Today marks the start of a new segment on this blog: Bite of the World. One of my biggest passions in life is the exploration of cultures through their cuisine. It’s such an easy way to bring international adventure into your life when your budget might not afford you trips around the world. In this series, I’ll put the spotlight on various dishes from around the globe.
As a child, I was basically the opposite of adventurous. Mushrooms gave me the creeps. I would never think of touching an avocado. My wimpy spice tolerance was maxed out at black pepper.
Undeniably stinky, spicy, and rather unattractive, kimchi is the embodiment of everything I would have hated as a youth.
So what exactly is it?
Kimchi is a fermented side dish which is often found at every meal in the Korean culture. Types of vegetables used in the preparation of kimchi vary, but you can commonly find it made with Napa cabbage. Vegetables are combined with seasonings, spices, and/or other ingredients, and are then left to ferment.
Because of this fermentation, kimchi is full of probiotics (good gut bacteria) which you might know from things like yogurt and kefir. In addition, vegetables used for kimchi are typically low-calorie with a good amount of fiber, a total pro for satiety and aiding in weight loss. It can also be full of various vitamins, like A and C.
If you’re not brave enough to try it on its own, no worries. Take a tip from the super hip fusion cuisine food trucks like Chi’Lantro, Coreanos, and Oh My Gogi and ease yourself into the world of kimchi by giving it an Mexican twist. All the cool kids are doing it.