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Kimchi made from cabbage or radish (raw?, organic?)

Kimchi is a Korean vegetable preparation with cabbage (traditionally Chinese cabbage) or radish as a base. It is usually fermented and raw (organic?).
Macronutrient carbohydrates 60%
Macronutrient proteins 27.5%
Macronutrient fats 12.5%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 1:1

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 0.1 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 0.14 g = 0.76:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 0.1 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 0.14 g = 0.76:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Kimchi made from cabbage ( raw?, organic? ) is a usually fermented vegetable dish from Korea, the consumption of which has many health benefits.

Use in the kitchen

What exactly is kimchi? Both the Korean vegetable preparation (usually through lactic acid fermentation) and the resulting vegetable dish are called kimchi in Korea. The more well-known kimchi is traditionally preserved and fermented for the winter like sauerkraut . But there is also unfermented kimchi (geotjeori), which is eaten fresh every week in Korea, especially in the warmer seasons. The vegetables most commonly used as a base are Chinese cabbage (baechu kimchi) and radish (kkakdugi). But other types of cabbage (e.g. white cabbage , red cabbage , kale , savoy cabbage ) and other vegetables (e.g. cucumber , horseradish , leek ) can also be processed into kimchi. In this article we will concentrate on fermented kimchi made from cabbage.

Its taste depends largely on the recipe and its ingredients. The fermentation conditions and the lactic acid bacteria involved in the fermentation also play a role. Generally speaking, kimchi tastes slightly sour and salty due to the fermentation process. In addition, it is often slightly to very spicy. Korean kimchi is usually very spicy withpepper , chili flakes and ginger . But you can also find less spicy versions, or you can adjust the spiciness yourself when making your own. A variety of spices also contribute to the taste. In addition to salt , chili and ginger, it often contains plenty of garlic . Some regional variants also use fish sauce or other fish products. There are plenty of vegan recipes, however.

Can you eat kimchi raw? In Korea, kimchi is served raw as a side dish with practically every meal, together with steamed rice. The fermented cabbage is also often part of the Korean rice dish called bibimbap, which is served with lots of vegetables and tofu , and the cold noodle dish bibim guksu. It also tastes delicious in fried rice and udon pans (Japanese noodles) with pak choi, for example. Soups such as miso kimchi soup can also be made with it. Of course, it can also be used outside of Asian cuisine. For example, you can add kimchi to potato stews, as a topping on oven fries, or on breakfast bread with "scrambled tofu" (vegan scrambled eggs made from tofu). Kimchi pancakes, in which the fermented cabbage is worked into the dough, are unusual and recommended. Raw kimchi can also be eaten as a salad with a little sesame oil and sesame seeds , or in a wrap.

Vegan recipe for fried kimchi rice

Ingredients (for 4 people): 300 g basmati rice , 200 g mushrooms (e.g. button mushrooms ), 4 spring onions , 2 cloves of garlic, 1 carrot , 1 red bell pepper , 3 kale leaves , 2 tbsp rapeseed oil , 2 tsp grated ginger, 160 g kimchi (organic or homemade), 3 tbsp soy sauce , 2 tbsp tomato paste , some sesame seeds.

Preparation: Cook the basmati rice according to the instructions on the packet and then set aside. Grate the mushrooms and quarter them. Wash the spring onions and cut into thin slices. Peel the garlic cloves and chop finely. Peel the carrot and cut into thin sticks. Rinse the pepper and cut into thin strips. Wash and chop the kale leaves. In a pan heated with rapeseed oil, fry the spring onions, garlic and ginger over medium heat for approx. 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and fry for approx. 2 minutes. Add the carrot and pepper and fry for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cooked rice, kimchi, soy sauce and tomato paste and mix everything well. Add the chopped kale leaves and sauté for approx. 3-3 minutes. Serve the fried kimchi rice (vegan) in bowls and decorate with some sesame seeds.

Vegan recipes with kimchi can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Kimchi can be found in well-stocked branches of some supermarkets (e.g. Coop , Migros , Lidl , Rewe, Billa ). Other supermarkets (e.g. Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Edeka , Hofer ) do not sell the fermented cabbage or only sell it very rarely. Organic supermarkets (e.g. Alnatura , Denn's Biomarkt ) occasionally sell it - in organic quality. You'll usually have luck in Asian shops and health food stores.

