Gut health is all the rage these days. No surprise, given how high stress levels are, how much added sugar is sneaking into what we eat, and how little sleep we're all getting. And one way to boost your gut health is by adding more fermented foods to your diet. Like, for example, kimchi.
It isn’t just a garlicky, spicy accompaniment to bulgogi and bibimbap; the fermented cabbage is also packed with lactic acid bacteria, which is proven to help reduce inflammation. Head to the store (yes, it's now available in most grocery stores, not just the fancy ones) and start experimenting with these 19 recipes that will give your taste buds a treat and help get your gut back on track.
Kimchi pancakes often turn out too soggy, but these come out crisp and are ready in 11 easy minutes. It's your choice whether you want to eat them hot or cold.
Kick up your queso with a good helping of kimchi. Even though the dip itself cuts back on saturated fat by using cashews instead of cheese, the spicy kick from the cabbage cuts the richness and provides a unique texture.
Load up your fries with something more nutritious than gooey processed cheddar... kimchi! The heat works great with the sweetness of the potatoes, and there’s just enough cheese on top to help everything get nice and melty.
Downsize (and portion-control) a steak dinner by tucking the meat into Vietnam-inspired rice paper wrappers alongside kimchi. The garlicky, spicy cabbage and honey-soy marinade on the sirloin are fantastic together and won't weigh you down before the main meal.
A retro appetizer gets a new-age update with the additions of kimchi and bacon. The new ingredients bring so much flavor, you'll need a lot less mayo than the traditional recipe usually calls for. Plus, they provide a crunchy element that makes the whole dish that much more fun to eat.
Salads, Sandwiches, and Wraps
These colorful wraps are all about simple, real food and minimal extras. The avocado, egg, asparagus, and kimchi are so satisfying, you don’t even need sugary condiments or heavy seasonings. It’s clean eating at its best.
Kimchi is practically a salad on its own, but add some fresh fruit and a simple sweet and sour pickled mix of cucumber and radish to the spicy cabbage, and you’ve got flavor for days. It’s one of those salads that'll make you feel instantly healthier with just one bite.
Sure, quesadillas without cheese are nontraditional, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t delicious. An easy black bean spread and creamy avocado make the dairy totally unnecessary in these wholesome vegan wraps—and the kimchi fits in surprisingly well with the Mexican seasonings.
Think that lettuce wraps can’t be a filling alternative to sandwiches? Try these. Stuffed with a mixture of egg, avocado, kimchi, and bacon, they’re so hearty, the greens are actually a refreshing contrast to the heavier flavors.
Kimchi is the star ingredient in this simpler—but way more exciting—version of a turkey Reuben, providing a much-needed boost of spice against the milder cheese and meat. While this recipe uses vegan cream cheese, go ahead and use the regular kind if that’s your preference; it works just as well.
Just four ingredients can create the mother of all grilled cheeses—and we don’t say that lightly. With apples, kimchi, and cheese tucked inside a fruit and nut bread, the recipe is minimalist, but every component brings something unique (and delicious) to the final product. Don’t be surprised if this sandwich becomes lunch at least three times per week.
Although kimchi makes this tomato sauce particularly fiery, there’s nothing hellish about this dish. In fact, with turkey sausage providing extra protein and feta thrown in for a creamy finish, this crowd-pleaser is downright heavenly.
In the time it takes for the angel hair to cook, you can whip up this unusual “sauce,” where Korean ingredients such as sesame oil, kimchi, and gojuchang paste team up with classic Italian flavors including olive oil and Parmesan cheese. It’s like pasta bibimbap, and you may be pleasantly surprised at how well it works.
We know, we know—we live in a world of way too many avocado toast recipes. But with spicy kimchi mayo dolloped on top of creamy mashed avocado on top of crusty bread, this one deserves special mention. If you’re going to try just one more rendition of the now-ubiquitous breakfast item, let this one be it.
We’ve never met a taco we didn’t like, but this meatless one might make it to our short list. The lightly sautéed veggies and tofu are simply seasoned so kimchi can take the spotlight, while the fresh lime and chopped peanuts on top are a refreshing alternative to the usual salsa and guac. This is vegan—and fusion—food done right.
The fish and kimchi combo isn’t unusual in Korean cuisine, and it’s easier to make than you might think. This recipe requires no obscure ingredients and no elaborate prep—and takes just 25 minutes from start to finish. It’s a great, flavorful way to get more probiotics (and more seafood) in your diet.
Zucchini noodles may be a lower-carb option, but they’re anything but low in nutrition or flavor when you use them in this recipe. Leaner turkey bacon, kimchi, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a Sriracha-based sauce make absolutely sure of that.