Kimchi is a spicy 🌶 Korean dish eaten with most meals in Korean society. The delicious dish has grown in popularity around the world due to its health benefits. The fermented cabbage meal contains lactobacilli and other beneficial probiotics that help keep the digestive process functioning efficiently. Red hot peppers found in the dish are full of Vitamin A and C which are anti-tumoral.
Eating napa cabbage alone wouldn’t have the same health benefits, kimchi is so healthy because of the fermentation. Salt and cabbage are the most important ingredients. Salting the cabbage weakens the cell structure and softens it. Other ingredients are added for flavor but as I mentioned earlier have their own health benefits. Microorganisms like Lactobacillus Plantarum take over, which aid the fermentation process and gives kimchi its unique flavor. Lactobacillus Plantarum thrives in a warm low oxygen environment which is why its best to keep kimchi sealed in a container and kept at about 65°F. The sugars will then begin to metabolize creating lactic acid, decreasing pH.
This is the classic, spicy, traditional napa cabbage kimchi called tongbaechu-kimchi, aka baechu-kimchi, or pogi-kimchi. But in reality this dish is so common and iconic that most Koreans simply call it “kimchi.” When people talk about kimchi, this is the dish they are referring to.
Have fun and enjoy improving your digestive health!