Love That Kimchi.com
A Site dedicated to Kimchi and Korean cuisine
Kimchi will forever remain Korea's National Side Dish. It is served with every meal regardless of the table's socio-economic state. Kimchi is always present at the Korean table and no meal is complete without it.
Kimchi can be traced back to ancient times. References to kimchi can be found as early as 2600–3000 years ago. The first text-written evidence of its existence can be found in the first Chinese poetry book, Sigyeong. In this book, kimchi was referred to as ji . The term ji was used until the pre-modern term chimchae (hanja, lit. soaked vegetables), dimchae, and timchae were adopted in the period of the Three Kingdoms of Korea. The word then was modified into jimchi, and is currently called kimchi.
Early kimchi was made of cabbage and beef stock only, and in the twelfth century people began to include other spices to create different flavors, such as sweet and sour flavors, and colors such as white and orange.
Kimchi is very spicy and can also be exceptionally sweet. Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber, while being low in calories. One serving also provides up to 80% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C and carotene. Most types of kimchi contain onions, garlic, and peppers, all of which are salutary. The vegetables being made into kimchi also contribute to the overall nutritional value. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, and contains a number of lactic acid bacteria, among those the typical species Lactobacillus kimchii.
One study conducted by Seoul National University claimed that chickens infected with the H5N1 virus, also called avian flu, recovered after eating food containing the same bacteria found in kimchi. However, the veracity of these results has been questioned due to the very small sample size of only a handful of chickens and the fact that no subsequent research supported the claims. During the 2003 SARS outbreak in Asia, many people even believed that kimchi could protect against infection, although there was no scientific evidence to support this belief. However, in May 2009, the Korea Food Research Institute, Korea’s state food research organization, proved the efficacy of kimchi against the avian flu by conducting related scientific tests.
- From Wikipedia
The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has documented 187 historic and current varieties of kimchi.
During the 1988 Summer Olympic Games, thousands of foreigners were introduced to it for the first time.
"The first written record of kimchi appeared in the middle of the Goryeo dynasty (935-1392). In Donggugisanggukjip, a collection of writings by Lee Gyu-bo, a poem called "Gapoyugyeong" (Six Songs on the Backyard Vegetable Plot) records the following: "Preserved in soybean paste kimchi tastes god in the summer, whereas kimchi pickled in brine is served as a good side dish during the winter. When the root of the Chinese Cabbage grows larger in the ground, it tastes like a pear, especially after the first frost in the autumn harvest season." This is the first mention of kimchi being pickled in brine."
"In 1670, a woman known only as Mrs. Chang of Andong illustrated seven kinds of kimchi in her book Eumsik Jimibang (Ways of Knowing the Tastes of Food), in which the pheasant was included among kimchi is many different ingredients. This is evidence that protein was included in Kimchi's from at least the 17th century on. One of modern-day kimchi's most important ingredients, red pepper, came into use after the Hideyoshi invasions (1592-1598), when Japan invaded Korea during the Joseon dynasty. "
"From that time on, the appearance and the fermentation of kimchi have changed drastically because of the introduction of red pepper. Furthermore, Koreans' inclination of favoring the color red, along with the cultivation of the spicy red pepper, contributed to the basic form and character of present day kimchi." From - Good Morning Kimchi! Forty Different Kinds of Traditional & Fusion Kimchi Recipes
Later, in 1827, ninety-two kinds of kimchi were illustrated in minute detail in Seo Yu-Gu's Imwongyeongjesibyukji. (Sixteen Records of Forest and Fields).
Today we have over 200 varieties of kimchi which are served daily at every Korean table and around the world.
Health magazine ranked kimchi one of the top five healthiest foods in the world! It was proven to aid digestion, high in vitamins, and possibly reduce cancer growth. Other published information points out some kimchi varieties are high in sodium. Some studies have found a connection between the high consumption of kimchi and forms of gastric cancer. Possibly a case of too much of a good thing being bad for you?
One oncological study found one type of kimchi to be a protective factor against gastric cancer while two other types of such high-sodium kimchi as dongchimi were risk factors.
A Proven Wholesome Food
Kimchi eliminates cholesterol, promotes intestinal health, the high garlic content is a powerful anti-oxidant, the combination of green onions and garlic produce the benficial High Density Lipoproteins in the blood, and the red chili peppers have the highest concentrations of Vitamin C of any known food
"Selenium from the garlic works to scoop cholesterol off of arterial walls. Allicin from the garlic works with the onions to raise the levels of HDL transport molecules which carry the cholesterol down to the gall bladder. The high levels of Vitamin C are used to convert the cholesterol to disposable substances. And the glutathione peroxidase made from the garlic along with the phytochemicals from the fruit and vegetables all work to magnify Vitamin C's availability. If there is a single-food defence to heart ailments, kimchi has to be it!" From - What Makes Kimchi So Healthy?
"According to several studies, the fermentation process allows lactic acid to penetrate the food, allowing healthy bacteria to form, called Lactobacillus kimchii. This bacteria promotes lactic acid. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lactic acid prolongs endurance, regulates the digestion system, and promotes healthy metabolic functioning in men. It naturally boosts the metabolism and allows you to exercise longer, naturally fuelling your workout. " From - Why Kimchi Prevents Obesity
Kimchi also works to clean out your system by feeding the lactobacteria and bifidobacteria that live in your intestines.
The top two ingredients for promoting the beneficial bacteria and inhibiting the unfriendly bacteria are cabbage and onions. The cabbage ferments and produces the nutrients that the lactobacteria thrive on. Cabbage is also a known cure for ulcers.
Articles on Kimchi's Health Benefits:
So how is the stuff made?
With as many recipes as there are varieties, I've tried a handful, and judged every one of them against the traditional flavors I experienced in Korea.
Our guide is Maangchi who has published her own books and DVD on Korean cooking. You must get your copy soon if you seek, as I call it, the 'Real Deal in Korean Food' !
"Scientists at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute unveiled a kimchi especially developed for astronauts to prevent them from getting constipated in space. A researcher at Ewha Woman's University in Seoul reported that kimchi lowered the stress levels of caged mice by 30 percent.
At the Kimchi Research Institute in Busan, hairless mice fed kimchi were reported to develop fewer wrinkles. With a government grant of $500,000, the institute is developing a special anti-aging kimchi that will be marketed this year. Other new products are anti-cancer and anti-obesity kimchi."
From - In Korea, everybody loves kimchi
"Korean pride swelled when the U.S. magazine Health listed kimchi in its March issue as one of the world's five most healthful foods. (The others are yogurt, olive oil, lentils and soy.)
In fact, interest in kimchi's curative properties has risen proportionally with the fears of diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian flu. During the 2003 panic over SARS, people started remarking that Korea seemed curiously immune, and speculation revolved around kimchi.
In March, LG Electronics put out a new line of air conditioners that have an enzyme extracted from kimchi in the filters."
From - In Korea, everybody loves kimchi
Kimchi - Brief overview and recipes