A Brief History of Kimchi

Have you ever wondered about the story behind kimchi? Indeed, Korea’s favorite food had a long and fascinating journey from its ancient roots in Asia to our Korean restaurant in Bellevue.

Though the exact origin of kimchi is long forgotten, the first known record of it appears in Sikyeong, a Chinese poetry book that dates back at least 2,600 years. At the time it was referred to as ji, and it consisted solely of pickled Chinese cabbage. People began to experiment more with the dish during the 12th century, adding spices and other new ingredients to give rise to fresh, new varieties of kimchi. The most recognizable form of kimchi that we know today finally came about in the 17th century, when Portuguese traders introduced the Brazilian red pepper to Asia. Kimchi in red pepper paste skyrocketed in popularity in the 19th century, and has remained a quintessential part of Korean cuisine since.

Today, it is common to see kimchi made from radish, scallops, and a vast array of other ingredients and seasonings, each incarnation reflecting the regional and seasonal nuances of modern Korea. One hundred and eighty seven different kinds of kimchi have been identified, and there is no telling where the future might take it. Come and be a part of the kimchi phenomenon today, with the Seoul Hot Pot Korean Restaurant!

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