gnb content footer


News Focus



Kimchi welcomed in Mediterranean

The popularity of Korea’s staple food kimchi has expanded beyond Asia, and is currently receiving media attention in Europe. The interest in the famously healthy food sparked off in neighboring countries in Asia, a while ago, which became the first foreign nations to recognize the value of kimchi. The traditional food has received extensive media coverage by Asian media outlets for the past few decades.

“Kimchi was the source of energy I could thrive on,” said a 70-year-old Japanese woman who succeeded in reaching the summit of Mt. Everest in 2003. For the challenging journey, she packed up 30 kilograms of kimchi that, she mentioned, gave her the strength to overcome the extremes.

Chua Lam, a world-famous food critic from Hong Kong, published an eight-part article series dedicated to Korean food, after a visit to Korea in 2010. “I was struck by the fact that kimchi can be made with all sorts of vegetables and even with raw crab and eel,” he said, recalling the unique tastes of Korean dishes, in which chili was an indispensable ingredient that he mentioned really shocked his taste buds.

Kimchi is welcomed around the world as a low-calorie diet food.

Kimchi is welcomed around the world as a low-calorie diet food. (photo: iclickart)

After making a big impression in Asia, kimchi continues to gain fame in Europe. Portugal’s daily newspaper Publico reported in the March 2 edition on a couple who sells kimchi in their Asian restaurant in Lisbon. Paulo Morais and Anna Lins, introduced among the 20 influential Portuguese figures in the food and cooking industry, unveiled business-running stories of their own.

“Korean people like to add garlic and ginger to most food and use beans for basic condiments (ganjang and doenjang),” said Anna, who built a deep knowledge of Korean food by completing a cooking course.

There are thousands of variants of kimchi.

There are thousands of variants of kimchi. Cabbage kimchi, among them, made of chili powder, fermented pickled fish, chestnut, pear, and so forth in between the cabbage leaves, is the most representative variant of kimchi. (photo: iclickart)

In the article, Anna also provided details on Korea’s long-lasting history and the traditions of kimchi. She explained that the fermentation process of kimchi was invented by ancient Koreans as a way to store food for a long period in winter. Sometimes, unexpected items such as oysters and cuttlefish are added to facilitate the process, she added.

In regards to their inspiration to include Korean food in their business, the couple noted that they were fascinated by Korean foods that exude exotic and savory tastes, and thought it might draw in Portuguese people, familiar with the savory Mediterranean diet.

There are more Korean foods in their menu than kimchi, including bulgogi (grilled marinated meat) and bibimbap (bowl of rice topped with seasoned vegetables and chili pepper), which recently led to a big jump in sales, according to the couple, which led to them increasing the proportion of Korean foods on the menu.

Washington Post introduces a recipe of kimchijeon, or kimchi pancake in the March 6 edition.

Washington Post introduces a recipe of kimchijeon, or kimchi pancake in the March 6 edition.

While the raw kimchi gives a refreshing and tangy kick, the transformation of the food in different styles provides something new and offers more to enjoy. The March 6 edition of Washington Post unveiled the discovery introducing a recipe of kimchijeon, better known as kimchi pancake, made with kimchi in an egg-and-flour batter served with a dipping sauce.

“This version happens to be gluten-free: the combination of rice flour and cornstarch creates a springy pancake that hugs the juiciness of the kimchi and scallions” the newspaper explained.

Details about the recipe are available at the link (

By  Lee Seung-ah

Featured Topics

URL Copy


Department Global Communication and Contents Division,  Contact Us