Looking for an easy, yet delicious probiotic food to add to your kitchen and menu repertoire? Try kimchi, a tasty and versatile probiotic food. Kimchi is easy to make and can be added to everything from noodle bowls to sandwiches. Kimchi also comes with a number of health benefits.
Check out these 5 delicious ways of cooking with kimchi.
Kimchi as Health Food
Kimchi is a popular fermented food made famous in Korean cuisine. Not only is it tasty, it’s healthy for you. Kimchi is made from fermented vegetables such as cabbage or radishes. Studies have found that it may help reduce insulin resistance and blood cholesterol but comes with a few other benefits.
For instance, fermentation is a process that involves the breakdown of sugars by bacteria and yeast. Not only does this help enhance the preservation of foods, but eating fermented foods can also boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, found in your gut. Probiotics have been associated with a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, better immunity and even increased weight loss (1).
Kimchi boasts an extensive array of health benefits thanks to its fermentation process and may be especially effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol and reducing insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose from the blood to the tissues. When you sustain high levels of insulin for long periods, your body stops responding to it normally, resulting in high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
In one study, 21 people with prediabetes consumed either fresh or fermented kimchi for eight weeks. By the end of the study, those consuming fermented kimchi had decreased insulin resistance, blood pressure and body weight (2). While this is too low a population for conclusive results, they are promising and warrant further study.
In another study, people were given a diet with either a high or low amount of kimchi for seven days. Interestingly, a higher intake of kimchi led to greater decreases in blood sugar, blood cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol (3).
Cooking With Kimchi
Kimchi is surprisingly versatile as an ingredient. Made primarily from cabbage, you can tweak and customize kimchi endlessly. For an easy kimchi recipe, check out this recipe from Foodie With Family.
Kimchi makes a wonderful ingredient. You can add it to soups, stews and noodle dishes for great flavor and added nutrition. Similarly, it can be mixed with other ingredients from tofu to pork as a topping, side dish, or main meal.
Kimchi can keep for long periods when stored in the fridge or even frozen in your freezer. Take out what you need and continue storing the rest.
Now onto 5 great ways for using kimchi as an ingredient.
#1 – Kimchi Ramen
For a delicious treat, add kimchi to your ramen. It will add wonderful flavor. Be sure to use quality noodles, toss those seasoning packets, and make your own broth for best nutrition. Get my recipe for this quick and easy dish.
#2 – Kimchi Stew
Kimchi Jjigae, also known as kimchi stew or kimchi soup, is probably the most common way of consuming aged kimchi. It is a such a staple food in Korean households that typically Koreans would eat it at least once or twice a week if not more! Get the recipe.
#3 – Kimchi Fried Rice
Looking for a spiced up version of the classic fried rice? Add in kimchi! You won’t be disappointed. Kimchi fried rice is one of the most popular ways to use up your old ripened kimchi. To give it more texture and flavor a variety of meat and/or vegetables are often added. Get the recipe.
#4 – Tofu Kimchi
Tofu kimchi is a delicious and versatile Korean side dish, primarily made with tofu and kimchi. It’s easy to make and ready in 15 minutes. Tofu kimchi is essentially a stir fried kimchi served with boiled tofu. They are not cooked together but rather served together. Get the recipe.
#5 – Kimchi Rice Bowl
Garlic sesame kimchi is a simple Korean side dish that can transform your aged kimchi into a nutty aromatic relish. Try this super quick (less than 10 mins!) and easy kimchi stir fry. Get the recipe.
If you’re looking for a great probiotic food, start with kimchi. This versatile food made from real whole food ingredients comes with plenty of health benefits. What’s more, it tastes great and can complement a number of easy and quick dishes.
Want more recipes that use kimchi as an ingredient? Check out My Korean Kitchen’s article 14 Delicious Ways to Eat Kimchi.
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