Ingredients like garlic, ginger, and chili flakes combine with cabbage and radish to make the classic dish known as Kimchi.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that dates back to over 3,000 years ago. It is a fermented dish that is usually comprised of cabbage, radish, garlic, salt, and a plethora of other ingredients we’ll dive into later in this post. Ancient Koreans once used a variation of this recipe to enjoy the taste and nutrients of vegetables all winter long. Today there are hundreds of adaptations of this classic dish ranging from Korean cuisine to Mexican, American, and beyond.
Fermented foods like Kimchi are full of health benefits and probiotics. As Kimchi has gained global recognition, we have found that it is a great source of probiotics such as lactic acid bacteria which are linked with many health benefits. Harvard even noted that fermented foods have been linked to improved heart health as well as better digestion. In addition to these benefits, Kimchi is also a low calorie option to add into your diet, and this recipe will show you just how easy it is to make.
Fermentation is the process by which bacteria and yeast consume sugars, digest them, and transform them into byproducts such as alcohol, organic acids, and gases. Although there are many different forms of fermentation, the one taking place in this recipe is lacto-fermentation. Lacto- fermentation is performed by a group of bacteria called lactic acid bacteria (LAB). This produces lactic acid, which is most famous for cheesemaking due to its ability to process lactose, aka milk sugar.
While making fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, this process works because the vegetables are submerged in salt water. LAB is already present on all plant matter, especially those that grow close to the ground, which makes the fermentation process easy for all vegetables. This process also creates enzymes and vitamins that make nutrients more bio-available in your body. Lacto-fermentation has been around as long as humans have been preserving food and is the reason we have classics in global cuisines like sauerkraut, kimchi, sourdough, and so much more! Be sure to check out our other fermented food guides, like our traditional sauerkraut recipe.