Team Red Kimchi or Team Mul Kimchi?


Savor the equally tasty, mul kimchi (water kimchi) So much has been written about the kimchi, that red hot-sour side dish that spices up eve...

Savor the equally tasty, mul kimchi (water kimchi)

So much has been written about the kimchi, that red hot-sour side dish that spices up every Korean food lover’s dining table. But very little is known about one of its obscure siblings, the mul kimchi, also known as the water (‘mul’ in Korean) kimchi.

I first heard of this different kind of kimchi from my regular supplier, Oppa Kimchi. I thought that it might not be that delicious or it could be bland, judging from the lack of lively color like the usual red variety. When I had my first bite, I knew then that it would be added to my regular line-up in the pantry.

Mul kimchi is the exact opposite of the highly popular spicy napa cabbage kimchi in terms of taste, color, and ingredients. Although they are very different, both kimchi variants go well with your favorite main dish. The mul kimchi cleanses the palate in between greasy or strong-flavored dishes. It is served as an appetizer as well because of its neutral flavor.

This kind of kimchi is not spicy. It is a combination of sweet and savory play of flavors packed in a refreshing melange of leafy vegetables. It is a refreshing side dish that is best paired with fried or roasted meats and fish, the same as its red fiery rival, minus the spice.     

Because it does not use red chili as the main ingredient, mul kimchi is almost clear, like a cold soup made out of meat stock. It only uses lightly salted brine as the fermenting agent. Hence, the red kimchi is devoid of the pleasant subtle aroma that the mul kimchi presents. Other mul kimchi recipes add beetroot to put some red color without the spice while retaining the refreshing kick.

The mul kimchi is versatile when it comes to ingredients. Any kind of leafy vegetable sinks well in the brine concoction. The most commonly used ingredients are radish leaves, radish, watercress, napa cabbage, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, etc.

There are many kimchi types out there that fit every want of picky K-food aficionados. Try the mul kimchi for a change. It packs the same benefit for your gut that the common red kimchi does. If hot and sour are not your thing, the water kimchi will surely exceed your banchan expectations. 

Which is your go-to kimchi?

For an easy way to make mul kimchi, try this link.

(The writer owns and took the photos. This post first appeared on Korea.Net with added texts.)



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item Team Red Kimchi or Team Mul Kimchi?
Team Red Kimchi or Team Mul Kimchi?
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