What Goes with Kimchi? The Perfect Pairings!

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radish, mixed with spicy seasonings. This delicious and healthy condiment is packed with nutrients and flavor. It’s no wonder that it’s become a popular item on menus at Korean restaurants worldwide. But once you’ve tasted it, the question arises, what goes with kimchi?

Meat Dishes

Meat dishes are a traditional Korean accompaniment to kimchi. Grilled meats such as bulgogi, which is marinated beef, and galbi, which is grilled beef ribs, pair well with kimchi. Pork ribs and spicy pork are also excellent partner dishes. Korean fried chicken, which is made with a crispy batter and a spicy sauce, is also a great option to pair with kimchi.


  • Bulgogi recipe:
  • Galbi recipe:
  • Spicy pork recipe:
  • Korean fried chicken recipe:

Noodle Dishes

Noodle dishes are another excellent option to pair with kimchi. Jjajangmyeon, a popular Korean dish made with a black bean sauce, is often served with pickled vegetables, including kimchi. Spicy noodles such as Jjamppong, a Korean spicy seafood noodle soup, pairs very well with kimchi as well.


  • Jjajangmyeon recipe:
  • Jjamppong recipe:

Rice Dishes

Korean rice dishes are often served with kimchi. Dolsot bibimbap, which is a rice bowl with various vegetables and meat, is especially great when paired with fresh kimchi. Kimchi fried rice, which is a popular Korean comfort food, is another great option to pair with your kimchi.


  • Dolsot bibimbap recipe:
  • Kimchi fried rice recipe:

Veggie Dishes

Vegetarian dishes like Tofu and Mushroom stews are delicious meals that go well with kimchi. Other Korean vegetable dishes like stir-fried spinach and bean sprouts are fantastic to enjoy with kimchi.


  • Tofu and Mushroom stew recipe:
  • korean Spinach Stir-fry recipe:
  • Korean Bean Sprouts Salad recipe:


Korean alcoholic drinks like Soju, which is made from rice, are served with soju candies and fresh vegetable plates, which usually include kimchi.


  • Soju cocktail recipes:
  • Non-Alcoholic Hydration Drinks Recipes:


Korean snacks like hotteok, which is a Korean sweet pancake, and tteokbokki, which is a Korean rice cake, are perfect for when you want a quick and delicious snack, and they can be paired with kimchi, too.


  • Hotteok Recipe:
  • Tteokbokki recipe:

The Bottom Line

Kimchi is a versatile and healthy condiment that can be paired with a diverse range of dishes. From meat dishes to vegetarian ones, noodles to rice, and snacks to beverages, the options are endless. The next time you’re cooking a traditional Korean meal or trying a new dish, remember to add some kimchi to your plate. Its tangy, spicy flavor is sure to complement any dish, adding depth and dimension to your meal.


Can I eat kimchi by itself, or does it have to be eaten with another dish?

You can eat kimchi by itself as a snack, but it’s usually consumed as a condiment or side dish alongside other food. It’s better if served properly with other dishes, to enjoy with the taste and texture of the other flavors.

Can I consume kimchi if I have digestive problems?

Kimchi is a fermented food that is rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that help in balancing the gut microflora, which is great for digestive health. But if you have a more sensitive gut or inflammatory bowel disease, it’s best to seek advice from a healthcare professional before adding it to your diet.

Can you pair wine with kimchi?

Typically, red wine is the best pairing for kimchi, as they tend to complement each other well. A good rule to follow is that the wine should be as spicy and complex as the dish, with a little acidity.

Can I find vegan-friendly kimchi?

Yes, you can find vegan or vegetarian kimchi by asking at the grocery stores or restaurants. Usually, vegan kimchi is made by replacing fish sauce and shrimp with soy sauce and salt.

Is Kimchi high in calories?

The calorie count in kimchi varies based on the recipe that you use, but courtesy of the vegetables and the quality of fermentation, the calorie count is very low.

Can I prepare kimchi at home?

Yes, you can prepare kimchi at home easily with the appropriate recipe which you can find online or get from Korean cookbooks. It’s easy, fun and a healthy way to customize your kimchi to your taste, and you will have the benefit of knowing what you put in it.

What is the ideal storage for kimchi?

Kimchi is best stored in the refrigerator, tightly closed in a container. Avoid putting it in the freezer, as it will alter the texture and taste of the kimchi.

How long does it typically take to make a traditional kimchi recipe?

It takes about three days to make kimchi, excluding the sourcing of the ingredients if you are using traditional recipes.

What is the nutritional value of kimchi?

Kimchi is low in calories and high in nutrients like fiber, folate, vitamin K1, vitamin C, and probiotics. It’s a great addition to any diet, promoting good health and enhancing the quality of food.


  • Kimchi Stew Recipe, New York Times Cooking, https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1021070-kimchi-stew-with-mochi-miso-and-egg
  • Spicy Korean Fried Chicken, Bon Appétit, https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-korean-fried-chicken
  • Kimchi Fried Rice, Food Network, https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/kimchi-fried-rice-recipe3-3416058
  • Bulgogi Recipe, Korean Bapsang, https://www.koreanbapsang.com/bulgogi-korean-bbq-beef-2/
  • Galbi Recipe, Chef John, https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/246977/the-best-korean-beef-short-ribs/
  • Jjajangmyeon Recipe, Korean Bapsang, https://www.koreanbapsang.com/jjajangmyeon/
  • Jjamppong Recipe, The Woks of Life, https://thewoksoflife.com/jjamppong-korean-seafood-noodle-soup/
  • Hotteok Recipe, Korean Bapsang, https://www.koreanbapsang.com/hoddeok-sweet-filled-pancakes/
  • Tteokbokki Recipe, Maangchi, https://www.maangchi.com/recipe/tteokbokki

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