International Kimchi Day: Indians share fondness for this Korean side dish

One…two…three…kimchi! That’s how K-Drama brings kimchi into notice. While clicking a picture, rather than saying cheese, they say Kimchi. And this dish of Korean cuisine has gradually made way into India, along with the love for other things Korean such as K-Pop.

Chef Davinder Kumar says, “The Kimchi Association of Korea has chosen the date November 22 as Kimchi Day. This is not out of the blue, but based on an authentic scientific research that if you salt Kimchi on November 22, the featured tonic of Kimchi will reach the highest point.”

The reason why kimchi has gained popularity is due to the fact that it has a flavour and texture that can be easily accompanied with Indian dishes. “The demand of different Korean dishes has gradually increased, and one of the most common accompaniment in demand is kimchi. It has a unique pungent and spicy profile with probiotic characteristics and rich vitamins, very similar to our Indian palate,” says Varun Narang, a Delhi-based chef, adding, “Dishes that I have tried recreating with kimchi have turned out to be hot selling items such as Kulcha chole with kimchi salsa, Biryani with kimchi salan, Kimchi vada pao, Roasted pepper and quinoa salad with kimchi dressing, and many more. These have brought people back to try out for more.”

As the exposure and knowledge for Korean culture and cuisine increases, youngsters have also developed a liking for this food item. Harshita Aggarwal, a college student, says, “I was unaware of specialities of Korean food earlier. But since I started watching K-Dramas, it excited me to try Korean cuisine as well. First I ordered kimchi and then ramen. Its smell is different and so is the taste, the pungent factor makes it yummy so much so that now rather than having noodles, I prefer this. I even tried to eat kimchi with chopsticks, and learnt the skill via YouTube videos.”

Talking about the preparation of dishes made from kimchi, Chef Narang adds, “It’s simple and unique at the same time. Korean cuisine has evolved through a complex interaction of the natural environment and different cultural trends; it’s known for having maximum number of side dishes and is also one of the healthiest cuisine in the world. This is what makes Korean cuisine stand out from others. As a chef, I have witnessed the trend of Korean cuisine growing at a decent speed over the last 16 years. The craze has begun to indulge more and more people and with the current changes and rising awareness about eating clean and healthy food, Korean foods have become popular since no doubt it has the potential and can be the next Chinese food for us!”

Author tweets @ruchikagarg271

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