Is Kimchi Spicy? (What Does It Taste Like?)

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Is Kimchi spicy?

Kimchi is mostly sour, spicy, slightly sweet, and umami.

But heaven knows I can’t beat my chest on this one, whether Kimchi is spicy or not, without multiple flavors trying to get in my way. 

Most Kimchi is spicy, but not all are because there are variants of non-spicy Kimchi like the baek kimchi that are quite popular with children and spicy food cautious. 

If you step out of the everyday-spice mixes to classic condiments, you will discover a world of limitless flavors and possibilities — well, you’ve just met one, Kimchi! 

What Is Kimchi?

Is Kimchi Spicy

Kimchi is an iconic dish of Korean cuisine, with a broad and deep appeal. 

This condiment or side dish has superstar status in every Korean kitchen, making any meal taste delightful with its hypnotic trance flavors. And it has been gaining popularity across the globe in the past decades. 

This traditional Korean dish is made with various vegetables, chili peppers, garlic, ginger, salt, and fish sauce. More importantly, it works as a dip, an ingredient, a condiment, and a side dish, all on its own. 

Kimchi is pickled and fermented. Although this was the initial method to ensure the integrity of the vegetables is still intact even in winter months.

And while cabbage might be the common vegetable in Kimchi, carrots, scallions, radish, and cucumber are also frequently used.

Furthermore, there are various fermented and healthy Kimchi, quintessentially Korean with complex flavors. And they can vary depending on the region and the season they were produced, but we won’t fail to mention a few.

Also, Kimchi is quickly turning into a vegan dish — just keep all the ingredients plant-based. And lastly, you can get this all-purpose condiment in any grocery store, with a hands-off experience for an affordable price.

Is Kimchi Spicy: What Does Kimchi Taste Like?

It just strikes a bunch of different flavor notes all at once — sweet, sour, spicy, and umami. 

But that depends solely on the recipe. I’m talking about the vegetables you choose, the amount of sugar or salt used, and the length of fermentation. 

It can also be very spicy or less aromatic, again, depending on the quantity and type of chili pepper used. 

The intense umami flavors note is a product of the fish sauce, fish paste, or anchovies. At the same time, the sour traces are a result of fermentation. 

Due to its complex flavor and flexibility, the possibilities are almost limitless. In Korean culture, you can use Kimchi in almost every meal, including breakfast. It can be eaten alone as an appetizer and used as a condiment and ingredients in a wide variety of dishes. 

You can use it for traditional stew (kimchi jjigae) or flavoring noodles, flavor fried rice, sandwiches, pizza, and even stir-fry dishes. 

Or you can strictly go for kimchi recipes like the Kimchi Fried Rice, Korean Kimchi Pancakes, Scallion Kimchi, and many more. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Healthy Is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a healthy condiment because it is a source of vitamin A, C, K; Folate, Choline, Potassium, Calcium, Beta-carotene, and other antioxidant compounds — each helping an essential aspect of the body. 

Is It OK To Eat Kimchi Every Day?

To get the most out of Kimchi, you will have to take it moderately — one serving (100g) of Kimchi is the recommended daily consumption. 

What Are Some Of The Populous Kimchi Varieties?

As I said, there are about 200 different varieties of Kimchi, some of which have their unique tangy twist in the flavor profile.

Sadly, we can’t mention all 200 here. 

However, what we can do is give a shortlist of some of the crowded kinds of Kimchi —which are: 

  • Craig Nagy
  • Baek (White) Kimchi
  • Kkakdugi (Cubed Radish Kimchi)
  • Ponytail Radish (Chonggak) Kimchi
  • Oi Sobagi (Cucumber Kimchi)
  • Nabak (Red Water) Kimchi
  • Dongchimi (Radish Water Kimchi)
  • Gat (Mustard Leaf) Kimchi
  • Bossam (Wrapped) Kimchi
  • Korean Buddhist-Style Baechu Kimchi

Where Can You Buy Kimchi?

Kimchi is famous so you can get it anywhere. They are readily available in just about any grocery shop, supermarket, and online store. Has been steadily increasing worldwide and can now be found in many grocery stores.

If you have a nearby grocery shop, just move to the refrigerated produce section or near refrigerated pickles and sauerkraut, there you will locate Kimchi. Kimchi can also purchase at Asian restaurants and markets or sushi bars. 

How Can You Store Kimchi?

Kimchi will keep well in the fridge for many months – and it will still be safe to eat after that point; however, the flavor will intensify and become more pungent, and the veggies may lose some of their crispness.

Most people are fond of keeping their meals on the kitchen counter. And unlike most food that gets contaminated or spoilt a day or two, Kimchi offers a week of grace after opening. 

However, Kimchi can stay fresh and healthy in the refrigerator for about three to six months. Although it continues to ferment, leading to a sourer taste. But it is still safe for consumption as long as there is no mold, indicating spoilage. 

Conclusion

By now, you must have realized most (especially some of the famous) Kimchi are fiery. If you are a Chile head, you will adore the Kkakdugi and many spicy Kimchi. 

However, if you’re not the spicy type, Baek (White) Kimchi is your best friend. They are made mostly of vegetables and fruits such as chives, garlic, radishes, chestnuts, Korean pear, and jujubes. 

It is not as spicy as the other. They are like the angel sitting on your right shoulder. It is also flavorful and versatile, like the spicy devil.

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