It’s virtually impossible to touch the topic of Korean cuisine and not bring up kimchi.
The traditional fermented veggie side dish is probably the most popular contribution of Korea to the global culinary tapestry and it definitely deserves all the attention it’s been getting. For one, it’s a nutritional powerhouse packed with probiotics — y’know, the good bacteria that boost your body’s defenses and aids in digestion? Yep. And if there’s something we all need right now, it’s a bad-ass immune system that is capable of fighting illness.
Fortunately, kimchi is widely available in the Philippines, usually sold at the vegetable section of the supermarket. But if you’re an adventurous eater who likes experimenting in the kitchen, you’ll be glad to know that making kimchi is surprisingly easy! The dish itself also comes in a lot of varieties (more than a hundred on record!), so you can pretty much pick which type would best suit your taste.
Here, we rounded up eight kimchi recipe videos to guide you through your kimchi-making (kimjang) journey at home:
Baechu Kimchi (배추 김치) – Napa Cabbage Kimchi
The representative of kimchi varieties, baechu kimchi is the most common type of kimchi served and sold not just in Korea but in countless countries around the world. It is basically a whole head of Napa cabbage that is salted and coated with a special paste made of Korean chili powder, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and other ingredients before it is left to ferment.
Kkakdugi (깍두기) – Diced Radish Kimchi
Another popular type of kimchi, kkakdugi is made with diced large white radishes that become juicier as they ferment in the kimchi paste. Its distinct crunch that comes with a burst of flavor is what makes it so addictive.
Oi Sobagi (오이 소박이) – Stuffed Cucumber Kimchi
Often served in Korea during spring and summer, oi sobagi is made with salted cucumbers split into four sections and stuffed with kimchi paste and other veggies in the center. Like kkakdugi, it is crunchy and has a refreshing taste.
Gochu Sobagi (고추소박이) – Stuffed Green Chili Pepper Kimchi
If the normal spice level of kimchi isn’t enough for your heat-loving tastebuds, then you have got to try making gochu sobagi. This kimchi, which South Korean Actress Park Min Young calls her favorite, is made with long and plump green peppers that are stuffed with kimchi paste. It is best enjoyed with some pork wraps or bossam to balance out the flavors.
Nabak Kimchi (나박김치) – Water Kimchi
No, this type of kimchi isn’t made with just water, but it does come with considerably more stock than most kimchi variants. Its main ingredients are radish, cabbage, and sliced fruits, which give the dish a delightful hint of sweetness.
Pa Kimchi (파김치) – Green Onion Kimchi
The most popular kimchi in Jeolla Province, pa kimchi is made with scallions fermented in the special kimchi paste. It is especially popular during springtime when the thin variety of green onions goes in season.
Chonggak Kimchi (총각김치) – Ponytail Radish Kimchi
Chonggak kimchi has a rather interesting name, as it literally translates to “ponytail kimchi”—a reference to its appearance. It is made with young radishes no more than four inches long that still have their leaves or green tops, which give them their unique appearance.
Baek Kimchi (백김치) – White Kimchi
Whether you need a break from all the chili or you’re just really not a fan of anything spicy, baek kimchi presents itself as a great option. Called “white kimchi,” it lacks the signature red color of kimchi as its ingredients don’t include chili pepper flakes. While it has a mild and clean taste, it is still infused with all the nutritional benefits found in its ~hotter~ counterparts.
Which type of kimchi will you be trying to make?