It’s as a verb, not a noun.

What is it

The process of brining, seasoning, and fermenting vegetables. Typically, cabbage.


You’ll find jars of kimchi in most supermarkets. Read the label carefully – you want to make sure it’s Chinese cabbage.


Kimchi needs to be kept in the fridge. If it's left out at room temperature, it ferments too quickly, which can kill the good probiotics. It'll last in the fridge for months–it might get a bit softer over time, but it will still be safe (and delicious) to eat.


Components vary as much as that of Mexico’s taco or the Middle East’s falafel wrap. Usually, it includes some combination of vegetables, garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, salt, and fish sauce. The mix is pickled and fermented. So it stays good for a very long time. A good, mature kimchi is extra stinky. This is one of the only ingredients where the stinkier the better! Originally, this was to preserve the vegetables for the winter months. Nowadays, it’s because it just tastes so damn good.

What is fermentation?

Fermentation refers to the metabolic process by which microorganisms, such as bacteria, yeast, and moulds, convert sugars and other compounds into alcohol, gases, or acids. This process often involves effervescence, which is the release of gas bubbles. The word means ‘agitation’ or ‘excitement’. It’s all about the dynamic relationship between bacteria and their surroundings. It’s not a fad, it’s the future.

How to cook with kimchi

Kimchi is designed to be useful, not attractive. It offers a great textural, complex flavour hit to many savoury dishes. Pair with cheese in a toastie or even use as a garnish to finish dinners. For a weeknight meal, sauté chopped kimchi with cooked rice, add some soy sauce, sesame oil and some diced tofu or cooked chicken. Top with a fried egg.

“Chef, what’s your favourite brand of kimchi?”

Jake's favourite brand is Kimchi and Radish. Head chef Jihyum Kim (better known to friends and colleagues as Kimmy) was always disappointed with the quality of Kimchi in the UK so decided to start producing it herself.