Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of Kimchi

Types of Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented vegetable dish that is known for its tangy, spicy, and umami flavors. It is made by fermenting vegetables with various seasonings. While there are countless variations of kimchi, here are some common types:

1. Baechu Kimchi (Napa Cabbage Kimchi)

Baechu kimchi is the most well-known and widely consumed type of kimchi. It is made with napa cabbage, which is seasoned with a mixture of chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, scallions, and other ingredients. Baechu kimchi has a refreshing and tangy flavor and is often enjoyed as a side dish or used in various Korean dishes.

2. Kkakdugi (Radish Kimchi)

Kkakdugi is a type of kimchi made with diced radish. The radish cubes are seasoned with chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. Kkakdugi has a crunchy texture and a slightly sweet and spicy flavor. It is often served as a side dish and is particularly popular during the winter months.

3. Chonggak Kimchi (Ponytail Radish Kimchi)

Chonggak kimchi is made with young, small radishes with their leafy green tops still attached. The radishes are pickled in a spicy brine made with chili pepper flakes, garlic, and other seasonings. Chonggak kimchi has a distinct flavor and a slightly crunchy texture. It is commonly enjoyed as a banchan (side dish) in Korean cuisine.

4. Gat Kimchi (Mustard Leaf Kimchi)

Gat kimchi is made with young mustard leaves that are fermented with chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and other ingredients. It has a pungent and slightly bitter taste with a crunchy texture. Gat kimchi is often used as a wrapping for grilled meats or enjoyed as a side dish.

5. Oi Sobagi (Cucumber Kimchi)

Oi sobagi is a type of kimchi made with small cucumbers. The cucumbers are slit open and stuffed with a mixture of chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. Oi sobagi has a refreshing and crunchy texture with a spicy and tangy flavor. It is commonly served as a side dish and is especially popular during the summer months.

6. Yeolmu Kimchi (Young Summer Radish Kimchi)

Yeolmu kimchi is made with young summer radishes and their greens. The radishes and greens are fermented with a mixture of chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and other ingredients. Yeolmu kimchi has a crisp and refreshing taste with a mild spiciness. It is often enjoyed during the summer as a cooling side dish.

7. Bossam Kimchi (Wrapped Kimchi)

Bossam kimchi is a unique type of kimchi where the fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage or radish, are wrapped in a pickled cabbage leaf. The wrapped kimchi is seasoned with a combination of chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, and other spices. Bossam kimchi is commonly used as a filling in Korean-style wraps or enjoyed as a side dish.

Conclusion

Kimchi is a versatile and beloved staple in Korean cuisine, and these are just a few examples of the many variations available. Each type of kimchi offers its own distinct flavors, textures, and uses. From the classic baechu kimchi to the refreshing oi sobagi and the pungent chonggak kimchi, kimchi adds a delicious and spicy kick to meals and is an integral part of Korean culinary traditions.