If you're pretty much a kimchi virgin, outside of the banchan spread at the occasional restaurant barbecue feast, here's a word of advice: Don't limit your kimchi consumption to Korean food. It's a great addition to lots of things, "anytime you want something spicy and tangy," mariacarmen says on Chowhound. With a jar of kimchi in the fridge, you can electrify last-minute meals like instant noodles or omelets (use it as an eye-opening filling), or add it to fried rice.
Put out a bowl of kimchi to eat with fatty cuts of meat, where it acts as a foil for the richness. And—who knew?—kimchi goes well with cheese: Try it in a grilled cheese or quesadilla, or sprinkle some on a frozen cheese pizza before popping it in the oven. Of course, cheesemonger says, kimchi is a good replacement for cucumber pickles on burgers, hot dogs, and most sandwiches.
Discuss: Kimchee for Novices
Photo of CHOW's Basic Napa Cabbage Kimchi by Chris Rochelle / CHOW.com