The availability of kimchi varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. Our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries can be found above under the ingredient image - and by clicking you can see their development at various suppliers.


Kimchi can be prepared in many different ways and with all kinds of ingredients. Here is just one of the many possibilities.

Ingredients (approx. 1 kg kimchi): 750 g Chinese cabbage , 40 g salt (untreated), 50 g radish , 70 g carrots , 60 g spring onions , 1 tbsp rice flour , 100 ml water , 60 g apple or pear , 20 g ginger , 1-2 garlic cloves , 40 g gochugaru (Korean mild chili flakes ), 1.5 tbsp soy sauce , 8 g salt (untreated).

Utensils: Sealable container (e.g. Weck jar, approx. 1 L), fermentation weight for weighing down (e.g. glass weight).

Preparation: Wash the Chinese cabbage and cut into bite-sized pieces without the stalk. Add 40 g of salt to the cabbage pieces and knead well. Leave to stand for at least 2 hours. Wash or peel the radish, carrots and spring onions and cut into fine strips. Stir rice flour into 100 ml of water, bring to the boil briefly, remove from the heat and allow to cool. Peel the apple or pear and cut into large pieces. Peel and chop the ginger too. Puree the fruit, ginger, chili flakes, soy sauce, 8 g of salt and 1 tbsp of the cooled rice flour mixture using a hand blender. After the Chinese cabbage has soaked, wash it (approx. 2-3 times) until it no longer tastes too salty. Mix the cabbage pieces with the chopped vegetables and paste (the amount can be varied according to taste). Put everything in a fermentation jar and press it together to make a compact mixture. The vegetables should lie under the surface of the liquid. If there is not enough liquid, you can add a few tablespoons of salt water (2-3% salt content). Weigh down the mixture in the jar with a fermentation weight. Place the jar on a plate (for any liquid that may leak out) and leave at room temperature for about 2 weeks. Store in the refrigerator. When can you eat kimchi? The kimchi would be edible earlier, but it will not have gone through all the fermentation phases.

Working cleanly is extremely important when preparing kimchi. Make sure your hands and utensils are clean - it's best to rinse the preserving container with boiling water beforehand.

Storage tips

Kimchi is best kept in the fridge. After the fermentation process is complete, it will last for about 1-3 months. It can also last much longer. To ensure a long shelf life, you should always use clean cutlery and make sure that the cabbage is always well below the surface of the liquid - otherwise, press it down a little with a fork. How do you know if kimchi is bad? To determine whether the kimchi is still edible, you can rely on your own sense of sight and smell.

Note: The longer you store kimchi, the more intense and sour its taste becomes. So if you don't like it too sour, you shouldn't leave it in the fridge for too long and let it continue to ferment.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Kimchi (raw) is an extremely low-calorie food with only 15 kcal per 100 g. Fat (0.5 g/100g), carbohydrates (2.4 g/100g) and proteins (1.1 g/100g) are also only present in small amounts. The proportion of table salt is very high at 1,265 mg/100g, as is the case with other fermented foods such as sauerkraut (902 mg/100g). 1

Raw kimchi made from cabbage varieties is, like cabbage itself, rich in vitamin K (44 µg/100g; 58% of the daily requirement). This content is therefore logically similar to that of Chinese cabbage (43 µg/100g) and red cabbage (38 µg/100g). Swiss chard contains even more vitamin K (830 µg/100g). 1

100 g of raw kimchi contains 52 µg of folate (26% of the daily requirement). Horseradish (57 µg/100g) has a similar content. Raw edamame contains almost six times as much folate at 303 µg/100g. 1

In addition, kimchi (raw) contains 0.21 mgof riboflavin (vitamin B 2 ) per 100 g, which makes up 15% of the daily requirement. Spinach (0.19 mg/100g) has a similar content. Muscadine grapes have a particularly high riboflavin content (1.5 mg/100g). 1

You can find all the ingredients of kimchi, how much you cover with your daily needs and comparison values with other ingredients in our nutrient tables below the ingredient image.

