What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a fermented Korean dish, popular in some East Asian cuisines and can be found in fusion foods. Kimchi is somewhat similar to sauerkraut and is made from napa cabbage, but undergoes a slightly different process during its making. Kimchi sits in a sauce of its own creation; fermented liquids, salt and water from the cabbage. It has a full flavor that is spicy and hot with chili peppers, garlic, ginger and the deep umami of fish sauce mingling with the dominant fermented flavor. The colors in this dish are usually green with a bit of red from the hot peppers. Kimchi is eaten raw as well as cooked.
What does Kimchi Taste Like?
...Salty is one of the five main tastes. It has a satisfying and addictive quality with hints of sourness. Salty foods include cheeses, cured meats, chips, and olives. It is used in almost every dish and prepared food. Salt is added to enhance flavor and offer a distinctly salty taste.
...Spicy is a flavor that brings heat and fire to food by creating a burning sensation in the mouth or sinuses. Spicy flavors come from hot peppers, horseradish, and wasabi. Spicy adds a kick and sometimes complexity to a dish and releases endorphins, creating a mildly addictive quality.
...Napa cabbage is a type of cabbage with an oblong body and gently crinkled leaves that form a cluster to create the body of the cabbage. The leaves have white stems that taper towards the top, and along each stem is the pale green leaf of the cabbage, with a thin texture that cooks quickly. Napa cabbage tastes mild, vegetal and slightly sweet. It has many uses, including in stir fries and Asian coleslaw.
...Water is a substance and chemical compound made up of hydrogen and oxygen. It is clear, fluid, flavorless and odorless. Water is a necessity in nearly every aspect of life, including cooking, baking and hydrating the human body. Water can be served as a cold beverage, or at any temperature comfortable to the mouth and skin.
...The daikon radish, also known as mooli, is a large radish with a white body and small green leaves at its top. It is round and fat, yet long, sometimes a foot or more in length. The texture is woody and crisp and the flavor is strong and very spicy with the characteristic bite of a radish. Daikon can be eaten raw and added to salads, or cooked into stir fries and other dishes. It is not commonly used in Western cooking and is much more popular in East Asian cuisine.
...Scallions, also called green onions are a thin onion formed into a stalk with a white bottom that sprouts out into two or three thin, tubular branches. They are less than a foot in height and three quarters of the scallion is green. It is easy to cut and chew and is dry with a hint of juiciness. The flavor is spicy and sharp with a green taste. Scallions are used to flavor to savory foods.
...The bell pepper is a vegetable by culinary measures, but botanically it is a fruit. Bell peppers grow in warm to hot climates and are somewhat bell shaped, hence the name. They are large, with wide ridges and smooth, shiny, thin skin. The flesh of the bell pepper is thin, crunchy and a bit juicy. They four main colors of bell peppers are red, green, orange and yellow, some are purple. The flavor is sweet, vegetal and mild. The inside has seeds that should be remove before consuming the flesh of the pepper. These peppers are used in dishes, both raw and cooked.
...Fish sauce is a clear and thin liquid with a color that is light or medium brown and made from anchovies. It is used in many East Asian dishes to add a marine-like umami quality. The flavor is salty, fishy and fermented. A little bit goes a long way and can make or break a dish, depending on the amount used. Just enough fish sauce brightens every flavor in the dish, while too much is overpowering.
...Ginger is a spice whose root is used in food around the world. The root is grown underground and has a hard body and thin beige skin. The root has many rounded and long shoots and is often fat. The flesh of the ginger is golden colored with a flavor that is earthy, spicy and bright. Ginger is made into tea, used in sauces, desserts and savory dishes.
...Garlic is used in cuisines around the world and is extremely popular for its depth of flavor. The garlic bulb forms underneath the soil and is harvested once it reaches maturity. The bulb typically has thin, dry, white and flaky skin, surrounding the individual cloves. Often there are 10-12 cloves to a bulb/head of garlic. The cloves are cream colored with a strong smell and flavor that is spicy and sharp. Garlic takes on a nutty flavor in addition, when cooked. It is used in countless dishes, sauces, breads and more.
...The shrimp is a sea dwelling crustacean with a shelled body. The shell is removed and not eaten. The shrimp is curved like a C when cooked and its slender body is a few inches in length when raw. The texture of shrimp is firm and has a juicy crunch when chewed. The color is a pinkish white and the flavor is mild, a bit salty sweet and ocean-like.
...Sugar comes from sugar cane and sugar beets. The sugar is extracted from the juice of both plants and refined into the granulated substance known as sugar. Sucrose, the sweet substance of sugar is a combination of glucose and fructose. White sugar is composed of tiny white, dry granules. The flavor is sweet and neutral. Brown sugar is brown and has more moisture, with a richer flavor that hints at molasses. Sugar is used in both sweet and savory foods.