KimChi is a fermented Korean traditional dish which can be made with various salted vegetables e.g. Chinese cabbage, radish or cucumber. KimChi is one of the most popular Korean dishes, and is acknowledged with its excellent nutritional and health values. 

> Fermentation of kimchi is done mainly by Lactic acid bacteria that are already in the ingredients. They become dominant as they grow producing lactic acid by converting sugars in Chinese cabbage, bae-chu. Well fermented kimchi depends on amount of sugars and good lactic acid bacteria  which have beneficial effects on human intestinal micro flora. Kimchi contains 10-100 times more of lactic acid bacteria and lactic acid than yogurt.

> Lactic acid bacteria has anti-microbial activity against undesirable micro organisms e.g. E.coli, S.aureus & B.cereus. In experiments, mice  fed with L. plantarum from kimchi showed immunostimulation effect & inhibited the synthesis of pro-carcinogens in colon cancer. Lactic acid bacteria e.g. L. mesenteroides, L. brevis, L. fermentum & L. plantarum in kimchi suppressed the mutagenicity in 4-NQC, MelQ & Trp-P2.

> Low caloric food & high in protein are originated from ingredients such as fermented anchovy, shrimp or oyster. Sugars contents in the cabbage, bae-chu, are mainly glucose, mannose, fructose, galactose & arabinose. Minerals are mainly calcium & phosphorus. An important source of Vitamin B group, carotene & ascorbic acid. Dietary fiber, ascorbic acid, carotene, red pepper & garlic suppress the formation of carcinogenic or mutagenic compounds, prevent constipation & control intestinal micro flora.

Origin of KimChi: Chinese pickles were brought into Korea during the Shilla (A.D.654-935) and the Korea (A.D.918-1392) dynasties, and were modified to form several types of kimchi suit to the taste of Koreans. Until the Korea dynasty, vegetables used for kimchi making was mainly radish. Whole-cabbage kimchi with hot red pepper became popular only after the middle of the Rhee dynasty (A.D.1392-1910). Red peppers were imported to Korea at beginning of 17th century, and the first use for kimchi making was recorded in 1766.

(Information extracted from Korean Food Research Institute)

Nutritional composition of typical kimchi
Nutrients per 100 g * Nutrients per 100 g
Food energy 32 kcal Moisture 88.4 g
Crude protein 2.0 g Crude Lipid 0.6 g
Total sugar 1.3 g Crude fiber 1.2 g
Crude ash 0.5 g Calcium 45 mg
Phosphorus 28 mg Vitamin A 492 IU
Vitamin B1 0.03 mg Vitamin B2 0.06 mg
Niacin 2.1 mg Vitamin C 21 mg

* Per 100 grams of edible portion.