Do you know any kinds of Korean dishes? I hope you do. Korean dishes do offer exciting and delightful taste compared to others. One of the best dishes that are often served is the 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 which is made with ginger, garlic, vegetables, fish, salt and chili peppers. This mixture is fermented and pickled and known as a way in order to preserve the vegetables during winter months.
Cabbage is the most common vegetable to use in order to make kimchi, while radish, scallions, and the cucumber are also common options. There are also hundreds of recipes which could vary based on the region and season wherein they are produced.
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 to include umami, spicy and sour. The flavor also depends on the vegetables, the amount of sugar or salt used and the length of fermentation.
- Fish. Most kimchi recipes would include some sort of fish product whether fermented fish sauce, fish paste or anchovies. These fish ingredients will give the strong umami flavor. If kimchi doesn’t have fish, it will have a fresher or lighter taste.
- Spicy. 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.
- Sour. 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. 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 light taste will be offered if radish or cucumber is used.
- Garlic. 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. 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 sweet.
So, if in doubt 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 which 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 being served with almost every meal. It might not just be eaten itself 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 the 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.
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Kimchi is also known because of its nutritional benefits. Since it is considered as 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 “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. For a help on how to make a kimchi, watch this.
Don’t hesitate to share with us your experience about tasting kimchi. We will be very happy to hear it from you!