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The A to Z's of kimchi
One of Korea's most traditional and representative foods is kimchi. Kimchi is made by salting cabbage, and adding red-pepper powder, garlic, ginger, scallions and radishes. These nutritious foods are mixed and allowed to ferment in order to create what we know as kimchi. The Korean people enjoy this representative side dish, which is well known for its spicy flavor, with rice. Varying in types depending on the season and location, kimchi offers ingredients rich in vitamin C, Calcium, lactic bacterium and many other nutritious substances. Recently, SARS influence has struck many places throughout Asia. Korea has managed to stay SARS-free and some are saying that the reason for this can be found in kimchi. Some of the foods made with kimchi include: kimchi-jjigae (stew), kimchi-guk (soup), kimchi-jeon (a Korean-style pancake), and kimchi fried rice. These days kimchi has been fused into Western style foods such as hamburgers and pizza, which are loved by many.
History of kimchi
Since human beings began cultivating the land, they have enjoyed vegetables, which are rich in vitamins and minerals. The cold Korean winters, when cultivation was practically impossible, led naturally to the development of the storage method of pickling. As a kind of pickled vegetable, kimchi was born in Korea around the 7th century.
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Benefits of kimchi

Well-fermented kimchi has anti-biotic functions as lactic acid bacteria produced in the process of fermentation suppresses the growth of harmful bacteria.
This bacteria not only gives a sourish flavor to matured kimchi but also prevents excessive fermentation by restraining growth of other bacteria in the intestines.
Not only that, substances in kimchi prevent hyperacidity resulting from excessive intake of meat and other acidic foods.
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Regional types of kimchi


Seoul

Baek kimchi (백김치)
Tong baechu kimchi
  (통배추김치)
Nabak kimchi (나박김치)
Jang kimchi (장김치)


Gangwon-do

Changnanjeot kkakdugi
  (창난젓깍두기)


Gyeonggi-do

Bossam kimchi (보쌈김치)



Chungcheong-do

Gaji kimchi (가지김치)
Jjokpa kimchi (쪽파김치)
Chonggak kimchi (총각김치)


Gyeongsang-do

Ueong kimchi (우엉김치)
Kongnip kimchi (콩잎김치)
Buchu kimchi (부추김치)


Jeolla-do

Godeulppaegi kimchi
  (고들빼기김치)
Gul kkakdugi (굴깍두기)
Dolsan gat kimchi (돌산갓김
  치)
The making of kimchi

① Cabbage, radish, peppers, and garlic are among the ingredients used to prepare the filling for kimchi. Thin strips of radishes and scallions, minced garlic and red pepper powder are all mixed together. ② The cabbage is cut in half, salted and placed aside for one night. The following day the cabbage is rinsed well and the excess water is drained away. ③ The cabbage is then ready for the filling. The filling is evenly placed between each leaf of cabbage.

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④ In order to keep all of the filling securely in the cabbage, the entire cabbage is wrapped with an outermost leaf and allowed to ferment for about 1 week. ⑤ The fermented kimchi is sliced and placed in a dish for all to enjoy.
Experience kimchi first hand

The Kimchi Museum

The Gwangju Kimchi Festival
Purchase kimchi
Kimchi can be purchased almost anywhere. You can find it at such places as department stores, Namdaemun Market, The Kimchi Museum, discount markets (E-mart, Homever, etc.) and convenience stores. Kimchi is usually sold in the basement area of department stores (where you can typically find a food court and supermarket area). At Namdaemun Market you can find kimchi, on a street lined with food shops where other popular foods such as seaweed (sheets of laver) and ginseng are also found. At the Kimchi Museum you can enjoy a meal as well as purchase goods.

▶ Namdaemun Market     ▶ Department Store



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