Health effects

Is kimchi healthy? Typical kimchi made from cabbage varieties is rich in bioactive substances that can have a positive effect on health. The substances have been proven to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-atherogenic and lipid-lowering effects. In addition, kimchi's functionality includes combating obesity and diabetes. 2,3,4 It also strengthens the immune system, delays aging processes and prevents constipation. 2,3

The fermentation process not only intensifies the taste of the kimchi and makes the cabbage more digestible, but also increases the functionality and physiological effects of the active ingredients it contains. 2,4 For example, the antioxidant effect increases by 3-4 times during fermentation. 4 In addition, fermented kimchi usually contains a high proportion of lactic acid bacteria, which give it its probiotic properties. 2,3 This also promotes healthy skin. 2

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

The average salt content of traditional and homemade kimchi is about 2-5%, and that of commercial kimchi is about 2-2.5%. The high salt content has raised concerns about kimchi consumption. It has been reported that NaCl can cause stomach cancer and high blood pressure in humans when combined with mutagens and carcinogens - however, salt itself does not show any mutagenic or carcinogenic effects. However, the process of fermentation has been shown to reduce the potentially negative effects of salt. 2

Kimchi has also been criticized several times for its microbiological safety. In 2012, a foodborne outbreak of Escherichia coli in schools in Korea was linked to kimchi consumption. In 2013, kimchi contaminated with norovirus caused an outbreak. 3 One study examined the E. coli cases and concluded that an inadequate fermentation process can allow pathogens to survive and thus lead to an outbreak. However, if kimchi is properly fermented, the growth of microbiological pathogens is limited. 5 A later study indicated a low probability of foodborne illness from the pathogen E. coli in kimchi - at least in commercial products. To further reduce the risk, the authors of this study recommend minimizing initial contamination and paying attention to refrigeration during delivery. 6

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

Kimchi with fish sauce or other seafood that does not come from sustainable sources supports overfishing and pollution of the oceans and thus damages marine ecosystems. Vegan kimchi without fish products, on the other hand, is relatively sustainable. 8

On average, vegetables have a water footprint of 322 l/kg and fruit 962 l/kg. Compared to animal products, this is a very small footprint: milk has 1020 l/kg, eggs 3265 l/kg and beef 15,415 l/kg. 10

The vegetables and fruit in kimchi generally have a small carbon footprint (less than 1 kg CO 2 eq/kg). 9 A product similar to kimchi, sauerkraut, has a climate-friendly 0.58 kg CO 2 eq/kg. 12 A self-generated calculation by Carboncloud , using only publicly available data, came to 2.07 kg CO₂eq/kg for kimchi. 11 In view of these values, kimchi could have a relatively small footprint (more climate-friendly than average); but it could also have a large footprint, and in the worst case scenario, be labelled "this food worsens our carbon footprint". 12 It can therefore be very worthwhile to think about the ingredients and origin of the products.

For detailed explanations of various sustainability indicators (such as ecological footprint, CO2 footprint, water footprint), see our article: What does the ecological footprint mean?

Animal welfare - species protection

Since farmers in organic farming do not use synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, organic salsa is preferable for the sake of health as well as flora and fauna. 13

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

Historical records of the production and consumption of kimchi go back 4,000 years. 7 It is assumed that originally radish was the most important raw material, but later Chinese cabbage was used for variety. Kimchi made from cabbage varieties, as we know it today, was probably made from the 18th century onwards. 2

Kimchi is now eaten not only on the Korean peninsula, but all over the world. 3

Industrial production

Several factors determine the success of lactic acid fermentation in kimchi production. Important factors are the freshness, quality and natural microflora of the vegetables, but also the fermentation temperature, fermentation time, salt concentration and type of salt. The salt concentration and fermentation temperature in particular influence the growth of the natural microbial populations. 4

Further information

There are many types of kimchi, which differ in preparation method and ingredients used depending on the region. Among them, Chinese cabbage kimchi is currently the most popular and commonly used kimchi. 2

Alternative names

Kimchi is pronounced 'kimtschi'. According to Duden, the gender of Kimchi can be masculine or neuter. We have chosen neuter (das) here.

The English name is also kimchi. Cabbage kimchi is called Cabbage Kimchi and Chinese cabbage kimchi is called Napa Cabbage Kimchi or Baechu Kimchi.

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