I was raised by a Korean mother, and that means there was one thing that we never ran out of in our household: kimchi. Kimchi is a spicy fermented vegetable side dish that Koreans have been eating for hundreds of years. It’s made from napa cabbage, radish or cucumber that is mixed with garlic, scallions, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and ginger. It also makes your breath smell like whole cloves of garlic and your fridge smell like last month’s leftovers.
Despite its stinky smell, kimchi is super healthy for you (contains vitamins A, B and C) and studies have shown that it may even prevent the growth of cancer. Although it’s usually eaten with rice or noodles, or made into kimchi soup or pancakes. This traditional Korean side dish also tastes great with a lot of traditional American dishes. In fact, it tastes great with just about anything, and I should know because I’ve eaten it with everything. I’ve eaten it with hot dogs, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, scrambled eggs, french fries, spaghetti, chili, fried chicken and fish, just to name a few.
Here are a few pictures of what I’ve eaten with kimchi:
Apparently I’m not the only person who loves kimchi. The spicy side dish has gained popularity in the U.S., showing up on restaurant menus across the country and starring as a “fried kimchi rice ball” on Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” Celebrity chef Bobby Flay even has his own recipe for it.
If you’re already a fan of kimchi and didn’t think that it could get any tastier, then I have ten recipes that will prove you wrong. First you need to get the kimchi. I suggest going to H-Mart, Lotte Plaza or a local Asian grocery store. If you prefer to make it yourself, here’s a great homemade kimchi recipe. Then you can try these fusion dishes for something exciting and new:
Reminder: Don’t forget to brush your teeth or use mouthwash after eating kimchi!