Let me start by saying kimchi is for the brave. You've probably heard of it by now. Most people know kimchi as spicy, Korean-style fermented cabbage. But actually, kimchi can be made with all kinds of vegetables, like radish, cucumber, or even pumpkin. Now that kimchi has hit the mainstream, you'll see it topping everything from ramen to hot dogs. It adds a pungent heat to whatever you're eating. But did you also know it's mad healthy, too? You may not want to face another cold season without kimchi.
Kimchi is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C. But the real powerhouse is its healthy bacteria, called lactobacilli. Some studies show that the bacteria can help prevent yeast infections, ladies. It's also supposed to be good for your digestion. And many say that it's excellent for your immune system, thanks to both the bacteria and the chili. It's powerful stuff.
You can make kimchi yourself, but I'll warn you: It's famous for stinking up a kitchen. I'm sure there's a way to prepare and store it so your whole house doesn't smell like funky cabbage, but I've never been brave enough to try. Maybe you are? If so, here's how to make "easy" kimchi at home.
Now ... what to do with the stuff? Here are 11 things you can make with kimchi:
- Hot dog. I'm serious, I top my dogs with kimchi all the time. It's great.
- Burger. As long as you're open to kimchi on hot dogs, you should try it on hamburgers.
- Ramen. The ultimate cold-fighting duo! Once you've already prepared your ramen, top with kimchi.
- Tacos. Extremely trendy right now. We also like kimchi quesadillas.
- Ruben sandwich. Use kimchi instead of sauerkraut, you rebel, you.
- Stir fry. Top a mild stir fry with kimchi to give it an extra kick.
- Eggs. Fried, omelette, or scrambled, kimchi is great on eggs.
- Summer rolls. Here's a recipe for kimchi summer rolls.
- Pancakes and waffles. I hear kimchi is a popular pancake topping in Hawaii. Maybe skip the maple syrup?
- Stew. There are SO MANY kimchi stew recipes out there. Here's a kimchi stew recipe from the Momofuku cookbook.
- Pizza. Yeah, people are doing that. I'm not sure they should (what's next, kimchi cronuts?), but maybe if you add it as a topping after baking, it works, who knows.
Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr