There are over 130 different types of kimchi. Kimchi is a technique of fermenting and preserving vegetables instead of a particular dish. It can be made from almost every vegetable and it can also be made from fruit such as apples and pears. Actually, what we commonly refer to as kimchi- the red cabbage and red chili powder kimchi is actually the newest type of kimchi. The red chili powder was introduced around the year 1580 via the Portuguese Missionaries who were traveling through Asia. The original kimchi was made from boiling cabbage with beef stock. The problem with the original type of kimchi was shelf life. The introduction of red chili powder, garlic, ginger and shrimp sauce or fish sauce increased the preservation of kimchi and now it allowed kimchi to last for years instead of mere weeks. Because of this a new type of kimchi emerged: Moogunji Kimchi : aged, sour kimchi.
Moogunji Kimchi takes skill and patience to make. Just leaving kimchi in your fridge for a couple of months will not turn it into the pungent, strong kimchi that is excellent in stews and braises. Actually, it might turn it into alcohol. The cabbage for moogunji kimchi are heavily salted and stored in constant temperature without exposure to air. This process could take up to two years and some places will age them for over 3 years. The result is a flavor bomb kimchi that makes excellent kimchi stews and braises.