Kimchi means fermented vegetables, since many kinds of bacterial reactions contribute to build its flavor. The most important is lactic acid which aids digestion.
The pungent action of the chili pepper, the phyto chemical, capsaicin, stimulates the mucous membranes of the stomach. Organic acids control stomach secretions and fermentation produces vitamins B1, B2, B12 and nicotinic acid. Moreover, the vegetable fibers also activate bowel movement, solving constipation. This is the reason that kimchi was picked for one of 5 healthiest foods in the world by Health Magazine in 2006.
Kimchi gives special flavor to stews and sautéed vegetables. Try it on noodles, rice and tofu or make your own variations. It also gives very good flavor to kimchi pancakes and kimchi fried rice.