Sour, spicy, and umami, kimchi has a crunchy and spicy pickled flavor that is saltier and less acidic than sauerkraut. It makes a perfect side dish for almost any food, especially Korean cuisine.
Made with Napa cabbage, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic and salted shrimp, kimchi is one of the most popular condiment or side dishes to pair with Korean foods.
What do you eat with kimchi? Kimchi goes well with simple steamed rice, fried rice, bibimbap, pancakes, stew, soup, egg dishes, ramen and in dumpling.
Mostly pairs well in savory dishes to give an extra spicy and sour flavor to the meal. Whether it is served on the side cold or cooked with the food, the choices are endless.
Not only is kimchi delicious, but the fermented food contains probiotics and is packed with digestion nutrients similar to those found in yogurt.
If you love kimchi, feel free to experiment with it. This article tells you the flavors and foods to pair with kimchi, and whether it should be served hot or cold.
How healthy is kimchi?
In addition to being a fermented food with natural probiotics, kimchi is high in beta-carotene and several other antioxidant compounds that significantly reduce the risk of serious ailments such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. It’s an excellent source of chlorine, vitamin A, C, and K, calcium, folate, and potassium.
Vitamin K aids in blood clots and helps in maintaining strong bones. Vitamin C boosts immune health while chlorine supports the muscles, nervous system, cells, and mood.
Furthermore, the probiotics maintain gut health and prevent gastrointestinal disorders such as colon inflammation and irritable bowel syndrome.
However, be careful not to over consume due to its high salt content, especially if you are at high risk of heart disease. The sodium rich side dish can increase blood pressure and higher discharge of calcium that weaken the bones.
Should I eat kimchi cold or hot?
Kimchi can be enjoyed straight out of the fridge or heated up in a skillet, it tastes great either way. Some people love the spicy, cold taste of kimchi, while others enjoy the tangy texture more when it’s heated up.
When served cold, the crunchiness and spiciness can be experienced, however heating kimchi can turn it mushy, lose its crunchiness, and alter the taste slightly.
In addition, cold kimchi has more probiotic benefits since cooking will kill the beneficial bacteria in kimchi as the enzymes are destroyed at around 115 degree Fahrenheit. Therefore, if kimchi needs to be cooked, consider adding at the end of the cooking process to preserve the gut health benefits.
What food goes well with kimchi?
Kimchi has unique distinctive flavor that pairs wonderfully with various food. No matter what ingredients you choose, kimchi can be served hot or cold based on your personal preference.
Here are a list of possible pairings that go well with kimchi:
- Rice: Steamed white rice and brown rice can be effortlessly transformed by stirring some finely chopped kimchi into the dish. It adds a tangy spicy flavor to the rice making it more delicious and enjoyable. It also works perfectly with kimchi fried rice. Be sure to stir it in last once everything is fully cooked to maximize the probiotic benefits.
- Pancakes: Kimchi adds a nice crunchy flavor with spicy-tart to savory kimchi pancakes or any fritter type. Try adding scallions and pork fitters or sweet potato pancakes.
- Dumplings: Whether it is meat or vegetable based, adding chopped kimchi as part of ingredients makes dumplings spicy and savory. Always garnish with soy sauce and sprinkle red pepper flakes and a drop of rice vinegar in the dipping sauce.
- Eggs: If you love scrambled eggs with cheese folded in, you’ll enjoy kimchi scrambled eggs even more. The combination is a match made in heaven.
- Stews or soup: Add kimchi to stew or soup for that extra funk and spice. Try a Korean tofu stew with vegetables, meat, or spam.
- Noodles: Noodles with broth such as ramen noodles or spicy cold noodles pair wonderfully with kimchi. Spicy, sweet, tangy sauce and meaty stocks taste good with a side of kimchi
What flavor goes well with kimchi?
Add a deep, umami flavor to kimchi with salted oysters or salted shrimp, fish sauce, garlic, ginger, and chili flakes or gochugaru. If you prefer something clean and light, sliced apples, pear, or daikon radish will do the trick.
Finish with hot peppers or red pepper flakes for some extra heat.
- kimchi + rice + fried eggs + avocado
- kimchi + pork + scallion + pancake
- kimchi + scrambled egg + cheese + toast
- kimchi + chicken + soy sauce + poached eggs + honey
- kimchi + ground meat + glass noodles + soy sauce + sesame oil + tofu + dumplings + mung beans
Eat With Kimchi: Conclusion
With kimchi, there are endless possibilities. It’s pretty versatile and therefore pairs perfectly with almost any food that needs a salty, tangy, umami flavor along side to complement.
It tastes good with a plain bowl of steamed rice, fried rice, bibimbap, pancakes, in stew or soup, scrambled egg, ramen, and dumplings.
No matter what you served with it, the fermented food can be enjoyed either cold or hot. But be aware that cooking kimchi may alter its taste, texture, as well as decrease probiotic benefits.
Furthermore, avoid consuming too much due to its high sodium intake. So, consume wisely to add vitamins and minerals into daily servings.
The list above just scratches the surface for foods to eat with kimchi. Sift through the food pairings with kimchi to find combinations that suit your tastes, and also explore new ways to enjoy the nutritional benefits and delicious flavors of kimchi with your favorite foods.