Can you cook kimchi? 

In this article, we’ll explore the query: “Can you cook kimchi?” We’ll also explore how kimchi can be cooked, what kimchi is, what its nutritional content is, and if eating kimchi is healthy. 

Can you cook kimchi? 

Yes, kimchi can be cooked; by this, we mean to say it can be made from scratch at home, and it can be used as an ingredient in different recipes. Kimchi can be eaten as a standalone food or used to make other dishes including (but not limited to): dumplings, rice, stew, pancakes, eggs, tofu, noodles, and other pasta types, etc. It can also be eaten once freshly cooked, or after a brief period of fermentation.

Many variations and recipes for kimchi exist and these can be used seasonally (for events) or consumed on a daily basis. 

How can I cook kimchi? 

Traditional kimchi is made with napa cabbage, daikon radish, coarse sea salt (not fine salt), seasonings (made of red pepper flakes), ginger, garlic, and dried, salted seafood, or if this last option is not available, raw shrimp may be used in lieu. 

The first step is to cut the napa cabbage in half and then into quarters. If the cabbage is smaller than average, then two cabbages may be cut into halves.

Each portion of cabbage should then be thoroughly soaked in saltwater, and the crevices that may not have been properly soaked should be sprinkled with coarse salt. This is to ensure that the cabbages are as evenly salted as possible.  

Simultaneously, the seasoning can be prepared, firstly by cutting the radish into small matchsticks and then by blending it with the seasoning ingredients to make a paste. These should be mixed as evenly as possible, and the resulting paste will then be used to uniformly coat the cabbage portions. 

Once the cabbage has been completely coated in the seasoning paste, it can then be placed in refrigeration to fermentate, and after 12-15 days, it will be ready to savor. Over time, the flavor will intensify, and may eventually grow a bit sour after a few months.  

Kimchi can be eaten freshly made or left to ferment. In both cases, it can also be used to prepare more elaborate dishes, such as rice, dumplings, stew, pasta, or even used as a topping.  

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a Korean-made dish of salted and fermented vegetables. Ingredients may vary but usually include cabbage and radish. In Korea, there are hundreds of varieties available, made with different vegetables, degrees of fermentation, and seasonings. 

The most common presentations include traditional kimchi (made with napa cabbage), vegan kimchi (sans any meat or animal products), white kimchi (made without red pepper flakes), mak (an easily made form of kimchi), baechu geotjeori (fresh kimchi, which isn’t fermented), and many others.    

What is the nutritional content of kimchi?

Kimchi is a good source of antioxidants such as beta-carotene that may help decrease the risk of degenerative diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Also, kimchi is rich in Vitamins A, C, K, folate, potassium, calcium, and choline. 

On average, one cup of kimchi contains: 

  • 23 calories
  • 1 gram of protein
  • Less than one gram of fat
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates (2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar) 

Is eating kimchi healthy? 

Kimchi can be considered a healthy food, as its fermented nature makes it a quality probiotic product. Kimchi is a source of lactobacilli bacteria, which can contribute to good digestive health. 

Additionally, these good bacteria found in kimchi may strengthen immune system responses, reduce inflammation, prevent other infections caused by other microorganisms, and aid in weight loss. 

Kimchi’s antioxidant content is also credited with reducing the likelihood of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as it reduces oxidative damage to cells. 

However, kimchi may not be entirely safe to eat, unless strict measures for preparing and processing it are enforced. Notably, if hygiene and packaging measures are insufficient or the product comes from a questionable source, there is a risk of food poisoning. 

Due to the risk of food poisoning, certain groups such as young children, immunocompromised patients, and pregnant women should exert caution, and only consume quality kimchi, made from quality ingredients or by a certified brand. 

Overall, kimchi is a healthy food product to consume, so long as it is prepared with proper sanitary measures and adequately stored. 

Other FAQs about Kimchi that you may be interested in.

How long does it take to ferment kimchi?

Can you eat kimchi past the expiration date?

Can you eat kimchi when pregnant?


In this article, we’ve explored the query: “Can you cook kimchi?” We’ve also explored how kimchi can be cooked, what kimchi is, what its nutritional content is, and if eating kimchi is healthy.