Kimchi, also spelled gimchi or kimchee, is a traditionalkorean fermented dish made of vegetables with varied seasonings, most commonly referring to the spicy baechu variety. Kimchi is the most common Korean banchan, or side dish, eaten with rice along with other banchan dishes. Kimchi is also a common ingredient and combined with other ingredients to make dishes such as kimchi stew ((kimchi jigae) and kimchi fried rice (kimchi bokkeumbap).
Kimchi varieties are determined by the main vegetable ingredient and the mix of seasonings used to flavor the kimchi. The most popular type of kimchi is the baechu (a type of Chinese cabbage) variety but there are many regional and seasonal varieties. Popular variants include ggakdugi (hangul: 깍두기) which is a kimchi made with cubed radishes, pa kimchi (made with scallions), and oisobaegi (hangul: 오이 소배기), a cucumberGgaennip (hangul: 깻잎) kimchi features layers of perilla leaves marinated in soy sauce and other spices. kimchi with hot and spicy seasonings.
The Kimchi Field Museum in Seoul has documented 187 historic and current varieties of kimchi. Although the most common seasonings include brine, garlic, scallions and ground chili pepper, seasonings and ingredients can be replaced or added depending on the type of kimchi being made. Common seasonings also include ginger, onions, low-sodium aekjeot (hangul: 액젓, fish sauce) as well as fruit or fresh seafood. Aekjeot has replaced high-sodium myeolchijeot (salted fermented anchovies) and saeujeot (salted fermented small shrimps) since the early 1970s.
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