Creative Ways to Enjoy Kimchi

by in Health 06/04/2014

Kimchi to Koreans is like pasta to Italians or bread to Americans. Kimchi is a fermented side dish of vegetables with different seasonings that originated from Korea and is popular in Japan and other Asian countries. Most Koreans consider a meal incomplete without kimchi.

My husband and I love Kimchi. One of our favorite dining experiences is going to a Korean restaurant where they bring dozens of different kimchi and other sides in small dishes, or “Banchan”, to our table. We have fun trying all the different varieties and order dish after dish of the ones we like while we enjoy our meal.
Kimchi served in banchan
With its interesting and complex flavor, it’s no surprise that more and more people are getting hooked. Especially by those who enjoy spicy foods. If you don’t like spicy foods not to worry, there are dozens of variety of kimchi with varying degrees of spiciness.

Some varieties of kimchi may contain traces of seafood. Contrary to popular belief in the West, not all kimchi is made with seafood. Just make sure you buy a variety that doesn’t have any seafood in the ingredients. If you cannot find any in your area you can easily make it at home, just search online for a recipe.

Did you know that don’t have to enjoy kimchi as a side dish? Here are some other interesting and delicious ways on to turn this side dish into the star attraction of your next meal:

  • Fried Rice If you have Chinese fried rice often and starting to find it boring, make kimchi fried rice instead! For the ingredients you need a bowl of cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups kimchi, cut-up firm tofu, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, minced green onion, 1 egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir fry the kimchi before adding the rice and the rest of the ingredients.
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich Yes, grilled cheese and kimchi, don’t knock it ’til you tried it! Chop the kimchi into small pieces and simply add it as a layer in your sandwich. Cook the sandwich as you would a regular grilled cheese sandwich. There’s something about the combination of kimchi and cheese that produces a whole new level of flavor and texture.
  • Deviled Eggs If you would like to add a twist to your plain deviled eggs, this is an excellent way that your guests will love! You will need 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 tablespoon chopped kimchi, 2 mint leaves and 1 tablespoon mayonnaise. Mix the yolks with the rest of the ingredients then scoop the filling to the egg white halves. This recipe is based on one I found by David Chang and totally rocks! You need to try it ASAP.
  • Omelet Who knew that kimchi can also be eaten for breakfast? But then again kimchi omelet is so good that you would want to eat it for lunch and dinner too! Apart from chopped kimchi, you can also add scallion, shitake or cremini mushroom into the egg mixture.
  • Dumplings Kimchi dumplings are so easy to make and you only need 2 ingredients – kimchi (obviously) and dumpling wrappers. You can have them any way you want – deep fried, steamed, pan fried or dropped into soup. No need for a dipping sauce because they are bursting with flavor on their own.

There are many ways to enjoy kimchi, you don’t have to eat it as a side dish all the time. We’ve seen kimchi soups and noodle dishes starting to appear in some Asian restaurants. You can find it in many grocery stores. Look for it in the refrigerated produce section. If you can’t find vegetarian kimchi look online for a recipe and make it yourself. Go ahead and experiment with what you can do with kimchi. Have fun!


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