but if anyones interested in knowing a lil more about it and the diff versions. theres a recipe in the link too.
(cant make it clickable for whatev reason)
Crisis in Korea as younger generation abandons kimchi
Traditionalists fear for national dish, amid changing tastes and trade war with China
Yakult workers in Seoul make kimchi in an annual event to help people in need. Photograph: Jeon Heon-Kyun/EPA
Its unmistakable smell permeates Seoul subway carriages during the rush hour, and aficionados claim it is the healthiest food on the planet.
Once valued as a source of vitamin C before the arrival of refrigerators, kimchi now crops up on menus far from its birthplace on the Korean peninsula. The spicy, garlicky cabbage dish is to be found as a pizza topping and taco filling in the UK, Australia and the US, where the Obamas are said to be converts. Kimjang, the traditionally communal act of making kimchi, was recently awarded world cultural heritage status byUnesco.
But despite its growing popularity in restaurants from Los Angeles to London, South Korea's national dish is in crisis in its country of origin. To kimchi's basic ingredients of napa cabbage, garlic, seasoning and copious amounts of chilli power, we can now add a trade war with China and fears of lasting damage to Korean cultural identity.
According to the World Institute of Kimchi, South Korea's kimchi exports were worth $89.2m (£54m) in 2013, down 16% on the previous year. But imports – almost all of which come from China – rose almost 6% to $117.4m. That left the South Koreans with a kimchi deficit of more than $28m – and a wound to their national pride that has festered since the trade imbalance first appeared in 2006.
"It's a shame that so much of our kimchi comes from China," said Kwon Seung-hee, who teaches tourists how to make the dish at her guesthouse in Seoul. "It's cheap, but it doesn't taste as good as ours. I can tell straight away if I'm eating imported kimchi."
The kimchi deficit should have been foreseen, perhaps, when the dish made the transition from luxury food to popular staple in the late 18th century. To keep up with demand, Korea began importing cabbages from China.Kimchi is an indispensable part of the Korean diet, with South Koreans eating almost 2m tonnes every year. Though it often appears in stews and soups, no meal is considered complete without a side dish of cabbage kimchi, along with variations made from daikon radish, cucumber, perilla leaf or a host of other seasonal vegetables.
"The making of kimchi … is a culture that continues to be shared by virtually all Koreans and is a significant part of their lives," Park Hei-woong, a cultural heritage administration official, said when the Unesco status was announced at the end of last year, adding that kimchi-making maintained the "cohesiveness of Korean communities … and is an essential part of the Korean cultural identity".
There are an estimated 100 varieties from the fresh, crunchy dish preferred in the north to the more pungent version commonly eaten further south. According to the cultural heritage administration in Seoul, about 95 percent of Koreans eat kimchi more than once a day; more than 60 percent have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
According to Jia Choi, president of O'ngo Food Communications, a cookery school in Seoul, kimchi forms the basis of a perfectly balanced meal: several dishes made with seasonal vegetables, with a smaller quantity of rice or noodle dishes providing the carbohydrate.
Traditionally, meat was never considered part of the Korean culinary jigsaw, and the famed barbecue restaurants that line Seoul's streets today only took off after the city hosted the summer Olympics in 1988.
"The Unesco award certainly gave us an added sense of pride," said Choi, who hopes kimchi's international recognition will boost consumption among her young compatriots. "Interest in traditional Korean traditional cuisine is waning. Kids today eat a more varied diet that includes a lot more western food, and that's why kimchi consumption is declining year after year."A stall selling kimchi in South Korea. Photograph: Justin McCurry for the Guardian
If children develop a kimchi habit while dining out, they will almost certainly be served the Chinese version. Chinese kimchi is cheaper and, for most diners, impossible to identify as a "fraud". The trade deficit, coupled with declining consumption at home, has been described by one politician as an ordeal "as harsh as a Korean winter". But South Koreans are now looking beyond their own borders to secure kimchi's long-term future.
Korean cuisine has been part of the trendy food scene in parts of California for several years and was among Forbes magazine's top 10 food trends of 2013.
Kimchi and other staples such as bulgogi , japchae  and samgyeopsalare also finding their way on to menus in parts of the areas of the UK outside the Korean expat enclave of New Malden.
Many Britons had their first taste of kimchi, along with more than 100 other Korean foods during a two-week Tesco promotion at the end of last year, when overall imports of Korean food products to the UK rose 135 percent compared with 2012.
And after years of being overlooked, Korean cuisine has joined other Asian cuisines on the UK celebrity chef beat, as demonstrated by the Hairy Bikers in a programme from South Korea that aired this week.
"We need to keep pushing Korean-made kimchi as authentic, in the same way that European countries promote their cheese and wine," said Choi. "We're a tiny country compared to China, so although we can't compete in terms of volume, we can remind people around the world that our kimchi is authentic and safe."
Edited by coconess - Mar 23 2014 at 11:29am