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Fermented Korean Sensations: What Does Kimchi Taste Like?

Thanks to Korean dramas and mukbang videos, Korean cuisine has become wildly popular worldwide.

One such food item that has stood out is Kimchi. In Korean households, Kimchi is a must-have food item.

It’s often served as a side dish as it blends with most dishes.

One thing about Kimchi- you are either going to love or hate it. There is no in-between.

It’s subjective, but there are divided opinions when it comes to the taste of this food item.

In this post, we’ll answer the question: what does Kimchi taste like? Also, we’ll unravel its taste profile, variances, and how to serve it.

What is Kimchi?

Before we get into the taste profile of Kimchi, let’s get to know what exactly Kimchi is.

It will help you give an idea about its taste profile and flavour, especially if you’re new.

Kimchi is a traditional side dish of Korea made of fermented vegetables along with other components.

The ingredients may vary, thus resulting in taste differences.

Among vegetables, cabbage is the most used, followed by radishes, spring onions, carrots, and cucumbers.

The vegetable is typically mixed with fish sauce or paste, red chili powder, salt, garlic, and apple cider vinegar.

Once mixed, it’s put in an earthen pot to ferment. Longer the fermentation period, the better the taste.

In 2030 BC, Cabbage was first introduced to Korea.

The spicy taste developed later when the Americans introduced them to red chilli peppers.

Before, this fermentation was done to preserve food to have it during harsh winters.

What Does Kimchi Taste Like?

Kimchi has a distinct flavor that might be overwhelming for the first-timer.

In fact, some may even disdain it. Most would say it has a sour taste and is spicy.

The intense flavour is expected due to the fermentation process.

You may get different responses regarding Kimchi’s flavour.

Expect varieties of flavors due to the inclusion of different ingredients.

These are the flavors that you’ll get in this fermented side dish:

  • Sour.
  • Salty.
  • Fizzy.
  • Garlicky.
  • Bitter.
  • Astringent.
  • Spicy.
  • Umami.
  • Fizzy.
  • Sweet.

It’s pretty challenging to compare it with other food items because of its unique taste.

The variants in flavors make it hard to say a specific taste.

During the fermentation process, it breaks down the natural sugar of the cabbage and thus resulting in Lactic acid giving it a sweet flavor.

Even the smell is intense and might be offsetting.

Having it alone might not be a good idea if it’s your first time.

The rich flavor makes it ideal to have rice and other main dishes.

Regardless of the taste, Kimchi is known for its high nutritional value.

It provides multiple health benefits, such as boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, and more.

Because of the fermentation process, it’s packed with probiotics which are suitable for your health as it eliminates harmful bacteria.

It has low calories, zero fat, and lower carbohydrates. In addition, it’s a rich source of vitamins A and C.

Not only does it enhance the meal overall, but it also provides several nutrients to your body.

How to Cook and Serve Kimchi?

Koreans include Kimchi in almost all of their cuisines. It’s an ideal side dish that blends with any food item.

The best pairing would be with rice or noodles.

Moreover, you may add this side dish as an ingredient with other ingredients to make your dish.

For instance, you may prepare Kimchi fried rice. All you need is to stir-fry it with rice and other items.

Based on the Kimchi type, prepare the dish accordingly.

Here are some of the ways to use this fermented side dish in recipes:

  • Kimchi pancake.
  • Scrambled eggs.
  • Quesadilla.
  • Tacos.
  • Noodles.

Some of the preventive measures to consider while using Kimchi as an ingredient is as follows:

  • Since it has a strong flavor, be wary of the quantity. Avoid using it in large quantities, as the taste may get too overwhelming. .
  • Longer fermentation results in losing the crunchy texture and becoming sourer. Based on that, use it in recipes accordingly. .

You may get Kimchi in your local Asian grocery store or supermarket.

Due to its popularity, this side dish is readily available in stores.

You may also prepare it yourself by getting all the necessary ingredients.


Kimchi might not be everyone’s favorite which is understandable since it has an overwhelming taste.

But once you get used to it, you keep craving for more.

It would be worth giving it a shot to experience a unique dish.

Besides, it’s packed with nutrients that help balance the meal overall.

This savory dish is a delight once you get the hang of it.

If you’re trying it for the first time, have it in small quantities to understand its taste.

Also, pair the taste with other food items to subside the flavor if you find the taste strong.

What Does Kimchi Taste Like? Does It Taste Good?

Discover the flavor of kimchi, a staple Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, and whether its tangy, spicy taste appeals to your palate.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Food Taste
Servings 1 Serving


  • Kimchi
  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
  • Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!
Keyword What Does Kimchi Taste Like
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