A small bowl of kimchi salad can improve your mood and make you feel incredibly full of energy.
Why Eat Kimchi
Kimchi is loaded with probiotics and prebiotics that benefit the digestive system, balance the hormones and positively impact the brain and thus the state of mind via the mind-gut connection.
Kimchi in general and this feel good kimchi salad in particular is a great way to boost your weekly detox/health boost routine. In case you are not completely convinced of the importance of a diversified microbiome for both your physical and mental health you can refresh your knowledge of the key terms related to the mind-gut connection with this post and consider reading the books referenced in it.
Ingredients for Kimchi Salad
While for many kimchi is an acquired taste you can make the fermented cabbage more appealing by adding a few sprightly flavors and crunchy textures. It then turns into an actual kimchi salad, not just a bowl of kimchi.
Salty, sour, sweet and spicy all in one. The combination is both tasty and refreshing.
You will need:
- Korean kimchi
- green apple, julienned
- thinly sliced and lightly pickled English cucumber (easy to do, see recipe card)
- thinly sliced and lightly pickled daikon radish (see recipe card)
- smoked paprika to taste
- toasted sesame seeds
- sesame oil
Put It Together
Make the pickled cucumber and daikon in advance as they need to sit refrigerated for 12-24 hours before the flavors develop. It is as simple as preparing a pickling liquid and thinly slicing the vegetables, then getting them together in a mason jar.
Once you are ready to make the salad, peel, slice and julienne the green apple, cut the kimchi into small pieces and add the pickled ingredients, sesame seed, smoked paprika and sesame oil.
Flavor with a bit of salt if needed.
Why Keep Kimchi Salad on Regular Rotation?
The research results on the multitude of benefits and vital functions of the microorganisms residing in the human gut are growing exponentially.
One thing that really stands out is how the diversity and health of the microbiome affect our moods and perceptions of life. Consuming foods rich in a variety of good gut bacteria is crucial to achieving and maintaining that diversity.
Even if you don’t drink beer/wine/other alcohol every single day but enjoy carbs, grain products, non-organic meat or processed foods you need a daily boost of probiotics and prebiotics to keep your gut, body and brain healthy.
- Two of the probiotics in kimchi have been shown to help maintain a slim figure. They are strains of the lactobacillus bacteria which makes kefir, yogurt and sour beers by fermenting sugars and producing lactic acid. Lactobacillus gasseri and lactobacillus rhamnosus are two strains associated with long term weight loss and weight control.
- Cabbage, cucumbers, daikon and apples are all great sources of soluble fiber (i.e. prebiotics) so this salad also provides plenty of fermentable material for the probiotic bacteria to feed on.
Craft Beering Tip: Eat Probiotic Rich Foods to Combat Hangovers – a Nod to Kimchi Salad
Lactobacillus strains are also extremely effective against the after-effects of alcohol consumption. Imagine the misery of hangovers gone before it gets a chance to really kick in.
The secrets of traditional hangover foods are increasingly demystified by science. Lactobacillus was recently found to be effective in metabolizing acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde is the toxin that causes inflammation in the human body post alcohol consumption.
This inflammation is at the root of all the hangover discomfort and pains. Therefore having a lot of good bacteria capable of eliminating acetaldehyde is very, very desirable after a few beers. With acetaldehyde defeated hangovers simply do not happen.
For Kimchi Salad
- 8 oz kimchi, cabbage
- 1/2 green apple peeled and julienned
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced lightly pickled English cucumber, (make in advance, see instructions below)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced daikon radish, (make in advance, see instructions below)
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp sesame oil
For Pickled Cucumber and Daikon Slices
- 1/2 English cucumber
- 1 daikon root, medium sized , peeled
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
To Make Lightly Pickled Cucumber and Daikon
- Heat water over medium heat and once it begins to simmer, remove from heat and add salt and sugar.
- Stir until dissolved and add rice vinegar. Let cool down.
- Using a mandolin (or vegetable peeler) thinly slice cucumber and daikon and place in appropriately sized mason jar. Pour the cooled pickling liquid, close lid and refrigerate. Let sit for 12-24 hours before using.
To Make Kimchi Salad
- To assemble the salad cut kimchi in small pieces, add julienned apple, pickled cucumber and daikon, sesame seeds, paprika and season with a bit of salt. Mix well.
- Drizzle with sesame oil (sparingly, a little bit goes a long way) and serve.