Homemade kimchi and glass jar
Food - Drink
The Traditional Way To Be Eating Kimchi, For The Uninitiated
While kimchi can be eaten by itself, the traditional way to eat it — as the Koreans do — is to pair it with a main dish, be it braised pork belly or a bowl of rice.
The traditional way to eat kimchi is to have it as a banchan, which is a Korean side dish. Banchan is basically any side dish for steamed rice.
The simplest Korean meal you could have is kimchi and white rice, although any addition of meat or potatoes would work as well.
In Korea, there are only certain instances when kimchi is acceptably used as a topping. Restaurants that add a kimchi topping on a bowl of rice aren't doing it the traditional way.
Banchan comes in a wholly separate dish from the bowl of rice, so have your kimchi served in a different bowl or take it from the jar as you eat your rice.
There are certain outliers in Korean kimchi practices, such as in boiled pork wraps or bossam. Bossam uses mainly meat and vegetables, but kimchi is a crucial part of the wrap.
Kimchi is also a typical topping for banquet noodles, which is a simple dish of noodles in broth. The kimchi adds acidity and brightness to the depth of the broth.