The Classification Of Kimchi And Raw Ingredients

Many types of kimchi are available depending on the raw ingredients used, processing methods, harvest seasons, and geographical regions. Although baechu (Korean cabbage) and radish are the most widely used in the making of kimchi, other vegetables are used depending on their seasonal availability. Because of the cold northern, and the mild southern Korean winters, the kimchi prepared in the north contains less salt, whereas the kimchi in the south requires more salt for long-term preservation. Also, people living near the sea naturally use more fish products in their kimchi.

Cho and Nam (7) reviewed published data on kimchi in Korea from 1959 to 1976, reporting 55 varieties of kimchi: 31 of kimchi, 8 of jangajji (sliced vegetables pickled in soy sauce), 4 of kaktugi (diced-radish kimchi), 2 of dongchimi (whole radish kimchi without red pepper), and 6 other types. In 1994, Park et al. (2) reported a total of 187 types of kimchi existing today in Korea.

Son (1) classified 161 varieties of kimchi into eight different groups based on the main raw ingredients (Table 1). Briefly, the first group comprises baechu kimchi (12 types), of which tongbaechu kimchi is the most popular, followed by baek kimchi and bossam kimchi. In the second group are radish kimchis (17 types), with dongchimi and chonggak kimchi being the favorites. In the kaktugi group (25 types), radish kaktugi is the most popular. In the fourth group composed of sokbakji and nabak kimchi, there are 20 varieties including sokbakji and nabak kimchi. Green vegetables and stem vegetables comprise the fifth classification group of kimchis (27 types), which includes got (mustard leaf) kimchi and kodulbaegi kimchi. The sixth group includes fruit- and root-vegetable kimchi (27 varieties), among them cucumber kimchi and burdock kimchi. The green onion, garlic, and leek group contains 14 varieties. Leek kimchi and green onion kimchi are favorites that are usually prepared in Kyoungnam province, in the southern part of Korea. The eighth group has 19 varieties of kimchi composed of meat, fish, shellfish, and seaweed.

A survey on the preference of kimchi prepared in Korean households shows that baechu cabbage kimchi is the most frequently prepared, followed by radish kaktugi, broth-containing dongchimi, and then miniature radish and stem chonggak kimchi (3). Thus, although both baechu kimchi and kaktugi are important kimchis, baechu cabbage kimchi is the far more popular and represents the common name of kimchi. Also, marketed kimchis are mainly baechu kimchis ( > 70 percent) and radish kimchis (around 20 percent).

Table 1 Classification of Kimchi by Raw Ingredients



1. Baechu kimchi (Korean baechu cabbage kimchi) (12 varieties)

2. Radish kimchi (17 varieties)

3. Kaktugi (25 varieties)

4. Sokbakji and nabak kimchi (20 varieties)

5. Green vegetables and stem vegetables (27 varieties)

6. Fruit and root vegetable kimchi (27 varieties)

7. Green onion, garlic, and leek kimchi (14 varieties)

8. Meat, fish, shellfish, and seaweeds kimchi (19 varieties)

Total 161 varieties

Tongbaechu kimchi (whole cabbage kimchi), baek kimchi, bossam kimchi (wrapped-up kimchi), vegetables pickled right before eating, etc.

Dongchimi, radish zangi, chonggak dongchimi, mupinul kimchi (slit-cut radish kimchi), chonggak kimchi, sunmu kimchi (turnip kimchi), chae kimchi (julienne radish kimchi), muchung dongchimi (radish leaf kimchi), musobagi (stuffed radish), pickled radish kimchi, musun kimchi (radish shoot kimchi), etc.

Radish kaktugi, radish and oyster kaktugi, radish and wild rocambole kaktugi, radish and leek kaktugi, radish and radish leaf kaktugi, cucumber kaktugi, chonggak kaktugi, radish and salted pollack guts kaktugi, parboiled radish kaktugi, yolmu kaktugi, radish and cod kaktugi, etc.

Sokbakji, wax gourd sokbakji, baby ginseng nabak kimchi, nabak kimchi (sliced cabbage and radish kimchi), chang kimchi, changzanji, etc.

Shigumchi kimchi (Spinach kimchi), gat kimchi (mustard leaf kimchi), kodulbaegi kimchi (wild lettuce kimchi), kongnamul kimchi (soybean sprout kimchi), minari kimchi (dropwort kimchi), doraji kimchi (broad bellflower kimchi), dolnamul kimchi (sedum kimchi), young mustard leaf kimchi, etc.

Oi kimchi (cucumber kimchi), oi sobagi (stuffed cucumber kimchi), pickled cucumber, hobak kimchi (pumpkin kimchi), gaji kimchi (eggplant kimchi), koguma kimchi (sweet potato kimchi), putgochu kimchi (green pepper kimchi), uong kimchi (burdock kimchi), cucumber kimchi, kam kimchi (persimmon kimchi), etc.

Leek kimchi, green onion kimchi, green onion zanji, dalrae kimchi (wild rocambole kimchi), etc.

Meat kimchi, chicken kimchi, pheasant kimchi, earshell kimchi, green laver kimchi, oyster kimchi, codfish kimchi, dried pollack kimchi, squid kimchi, Alaska pollack kimchi, marine products kimchi, miyok kimchi (brown seaweed kimchi), etc.

The raw ingredients used to make these kimchis are listed in Table 2. The vegetables most frequently used to make kimchi are baechu cabbage, radish, miniature radish, cucumber, etc. The spices used to prepare kimchi are green onion, garlic, red pepper powder, ginger, leek, mustard, black pepper, onion, and cinnamon. Commonly used seasoning for kimchi are salt, salted and fermented shrimp, anchovies, soy sauce, vinegar, chemical seasoning agents, sweetening agents, sesame seed or its oil, and oyster; these are optionally

Table 2 Raw Ingredients Used for the Preparation of Kimchi


Raw ingredients

Main raw vegetables

Baechu (Korean baechu cabbage), radish, pony-tail (chonggak) radish, young oriental radish, cucumber, green onion, lettuce, Western cabbage, leek, green pepper, etc.

Subingredients Spices

Red pepper, green onion, garlic, ginger, mustard, black pepper, onion, cinnamon, etc.

Seasoning Salt

Salt-pickled seafood Other seasoning

Dry salt or brine solution

Anchovy, small shrimp, clam, hairtail, yellow corbina, etc. Sesame seed, soybean sauce, monosodium glutamate, corn syrup, etc.

Other materials Vegetables Fruits and nuts Cereals

Seafoods and meats

Watercress, carrot, crown daisy, parsley, mustard leaves, etc. Pear, apple, jujube, melon, ginkgo nut, pine nut, etc. Rice, barley, wheat flour, starch, etc.

Shrimp, Alaska pollack, squid, yellow corbina, hairtail, oyster,

Miscellaneous beef, pork, etc. Mushrooms, etc.

added to kimchi to improve and vary flavor and taste depending on the type of kimchi. Additional kimchi ingredients are fruits (jujube, ginkgo nut, pine nut, chestnut, apple, orange, etc.), cereals (polished barley, glutinous rice, wheat flour, and malt), seafoods (oyster, squid, shrimp, and Alaskan pollack), and meats (beef and pork). Fish and meats are added to improve the flavor of kimchi, and cereals are added to enhance lactic fermentation.

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