Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Hanja||沈菜 (archaic; see article)|
Common ingredients include Chinese cabbage, radish, garlic, red pepper, spring onion, fermented shrimp or other seafood, ginger, salt, and sugar. There are variants, including kaktugi, based on radish and containing no cabbage, and oisobagi, stuffed cucumber kimchi. Kaetnip, or sesame leaf, kimchi features layers of sesame leaves marinated in soy sauce, peppers, garlic, green onions, and other spices. While Kimchi is generally identified internationally as Chinese cabbage fermented with a mixture of red pepper, garlic, ginger, and salted fish sauce (baechu kimchi), several different types of Kimchi exist, including several regional and seasonal variations.
Interestingly, although baechu kimchi (Chinese cabbage kimchi) is now the most common variety, it was developed relatively recently. Chili peppers were introduced to Korea (by way of Japan) only in the early 17th century, and thus Kimchi utilizing red peppers would have been popularized some years after that (200 years, by one estimate) . In addition, the introduction of Chinese cabbage probably did not occur until the 19th century ; Kimchi before then would have been made from more indigenous vegetables.
In east Asia, the low number of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome cases in Korea is sometimes attributed to the Korean habit of eating large quantities of kimchi, although no definitive link between kimchi consumption and SARS resistance was ever scientifically established . As with many dishes of high ethnic significance, some may claim that kimchi has many healthful properties. Some studies have linked its consumption to a reduced risk of gastric cancer; other studies have linked consumption of certain types of kimchi to an increased risk of cancer  .
It is somewhat unusual but Kimchi can be made with western cabbage if Chinese cabbage is not available or if the original variety is too pungent for beginners. The taste tends to be lighter and less piquant.
In Korea, Kimchi is often used as an ingredient in cooking as well as a popular side dish, as in KimchiJjiGae (김치찌개/Kimchi soup) and Kimchi Boggeumbab (김치볶음밥/Kimchi fried rice) amongst other dishes.
Kimchi means "steeped/submerged vegetable".
In US slang, "kimchi" is sometimes used as a euphemism for the word "shit" in the metaphorical sense of "trouble, difficulties". For example "Bob was in deep kimchi". "Kimchi" is used because of its strong odor, which some find offensive.
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