How to make Kimchi at home.
Do you want to learn how to make kimchi at home?
Kimchi, the national food of South Korea, is a spicy pickled vegetable dish. Kimchi is traditionally made by combining cabbage, spring onions, or radishes in a brine with garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and fish sauce, and allowing the ingredients to ferment for 1-2 weeks. Kimchi has a rich history in South Korea dating back more than two thousand years.
The abundance of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants present in kimchi can provide important health benefits. For example, some evidence suggests that kimchi may help promote good health and may help prevent or control certain conditions.
Health Benefits of Kimchi:
1. It’s good for your gut.
Like other fermented veggies and foods, kimchi is rich in beneficial probiotics. These good-for-you bacteria have been linked with many health benefits, all of which start in the digestive tract. The Lacto-fermentation process that kimchi undergoes makes it particularly unique. Fermented foods not only have an extended shelf life but also an enhanced taste and aroma. Fermentation occurs when starch or sugar is converted into alcohol or acid by organisms like yeast, mold, or bacteria. Lacto-fermentation uses the bacterium Lactobacillus to break sugars down into lactic acid, which gives this dish its characteristic sourness.
Packed with nutrients while being low in calories. Chinese cabbage boasts vitamins A and C, at least 10 different minerals, and over 34 amino acids. Many green vegetables are good sources of nutrients like vitamin K and riboflavin. Because this dish often comprises several green veggies, such as cabbage, celery, and spinach, it’s typically a great source of these nutrients. Vitamin K plays an important role in many bodily functions, including bone metabolism and blood clotting, while riboflavin helps regulate energy production, cellular growth, and metabolism.
3. May strengthen your immune system
The Lactobacillus bacterium in this dish may boost your immune health. Kimchi’s digestive benefits carry over to your immune system, too. The probiotics in kimchi are beneficial for immune function because the majority of immune function takes place in the gut. When your gut microbiome (a.k.a. that healthy balance of bacteria) is in good shape, your immune system is better able to function optimally.
4. Lowers cholesterol levels
The garlic found in kimchi contains allicin and selenium, both of which are helpful in decreasing the cholesterol reserves of the body. In addition, these substances also indirectly help you prevent chances of developing stroke or other cardiovascular diseases of any kind, due to their prevention of plaque build-up in the walls of your arteries.
5. Slows down the aging process
Ever wondered why Koreans look young for their age? This is just one of the many benefits of kimchi you can consider: kimchi, after two weeks of being fermented, is rich in anti-oxidants which decrease the rate of aging of the skin. It also inhibits cell oxidation, making you look carefree and relaxed.
6. May prevent yeast infections.
Kimchi’s probiotics and healthy bacteria may help prevent yeast infections. The yeast infections you might be most familiar with occur when the Candida fungus (which is normally harmless) multiplies rapidly inside the vagina. However, certain studies have suggested that certain strains of the good bacteria found in kimchi have the antimicrobial properties to actually fight yeast infection-causing fungus, thereby reducing the likelihood of developing the infection.
7. Prevents the occurrence of peptic ulcer
Peptic ulcer is commonly caused by Helicobacter pylori, a Gram-negative bacteria found in the stomach. Kimchi contains leuconostoc mensenteroides which produce dextrin, a substance important to stop the growth of H. pylori in your body!
8. May aid weight loss
Fresh and fermented kimchi are both low in calories and may boost weight loss. A 4-week study in 22 people with excess weight found that eating fresh or fermented kimchi helped reduce body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat. Additionally, the fermented variety decreased blood sugar levels. Keep in mind that those who ate fermented kimchi displayed significantly greater improvements in blood pressure and body fat percentage than those who ate the fresh dish. It’s unclear which properties of kimchi are responsible for its weight loss effects , its low-calorie count, high fiber content, and probiotics could all play a role.
9. Kimchi can potentially lower your blood sugar.
A small study conducted with pre-diabetic participants revealed better glucose tolerance after the study participants ate a fermented kimchi-containing diet for a minimum of 8 weeks. This suggests that kimchi can actually help decrease insulin resistance and improve glucose metabolism.
10. May reduce inflammation
Probiotics and active compounds in kimchi and other fermented foods may help fight inflammation. Excess or chronic inflammation takes a serious toll on your health over time, and probiotics (like you’ll find in kimchi) can have an anti-inflammatory effect on the gut. In fact, one animal study published in the Journal of Microbiology found that a specific strain of probiotic found in kimchi reduced several markers for inflammation in the gut.
How to make Kimchi
Below is a simple recipe to make your own yummy Kimchi. We’ve also added a video at the bottom and that is in fact the recipe we followed to make our Kimchi, and our Asian friends were very impressed.
Warning! Fermented foods smells, and if you don’t enjoy complaining from your family about the fermented smell we suggest you store your kimchi in a air tight container and in a ziplock bag in the fridge to stop any unwanted odours.
1 Chinese cabbage
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2.5cm/1in piece ginger, grated
2 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
5 x red chillis (Add as many as you think will be enough to be spicy for you)
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 x daikon radish, coarsely grated
2 carrots, cut into matchsticks or coarsely grated
4 spring onions or garlic chives, or both, finely shredded
Slice the cabbage into 2.5cm strips. Tip into a bowl, mix with 1 tbsp sea salt, then set aside for 1 hr. Meanwhile, make the kimchi paste by blending the garlic, ginger, fish sauce (if using), chili sauce, sugar, and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.
Rinse the cabbage under cold running water, drain and dry thoroughly. Transfer to a large bowl and toss through the paste, along with the radishes, carrot, and spring onions. Serve straight away or pack into a large jar, seal and leave to ferment at room temperature overnight, then chill. Will keep in the fridge for up to 10 weeks – the flavor will improve the longer it’s left.