Korean kimchi: promoting healthy meals through cultural tradition

Nobuko Hongu, Angela S. Kim, Asuka Suzuki, Hope Wilson, Karen C. Tsui, Sunmin Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Kimchi, a spicy traditional Korean side dish, is made with a variety of fermented vegetables, such as Napa cabbage (baechu), hot red pepper, garlic, ginger, and other spices. Throughout generations for thousands of years, kimchi has been served daily at virtually all meals in Korean households. It gives the flavors of garlic, ginger, scallions, and chili. Kimchi is an ingredient with many culinary benefits as it is commonly added to soups, noodles, and rice dishes. In addition to its exotic and refreshing taste, kimchi also has its own unique nutritional value and ingredients that are linked to promoting health and preventing disease. In this article, the varieties of kimchi, nutritional values, health benefits and “cook-with-kimchi” recipes (incorporating kimchi into today's Western dishes) are explored. Methods Data were collected through literature review, direct observation at grocery stores, and interviews for cooking recipes. Results Four types of literatures (peer-reviewed journals, websites, books, and United States (US) University articles) were reviewed about kimchi. Prices of each type of kimchi were checked at four to five Asian markets in Tucson, Arizona for 2 years, and averaged. There were only few cents differences in 2 years. One family home-style kimchi recipe and four “cook-with-kimchi” recipes were introduced in this article. Conclusion The availability and many varieties of kimchi exist in the US. Despite new trends and changes in the US, kimchi continues to be a significant important staple in many Korean and non-Korean families in the US.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Ethnic Foods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • Korean food
  • kimchi
  • kimchi recipes
  • nutritional values

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Anthropology


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