Atchara vs Kimchi: Which One Wins?

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So let's say you aren't able to eat any vegetables but you bought some Kimchi and Atchara, which would you prefer? First let's find out more about the preparation and then their difference and similarities! ♥ korean_food

(Photo credit via Pixabay)



♦     Kimchi     ♦

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a Korean side dish mainly composed of Chinese cabbage but it also includes some radish and other vegetables  and spices. 

how_to_make_kimchi(Photo credit: Artgirl via Bitlanders)


This is a staple food of Koreans as they eat it with anything most of the time. It is sour and spicy and made thru fermentation using flour, sugar and salt.

What does it look like when it isn't cooked yet? Hey say hello to the Chinese cabbage.

homemade_kimchi(Photo credit: Artgirl via Bitlanders)



How to make Kimchi

So around March 2016 I decided to make my own Kimchi after buying a bottle of it. Well hey I was into Korean Dramas then so of course I will crave for some Kimchi. Lol.

The first thing I did was search online on how to make it. I found Maangchi and I think she is the best Kimchi resource online and on YouTube. 

Hey this pic of hers reminds me of Mona Lisa. Lol.

how_to_make_atchara(Photo credit: Maangchi via


Here's the video I followed to make my own Kimchi! Although mine didn't have any fermented shrimp so I used dulong or silver fish instead. 

(Video credit: Maangchi via YouTube)

Or you can read the step by step procedure in her website post too.

It took me hours before I was able to finally finish making it and less than 2 days for the initial fermentation. Below is a collage of the pics I took of the ingredients. The finished product is in the BPA-free plastic container.


(Photo credit: Artgirl via Bitlanders)




♦     Atchara     ♦

What is Atchara?

Atchara (or achara/atsara) is a Filipino side dish mostly composed of green papaya and includes carrots and other vegetables and spices. It is also a pickled food product. This is said to have been influenced by early Indian pickling and the Spanish occupation in the Philippines.

sour_side_dishes(Photo credit: Obsidian Soul via Wikipedia)

Usually it is consumed during special occasions or anytime you eat some lechon kawali or meat dish that's kind of greasy. It gets rid of the meaty and oily taste in any meal and makes it more delicious.


How to make Atchara

I have never made any Atchara ever. It's not my favorite thing so I have never made any atchara in my entire life. My brothers have, I think, when they were in grade school. The only thing I was able to learn and make in high school was some Guava jelly when they taught us how to make it. :D

Anyway here's a video I found that's in English so you'll understand how to make your own Atchara.

(Video credit: The Trying Hard Cook via YouTube)


Actually the video is a better way of making atchara than the homemade version. Home made ones don't cook most of the spice ingredients and also don't need any sterilized bottles. Home made atchara are just the ingredients mixed together with the shredded and prepared papaya without cooking anything but the vinegar and spices. Sometimes it even  has raisins as part of the ingredient.


(Photo credit: Misspressy via Misspressy's Kitchen)


Shredded papaya must be prepared first by salting then squeezing the bitter liquid/sap out of it and then rinsing it well otherwise the atchara will be bitter. Once the vinegar and sugar syrup is ready, while it is hot and just boiled it is then poured into the jar/container with all the ingredients. Then it will be covered and sealed until it cools down before it is refrigerated.




♠   Difference and Similarities   ♠


(Photo credit: Pixabay)



  • No flour is used to make Atchara.
  • No hot syrup is poured over Kimchi ingredients.
  • Traditional Kimchi has fish sauce and tiny shrimps as ingredient for the paste. Atchara has no animal ingredient added as source of calcium.
  • Atchara only has some ground pepper and ginger for it's spicy ingredients as opposed to a lot of hot pepper flakes in the Kimchi paste ingredients.
  • Atchara is sweet and sour while Kimchi is more of salty and sour.
  • Atchara is much sweeter than Kimchi because it has more sugar in it's ingredients while Kimchi is more spicy than Atchara due to having lots of chili pepper flakes.
  • Kimchi is done mostly by fermenting in a jar or container. Atchara is made by pouring the just boiled vinegar syrup over the prepared papaya and the other ingredients into a jar or container.
  • Kimchi has healthy microorganisms including some form of Lactobacillus. Atchara is rich in Fiber.
  • Atchara is pickled food while Kimchi is fermented and pickled food.



  • Both use salt to prepare the fruit or vegetable.
  • Both have sugar in the syrup ingredients and carrots included with the main fruit/vegetable.
  • Final products are both sour and makes any dish delicious when added to the food.
  • Both are considered preserved food.
  • Both should be refrigerated after some time once it is done and prepared to be preserved: for atchara once it has cooled, for kimchi after 24-48 hrs.
  • Both are best to eat after being in the refrigerator, at least 2 days for atchara and a week for kimchi.


(Photo credit: Artgirl via Bitlanders)



Which One is Better?

Well, in terms of health benefit, Kimchi wins hands down. Why? Well because all the good bacteria it has due to the fermentation process is enough to make one choose it over Atchara. Unless of course you don't like spicy food then don't eat it. :D But of course too much of anything is not good so take kimchi in moderation or you might get cancer in the long run.

(Photo credit via Pixabay)


Atchara is still good as a side dish because it is the perfect source of fiber if you are not one who likes eating fruits and/or vegetables at all. For preserved food lovers and those who seldom eat fresh fruits or any vegetables in your viand then atchara is the best fiber source for your every meal. However, preserved food does not come close to replacing the nutrients in fresh fruits and vegetables so do remember to eat some fresh ones from time to time.

Whichever of the two you prefer, c'mon let's just eat them and be merry!





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