kim·​chi | \ ˈkim-chē How to pronounce kimchi (audio) \
variants: or less commonly kimchee

Definition of kimchi

: a spicy, pungent vegetable dish that consists of one or more pickled and fermented vegetables and especially napa cabbage and radishes with various seasonings (such as garlic, red chili pepper, ginger, scallions, and anchovy paste) and that is the national dish of South Korea To Koreans, life without "kimchi"—that spicy, fermented pickled vegetable mixture, which accompanies every Korean meal—is unthinkable.— K. Connie Kang Korean buckwheat noodles have more of a kick, often delivered with a little spicy kimchi.— David Tanis

Examples of kimchi in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Fermented foods and beverages—think kombucha and kimchi—are chock-full of the good stuff. Samantha Lefave,, "How to Boost Your Immune System, According to Experts," 30 Apr. 2020 Sesame garlic ramen with thin noodles, miso ramen with cabbage and curly noodles, vegetarian soy ramen with whole wheat noodles, and kimchi ramen with cabbage and curly yellow noodles are the choices. Florence Fabricant, New York Times, "Ramen (and Udon) Available for Home," 7 Apr. 2020 Just heat some oil, add some scallions, ginger, and garlic, pour in the chicken broth (ideally homemade, but at least high-quality), whisk in gochujang and soy sauce, then add daikon, then the kimchi and tofu, simmer, aaaaaaand done. Sasha Levine, Bon Appétit, "I Have This Tofu Kimchi Soup Recipe Memorized," 10 Jan. 2020 Stir in the kimchi, mushrooms, gochugaru and cook, stirring until the gochujang starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes., "Recipe: Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi-Tofu Stew)," 4 Dec. 2019 Don't forget probiotics like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. Angela Dewan, CNN, "What you need to know about coronavirus on Friday, April 17," 17 Apr. 2020 The Kimchi Jjigae stew, full of spicy kimchi, pork belly, tofu, and veggies, also is a must-order. al, "10 places to find the best global cuisine in Birmingham," 30 Mar. 2020 At Kochi, the kimchi was a garnish on a skewer of bo ssäm, for which pork belly was cooked for fourteen hours. Hannah Goldfield, The New Yorker, "Kochi’s Korean Tasting Menu Offers Everyday Indulgence on a Skewer," 7 Feb. 2020 Also in many cultures cabbage is preserved to last even longer (think kimchi in Korea, or sauerkraut in Eastern Europe). Katie Workman, NBC News, "How to cook with cabbage, plus 9 recipes to get you started," 4 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'kimchi.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of kimchi

1888, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for kimchi

Korean kimch'i

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about kimchi

Time Traveler for kimchi

Time Traveler

The first known use of kimchi was in 1888

See more words from the same year

Statistics for kimchi

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Kimchi.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on kimchi Encyclopedia article about kimchi

Comments on kimchi

What made you want to look up kimchi? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!