If you’re an avid fan of Korean dramas, or just happen to have watched a snippet or an entire episode of a K-drama, you would have noticed that these characters always seem to have food stuffed in their mouths. But you might have also noticed that there’s one certain dish that seems to always be on the table: a reddish-orange colored food that is called kimchi.
Kimchi is a salted, fermented vegetable dish that is traditional in the Korean culture. Spring onions, garlic, cabbage, and various spices can be used to make this popular side dish. And while it looks like it’s all the same, kimchi actually has different kinds— and it basically depends on what vegetables and ingredients are used. (Read: 5 K-Pop Fans Share Why They Support Korean Artists)
My Pope Philippines lists some of the different kinds of kimchi so we all could learn a thing or two about this absolutely delicious side dish (and to all K-drama fans, so they’d feel more connected to their idols and knowledgeable about Korean food!).
Types of Kimchi: Baechu Kimchi
This is what will be served to you when you just ask for ‘kimchi’. The baechu kimchi is the most basic type and is made from Napa cabbage, red pepper flakes, onions, garlics, ginger, and optional sauces like oyster and soy sauce. It is fermented for days, weeks, or even months, and it’s just oh-so-good! The longer you ferment, the sourer it gets, though.
Types of Kimchi: Chonggak Kimchi
The Chonggak kimchi is also made from radish just like nabak, but uses a different type of radish. This type of kimchi makes use of ponytail radish, a small, white radish with fine roots— with all of its parts usable in Korean cuisine. (Read: These Recipes from ‘Jewel in the Palace’ Will Make You Feel Royal)
The ingredients are just like that of others: garlic, onion, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Its name is derived from the word “chonggak” which means bachelor, as the tail of the radish is reminiscent of the hairstyle bachelors in Korea have.
Types of Kimchi: Gat Kimchi
Gat kimchi is made from dark green mustard leaves and stems. Its leaves have a strong and distinct taste and is paired with pickled anchovy sauce, garlic, onion, red pepper, and ginger. The gat kimchi has a stronger and more distinct flavor compared to others. (Read: 3 Korean Dishes to Relive Your Best K-Drama Moments)
Types of Kimchi: Nabak Kimchi
Nabak or red water kimchi is a type of kimchi that is reminiscent of a soup. It is made from radish, carrots, green onions, and Chinese cabbage that is fermented in a brine solution. The brine solution is made from the juices of the Korean pear, garlic, onion, and some hot chili pepper flakes for a bit of kick and some color.