Kimchi: the Dish of Wellness
What is it?
The preparation of Kimchi does not require much time but the fermentation process is longer. It is traditionally put in jars called Onggi for a period ranging from a few days to a few months, depending on the more or less intense taste you want to obtain. Today more plastic containers are used to accommodate the vegetables, which are placed in refrigerators, some of which are specially made for the Kimchi.
It is served as a side dish to every meal in Korea. The degree of spiciness is variable, the taste is usually intense and it may take a couple of tastings before you can fully appreciate it. It goes with everything from rice to meat, fish to soups and ravioli, but it is also good eaten alone.
Kimchi is also used as an ingredient to prepare other Korean dishes such as ravioli (Kimchi Mandu), desserts like pancakes (Kimchi-buchimgae), stews (Kimchi-jjigae) and various other tasty Korean recipes flavored with tasty fermented vegetables.
Kimchi has been eaten in Korea for hundreds of years, there is even talk of its origin during the period of the Three Kingdoms of Korea (Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla) between the 1st century BC and the 7th century, where vegetables and other fermented foods were used mainly because of the durability of the food that was prepared in winter and stored throughout the year. The recipe did not yet include the use of hot pepper, which was introduced during trade with the Portuguese in the 17th century. Cabbage was also recently introduced in the preparation, around the 19th century, when the modern Kimchi version began to take hold throughout the Korean peninsula.
In Korea it is eaten mainly as a side dish or condiment, and accompanies almost every meal. Kimchi tastes a bit spicy, salty, with slightly sour notes. It is prepared by fermenting Chinese cabbage or other vegetables such as Savoy cabbage and daikon. The recipe may vary depending on the area of Korea where it is prepared: there are more than 200 different versions! In addition to these vegetables, it includes the use of chili, garlic, ginger, fresh onions, and fish sauce.
The Kimchi is considered a real superfood for the completeness and variety of its nutritional values: it is a concentrate of vitamins and minerals really portentous. What makes this dish really 'super' is the high content of probiotics, the same that we find in yoghurt, miso, sauerkraut and fermented foods in general. The action that lactobacilli perform in our body is particularly beneficial for the intestines and the entire digestive system. Precisely because of these characteristics, kimchi has been attributed strong anti-tumor properties. Among the other ingredients, garlic lowers "bad" cholesterol and promotes the well-being of the entire cardiovascular system, chili pepper is rich in vitamins A, B and C and is a powerful antioxidant, the fiber of which this dish is rich absorb excess sugar and cholesterol ... all in a few calories!
Read also about KOMBUCHA, The Elixir of Long Life!