chapter  35
Kimchi
ByKun-Young Park, Hong-Sik Cheigh
Pages 36

The word kimchi is the generic term for Korean fermented vegetables, which is derived from the Chinese characters pronounced chimchae, meaning brined vegetables. Traditionally in Korea, large quantities of kimchi are prepared as an annual event, kimjang, for eating during the winter when the fresh vegetable supply is limited. Most of the vegetables cultivated in Korea are used as sources for making kimchi. Although 161 or 187 kinds of kimchi are currently reported, depending on the varieties and preparation methods of those vegetables (1,2), the most popular kimchi is made with Korean baechu cabbage (known to Westerners as Chinese cabbage). The various types of kimchi are prepared through a series of processes including the pretreatment of the main vegetables, spices, and other subingredients. The ingredients used for kimchi preparation, as well as the fermentation conditions such as temperature, air, salt content, and packagingmaterials, are important factors to increase the preservation period, taste, and functionality of kimchi (3). Fermented kimchi contains high levels of lactic acid bacteria (LAB, 107f9 CFU/mL), organic acids, and various nutrients and functional components, that result from the ingredients and the fermentation process.