Cooking Channel's Judy Joo Gives The Dish On Kimchi

By Casey Balch ( | Jun 02, 2014 06:36 AM EDT
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The Cooking Channel's Judy Joo has made a name for herself within the culinary community.  An Iron Chef on Iron Chef UK and the host of Korean Food Made Simple, Joo is the perfect candidate to explain to those wondering "What is Kimchi?" Essentially, Joo describes kimchi to Potluck Video as a side dish but a side dish with super powers.

"Kimchi is Korea's national dish," Joo says. "It is always on the table, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And a lot of times Koreans will say that they feel they haven't eaten unless they've had kimchi."

To break down kimchi further. Joo explains that kimchi is any type of fermented vegetable of fruit. Not to be confused with any type of pickling process, as Joo points out there's no vinigar involved. The vegetables or fruit are brined (soaked in salt and/or sugar) overnight, rinsed, and then chilies, spices and fish sauce are added. This mixture sits and Lactic Acid forms and bubbles with the sugars, almost like an alcohol.

If you're wondering what lactic acid is, Joo makes clear, "It's one of the super foods of the world!" The lactic acid is essentially Lactobacillus, which is a kind of bacteria that resides in our stomachs that helps the digestive process. It is one of the most commonly used probiotics.

Cabbage Kimchi and Cucumber Kimchi are the go-to's for kimchi newcomers in Joo's opinion. The cucumber kimchi is similar to the pickle for those who are not used to the dish but it has a bit of a spice to it.

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