Do you know any kinds of Korean dishes? I hope you do. Korean dishes do offer exciting and delightful tastes compared to others. One of the best dishes that are often served is kimchi. So, what does kimchi taste like?
Even if you are not in Korea, you can definitely enjoy the taste of this food. Having a complex flavor, along with different uses and nutritional value, no doubt that kimchi is one of the hottest trends these days.
What Is Kimchi?
Kimchi is referred to as a traditional Korean dish that is made with ginger, garlic, vegetables, fish, salt, and chili peppers. This mixture is fermented and pickled and is known as a way in order to preserve the vegetables during the winter months.
Cabbage is the most common vegetable to use in order to make kimchi, while radish, scallions, and cucumber are also common options. There are also hundreds of recipes that could vary based on the region and season wherein they are produced.
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What Does Kimchi Taste Like? The Flavor Behind Kimchi
Again, kimchi offers a complex flavor and it might vary based on the recipe. However, for the main flavor, you could find kimchi including umami, spicy, and sour. The flavor also depends on the vegetables, the amount of sugar or salt used, and the length of fermentation.
Kimchi with Fish
Most kimchi recipes would include some sort of fish product whether fermented fish sauce, fish paste, or anchovies. These fish ingredients will give a strong umami flavor. If kimchi doesn’t have fish, it will have a fresher or lighter taste.
Based on how much red pepper is used, kimchi might range from mild to very spicy. This red pepper powder would also give the kimchi its classic red color.
Since kimchi is known as a fermented dish, it offers a prominent sour flavor. The lactic acid that is produced by bacteria during the fermentation will create a tangy and pungent flavor as the sour kraut.
Vegetables in Kimchi
The kind of vegetable used in making kimchi would dramatically alter the taste of this dish. If you use cabbage to make kimchi, then it might be quite strong, and a light taste will be offered if radish or cucumber is used.
Garlic in Kimchi
As a strong component in terms of Kimchi flavor, garlic will intensify during fermentation in order to yield a deep and heady base flavor.
Salty Vs Sweet Kimchi
There could be variations when it comes to the amount of sugar and salt used in kimchi, Some might be a bit salty while others would consider it sweet.
So, if in doubt about what does kimchi taste like, the answer to this is the fact that it has many different tastes. In addition, it has a texture once you chew it that definitely differs from raw veggies.
However, the secret of this taste definitely comes from the softened texture of the cabbage or the used vegetables. Once veggies are salted, the texture will be very soft. Salt will cause osmosis preventing them from producing harmful germs at the same time helping grow beneficial germs.
And throughout the process, lactic acid and amino acids are produced which lead to a special flavor that kimchi has.
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Uses of Kimchi
Along with knowing the taste of kimchi, you should also be familiar with its uses. In Korean culture, kimchi is served with almost every meal. It might not just be eaten as an appetizer or a side dish, but it might also be used as an ingredient in different dishes like Kimchi fried rice, kimchi fried rice with chicken, kimchi chicken stew, kimchi noodle soup, etc.
Perhaps, one of the most popular uses is Kimchi Jjigae known as a traditional stew made with kimchi. It is also used in order to flavor stir-fry, fried rice, sandwiches, noodles, and pizza.
Does Kimchi Go Bad?
Marinated kimchi is usually kept in an airtight, sterile jar together with brine. Many people add rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar to the brine.
In the fridge, Kimchi ferments in 2-3 weeks, and at room temperature, it takes 3-4 days. As a result, kimchi develops beneficial bacteria such as lactic acid bacteria.
Kimchi lasts about a week at room temperature after it’s been opened. In the fridge, after 3 to 6 months, it continues to ferment and become sourer as it ages.
When storing kimchi in a refrigerator, make sure the temperature is no higher than 4°C (39°F), since higher temperatures will accelerate the spoilage process. You will probably want to discard your kimchi after three months if you like your kimchi crunchy and mildly flavored. You may notice your kimchi losing its crunchiness and becoming sourer during this period.
Kimchi is also known because of its nutritional benefits. Since it is considered a vegetable-based dish, kimchi is high in minerals, fibers, and vitamins but low in calories.
The same bacteria that are used in making yogurt, which is known as Lactobacillus is used in the process of fermentation. This is valued because of its ability to help in digestion as well as keep a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
In fact, since most average Koreans consumed almost 40 pounds of kimchi per year, no doubt that their good health might be due to the health benefits that Kimchi could offer.
So, you now have an answer to the question of what does kimchi taste like. In fact, it is not just the taste that is provided, but the flavor as well, including every component. Aside from that, you are also provided with the nutritional values and uses of kimchi.
The information provided could be enough for you to try eating kimchi and discover its taste by yourself. In fact, you can even try making one.
Don’t hesitate to share with us your experience of tasting kimchi. We will be very happy to hear it from you! Stay tuned with cookingispassio.com. Happy cooking!
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