I’ve been aware of kimchi for a while now – it’s been sat on the perphery of my knowledge for some time. There are a lot of other food bloggers and vloggers that rave about it! But I’ll be honest: a bit like my plans to make my own sauerkraut, my plans to give making some vegan kimchi a go never materialised either.
Kimchi is still yet to show up in my local Tesco or Aldi so when I was contacted asking if I wanted to try this one, I admit I kind of jumped at the chance! My first query was obviously an ingredients one – was it suitable for vegans? And then.. how on earth to eat it.
What is kimchi?
According to Wikipedia – the font of all knowledge, obviously – kimchi is
“a traditional fermented Korean side dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.”
Is Yutaka Kimchi vegan?
Short answer: yes, it is suitable for vegans. No fish sauce in sight. The long answer – still yes. The ingredients are nice and simple – cabbage, water, radish, garlic, onion, chili powder, salt, carrot and ginger.
How can you eat it?
The recommendations are:
Eat as a side dish with rice. You can also use Kimchi with porridge, soups, stir-fry noodles, fried rice, stews, pancakes, etc.
How I ate it
The jar by my standards is small. It’s tiny compared to the huge jar of sauerkraut I get… but I managed to get two meals out of it! I ate it on it’s own first, and then followed the recommendation for trying it with rice. I decided to make my version of egg-fried rice, which uses VeganEgg and no oil so it’s uh, egg-less oil-free “fried” rice which doesn’t sound very appetising but is actually really good! I added about 1/2 the jar and stirred it through with some peas and corn too, then topped with all the spring onion and served it on a bed of baby spinach. I posted it on my Instagram, so you can see it in it’s quickly-snapped glory!
The next time was a very similar affair – I had the leftover kimchi fried rice, with a bowl of salad greens that I topped with chickpeas, edamame beans, peppers, radishes, tomatoes and grilled tofu cubes with extra kimchi on the side! It went well with the tofu, which was actually a bit dry.
What does it taste like?
It kind of reminds me of sriracha – it’s pretty spicy and has a slight… tang? To it. But, since I’ve only ever tried one type of sriracha and one type of kimchi, I don’t know if that’s normal or unusual. It’s not a wholly unpleasant after taste, but it is there. I think it’s the type of spices and heat used.
Overall – I liked it, and I’d buy it if I saw in the shop for spicing up dishes and adding to simple dinner bowls as you saw above. I’m also very interested in what it tastes like with porridge. As mentioned it’s not widely available yet but I have since found it in my nearest Sainsbury’s on the other end of town for about £2.75 a jar. So keep your Insta-eyes peeled for Kimchi Porridge!