Kimchi is the New Cupcake

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Courtesy of Kimchi Mom (www.kimchimom.com)

…Okay, the cupcake is pretty passe in the world of food trends (but still pretty popular). We’ve moved on to bundt cakes.

But I digress…

My most recent trip to the San Francisco Fancy Food Show earlier this year further confirmed that Asian foods are still as popular as ever in this country. However, Chinese and Japanese foods are so commonplace that they’re no longer seen as “exotic” to us.

Enter Korean food. It’s the hot new trend in the Asian American food world. And nothing symbolizes Korean food like kimchi.

Kimchi is napa cabbage that’s fermented or pickled with red chili paste, anchovies, salt, ginger and garlic. The result is a pungent, spicy, sour dish that is served with every Korean meal morning, noon and night. Every household has a recipe.

Stateside, kimchi is just starting to move beyond the Korean household. It’s suddenly become trendy. PBS recently even aired a season of a show called “Kimchi Chronicles” that included celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten and actor, Hugh Jackman.

Health food advocates claim it’s one of the healthiest foods you can eat. It’s got a large concentration of fiber, is high in vitamins A and C, and contains plenty of good bacteria which helps aid in digestion.

For foodies, it just plain tastes good. It gives everything you eat a zesty, spicy kick and a little goes a very long way. I personally love the texture it adds to everything with the crunchiness of the cabbage.

My husband is addicted to the stuff. So much so that we’ve come to appreciate the huge tubs of it they sell at our local Costco. (We try to avoid brands that contain MSG. It’s harder to find, but worth it.) It’s also become a staple of his daily breakfast. He tops his two poached eggs with about a quarter cup of kimchi most mornings and I have to admit, it’s pretty damn tasty. It’s a great way to perk up boring eggs. Once you try it it’s pretty addictive. You’ve been warned.