Kimchi Nutrition Facts: Everything About The South Korean Dish

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Nov 03, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Apr 16, 2022
As you read, you will learn about Kimchi nutrition facts and other details about this side dish.

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made of fermented vegetables, typically napa cabbage and radish. It has a spicy and sour flavor and is often eaten as a condiment or side dish.

While kimchi can be made at home, it is also available commercially. And thanks to its many health benefits, kimchi is growing in popularity around the world. Kimchi is low in calories and sodium, with a high nutrient content.

Fun Facts About Kimchi

Kimchi is quickly becoming popular in all parts of the world. Read on for some fun facts about this healthy food that is a staple in the South Korean diet.

In South Korea, kimchi is a popular side dish. It is often served alongside the main course in both restaurants and homes. Kimchi is eaten on its own too.

However, the common practice is to pair kimchi with white rice, savory dishes, or to mix it in with fried rice. Over the years, South Korea has been cashing in on the international appeal its pop culture has.

South Korean foods are a part of this campaign too, and kimchi leads among them. Kimchi's popularity is also a result of rising health consciousness among people of all generations. Kimchi is regarded as a very healthy food for its nutrient content.

Most people have eaten or have heard about napa cabbage kimchi. However, there are more than 100 varieties out there. Kimchi can be made out of possibly any vegetable.

There are even fish and chicken kimchi variants. Some of the popular kimchi variants in Korean cuisine are baek kimchi (white kimchi), dongchimi (water-based kimchi), and kkakdugi (daikon kimchi). Baek kimchi or white kimchi is a milder version of the napa cabbage kimchi.

It uses milder ingredients and doesn't have hot pepper. It is a common practice to substitute daikon for Korean radish while preparing kkakdugi. However, some argue that there is a noticeable difference between these two flavors.

There also exists ponytail kimchi. This variation of the food is prepared using small radish known as 'chonggak'.

The ponytail kimchi is named so because the radish it is made from has green ponytails on one end, and they are left on as part of the dish. Did you know that chonggak kimchi is also called 'bachelor kimchi'? This is because its green tails resemble the traditional hairstyle bachelors in Korea used to sport.

Dongchimi is a type of water-based, light kimchi. Its name roughly translates to 'winter kimchi', as 'dongchi' is the Korean word for 'winter solstice'.

Nutritional Facts About Kimchi

Kimchi is high in dietary fiber and nutrients and low in calories and sodium, making it a healthy addition to your daily diet. Learn more about the health benefits and nutrient content of kimchi below.

Nutrition facts about kimchi suggest that it is a food high in nutrients, however, this varies according to the ingredients used in it, region, and seasonality. Kimchi is rich in probiotics.

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli, that help you digest food and maintain gut health. Red hot pepper is often used while making kimchi.

This is a very good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. The main ingredient in kimchi is often cabbage, which in itself is a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamins C and A are natural antioxidants and contribute to the body's immune system by improving immune health.

The nutritional value of a cup of kimchi varies based on ingredients and brands. In general, one cup of kimchi contains 23 calories. Read on to find out how much a nutrient in kimchi contributes to your body's requirements.

The serving size of one cup or 5.29 oz (150 g) of kimchi has 0.14 oz (4 g) of carbohydrates, 0.07 oz (2 g) of protein, 0.07 oz (2 g) of dietary fiber, and negligible amounts of fat and sodium.

Kimchi also has ample amounts of vitamins and nutrients. One cup makes up for considerable proportions of the daily required intake of different vitamins.

Against daily values, kimchi contains 19% of vitamin B6, 22% of vitamin C, 55% of vitamin K, as well as 20% of folate, 21% of iron, 10% of niacin, and 24% of riboflavin.

The anti-inflammatory properties and probiotics of kimchi make it an ideal food for people with heart disease and gastrointestinal problems. The healthy bacteria (lactic acid bacteria), green vegetables, and amino acids in kimchi make it one of the healthiest foods out there as it is good for gut health, heart health, and immune function.

There are many health benefits of fermented foods like kimchi.

Facts About Kimchi's Origin

Kimchi is a dish that is popular all over the world, but do you know where it comes from? This traditional Korean food has been around for centuries.

The origin of kimchi is almost as old as the Korean people themselves. Kimchi came about as a method to preserve vegetables when they were not in season.

As vegetables did not grow year-round, ancient Korean people would store pickled or brined vegetables to make them last long in winter. Although kimchi is associated with cabbage, it didn't start out that way. The earliest versions of kimchi were made with radish.

From around 57 BCE to 668 CE, fermented foods like brined radish were made. Sometimes, these radishes were dipped in soybean paste to make fermented kimchi.

Kimchi gained popularity during the rise of Buddhism in South Korea. This was because religious people adopted vegetarian diets. It was during the Koryeo period that kimchi started assuming its 'juicy' form.

During this era, a lot of trade was happening across the continent. This brought in many vegetables such as cucumbers, leeks, bamboo shoots, and the popular Chinese cabbage that is now associated with kimchi.

Literature from this period of Korean history suggests that this nutrient-rich food was already a staple in the country. In the Joseon Dynasty period, spices and sauces were discovered and experimented with, changing what kimchi looked and tasted like to resemble the modern dish we see today.

People began to eat it with many seasonings.

It was between the 1600s and 1800s that hot pepper and napa cabbage became characteristics of kimchi. If you look at kimchi recipes from the later 1800s, you'll find that they are rather similar to what we see and eat today.

Facts About Kimchi Preparation

There are hundreds of different kimchi, and their methods of preparation have evolved over the years. The most important component of preparing kimchi is ensuring you have a hygienic space at the right temperatures and conditions to allow for proper fermentation.

The first step to making kimchi is brining the cabbage or vegetable. Allow the salt to draw out water. This does two things: preserves the vegetable and allows the seasoning to set in properly. The fermentation process of kimchi takes only a few days.

If you want to make it last longer, store it in the refrigerator. The next step is preparing and mixing in seasonings. The usual ingredients used in the preparation of kimchi are red hot peppers, green onions, garlic, ginger, salt, and fermented fish sauce.

All of these spices and sauces are mixed together to make a paste, which is then thoroughly rubbed into the fermented cabbage. After kimchi is prepared, it is packed very tightly into jars or bags that are airtight. It is then stored in the refrigerator or a well-maintained room temperature storage space to avoid contamination or molding.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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