The main difference between Kimchi and Sauerkraut is that kimchi is much saltier, crunchier, and less acidic than sauerkraut.
Both kimchi and sauerkraut are two types of fermented food primarily made using cabbage. They are nutritious foods, high in probiotics. Moreover, we can use them as side dishes, eat alone, or combine them with main dishes.
Key Areas Covered
What is Kimchi
Kimchi is a traditional Korean food made using fermented vegetables, typically cabbages or radish. This dish is made with a wide selection of seasonings include garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, salt, spring onions, and jeotgal (salted seafood). Cabbage is the most common vegetable people use in kimchi, but we can also use vegetables like radish, cucumber, carrot, spinach, celery, and scallions. There are various kimchi recipes, depending on the vegetables used, the season, and the region in which they are made.
You can even easily make kimchi at home as it mainly involves pickling or fermenting. But it may take some time to prepare the vegetables, and the fermentation process will take time, during which kimchi develops its unique flavour. Kimchi generally has spicy, sour, and umami flavours. But these flavours will depend on a lot of factors like vegetables you use, the amount of seasonings, and the fermentation period.
Koreans serve kimchi with almost every meal. We can use it as a side dish, appetizer, or an ingredient in other dishes. Koreans also use kimchi with a variety of foods like noodles, fried rice, stir-fry dishes, sandwiches, etc. Moreover, kimchi has a long shelf-life, which makes it versatile and economical.
What is Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a German dish of chopped pickled cabbage. You can easily make it at home. Sauerkraut recipes involve cutting raw cabbage finely, combining them with salt, and packing it into a container. Then let it rest for several days. Then a process called lacto-fermentation takes place in this cabbage. When submerged in this salt solution (brine), the beneficial bacteria on the surface of the cabbage starts to convert sugars into lactic acid. This results in a natural preservation process. After several days or weeks, it slowly ferments into a crunchy, sour condiment.
Sauerkraut is one of the best-known dishes from Germany. Moreover, there are some regional variations of this recipe, some involving additional ingredients like shredded carrots, caraway seeds, and apples. Although the name Sauerkraut is German and we consider it as German food, this recipe originated about 2,000 years ago in ancient China.
Difference Between Kimchi and Sauerkraut
Kimchi is a traditional Korean food made using fermented vegetables, typically cabbages or radish, while sauerkraut is a German dish of chopped pickled cabbage.
Kimchi originated in Korea, while Sauerkraut is a famous German dish that originated in China.
While kimchi uses a variety of seasonings like garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, salt, spring onions, and jeotgal, while sauerkraut mainly uses salt.
Sauerkraut is made with cabbage, but kimchi can be made with other vegetables like radish, cucumber, carrot, spinach, celery and scallions.
Size of Cabbage
Moreover, kimchi uses whole leaves or chunks of cabbage, while sauerkraut uses finely shredded cabbage.
Kimchi undergoes a fermentation period of few days, while sauerkraut undergoes fermentation for few days.
Kimchi has a much saltier, less acidic taste than sauerkraut, which has a tart flavour.
The main difference between Kimchi and Sauerkraut is that kimchi is much saltier, crunchier, and less acidic than sauerkraut. Moreover, kimchi uses a variety of seasonings like garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, salt, spring onions, and jeotgal, while sauerkraut mainly uses salt.
1. Christensen, Emma. “How To Make Homemade Sauerkraut in a Mason Jar.” Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, LLC., 29 Jan. 2020, Available here.
2. Moncel, Bethany. “What Is Kimchi and What Does It Taste Like?” The Spruce Eats, Available here.