per 100 grams
Carbohydrates 2.4 g
Proteins 1.1 g
Fats 0.5 g
Water 94.3 g
Sugar 1.1 grams
Fiber 1.6 grams
Ash 1.7 grams


15 Calories per 100g

Kimchi is a staple food in countless cultures and cuisines across the world – especially in East and Southeast Asia. The pungent and spicy fermented dish of cabbages, radishes, and various seasonings has a long history that dates back centuries and ties in multiple fascinating societal and economic aspects. Even today, kimchi (??) is enjoyed in many unique forms and continues to spread to more diverse locales. With so many different types, recipes, ingredients, and more, understanding what a kimchi is can be a foreign concept to many. Let’s take a closer look at this savory delicacy to help make a bit more sense of it.

What is Kimchi?

At its core, kimchi is a dish that marinates vegetables for extended periods of time in order to achieve tangy, flavorful, and intensely aromatic flavors. The fermentation processes create a special kind of aroma and taste that has become the hallmarks of kimchi. In its most basic form, kimchi consists of vegetables that are placed in a mixture consisting of salt, garlic, ginger, chili, and other spices, although this combination is highly customizable depending on the kimchi recipe.

One of the most common types of kimchi is napa cabbage kimchi, which is easily recognizable by its crunchy texture and vibrant colors. Other popular varieties of kimchi include ggakdugi (spicy radish, cucumber, and various other vegetables), oi sobagi (stuffed cucumber kimchi), dubu kimchi (tofu kimchi), and baechu kimchi (cabbage kimchi). While the choice of ingredients will differ, the fermenting process is generally the same, meaning that the end result will end up having a unique and recognizable flavor.

The History of Kimchi and Its Spread Across the World

The origin of kimchi dates back to ancient times in Korea, Japan, and China. At first, kimchi was used as a way to preserve food for the long, cold winter months – something that was both a necessity and an important way for people to supplement their diets. Over time, the recipes developed and became increasingly creative, with the effect being carried with merchants, travelers, and immigrants to new places. Today, you can find kimchi in pretty much any cuisine that has Asian roots, but much of the kimchi served in other parts of the world is still deeply linked to Korea.

Korea is known for its commitment to the development of kimchi and it has become an integral part of their culture. A variety of kimchi recipes are still used in the hundreds of regional varieties of the food that have been practiced for centuries. Each region has its own specialty kimchi, often made with local ingredients. The vast array of kimchi-making processes and ingredients that have evolved over time have resulted in a variety of textures and flavors for kimchi, from briny and sour to sweet and spicy.

The modern trend of kimchi has seen a worldwide resurgence. Many people who weren’t previously familiar with this unique dish are now beginning to understand and appreciate the more subtle, complex flavors of kimchi, particularly with the help of various kimchi-focused restaurants popping up all across the globe.

Today, many cultures still serve kimchi as part of their traditional meals. From Japan to China, and to South Korea, it is readily available in grocery stores and eateries, even if it’s still made with procedures that vary slightly from those of its ancient counterparts. Korean kimchi makers still use many of the same traditional methods to prepare their fermented goods, mainly because the flavor of kimchi is still highly tied to its history.

Health Benefits of Kimchi

In addition to its delicious flavor, kimchi has a number of health benefits. Because of its fermentation process, kimchi is full of beneficial probiotics that can help with digestion, improve immunity, and even help lower cholesterol. Additionally, kimchi is packed with vitamins and minerals from the vegetables used to make it, such as vitamins C, A, and B12. It is also a great source of calcium, iron, and magnesium.

Kimchi is also a low-calorie way to get your nutrients, with a one-cup serving containing only around 50 calories. Additionally, kimchi has been known to help improve skin health and reduce inflammation.

In recent years, kimchi has been gaining popularity as a favorite accompaniment to traditional meals, but more and more people are beginning to appreciate the taste, health benefits, and unique cultural heritage that comes along with this unique dish. From its roots in East Asia to its modern spread across the globe, kimchi is here to stay – and to continue to surprise and delight the taste buds of food lovers everywhere.