Combine garlic, sugar, pepper flakes, ginger, nori and sugar in a small mixing bowl. Add the cabbage along with chopped spring onions.
- Mix thouroughly until all of the cabbage is coated in the paste.
- Pack kimchi into Mason jar and seal. Rest the jar at room temperature for 1 to 5 days. Check daily and push the kimchi down with a spoon. When the kimchi tastes ripe enough for your liking, transfer the jar to the refrigerator.
Kimchi – research and facts
Professor Rina Yu of the Food and Nutrition Department in the University of Ulsan found that:
- Kimchi causes the immune cells to be more active and antibodies to be more abundant.
- Chinese cabbage and radish found in kimchi contain bio-chemicals such as isocyanate and sulfide helpful in detoxifying heavy metals found in your liver.
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