Kimchi Jjigae / Kimchi Stew (김치찌개)

11 Apr

Kimchi jjigae recipe so fun, easy, and tasty that even the executive dishwasher can do it!  Here is a recipe for kimchi jjigae written by the executive dishwasher/my husband, SYB.

Kimchi jjigae is the only Korean food I knew how to cook in college.  I recall being so excited as a first year at UVA going to eat at the dining halls. How can you go wrong with unlimited buffet like OCB (Old Country Buffet) every day? That excitement quickly faded away after just 2 days.  I needed kimchi. I satisfied my craving for kimchi with microwaveable rice and cup ramen noodles. It was glorious. Then one day, I visited some 4th year guy’s apartment and ate kimchi jjigae. Wow, even more glorious! Hit the spot… I knew I had to learn this dish because I heard somewhere that cup ramen was not the most healthy choice. When I asked how he made the kimchi jjigae, he told me it was very simple – water and kimchi. That was the beginning of my kimchi jjigae adventure. Every time I’d make it, I’ll try something here and there to enhance the flavor. In my third year, I learned to add samgyupsar in there and took the kimchi jjigae to a whole new level!

The recipe I’m about to share with you has been refined over time. While I’m no chef, my kimchi jjigae is delicious. Hope you enjoy.

Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 2 people
Total Time: 45 minutes

Main Ingredients
¼ pound of pork belly
2 cups of aged Kimchi (older the better)
1 ½  cups of water
Green onion
1 tsp of minced garlic
2 tsp of sesame oil
(optional) ¼ onion
(optional) 1 tsp of chili paste (gochujang 고추장) or sugar
(must) lots of love and patience

Preparation / Cooking
1. Chop vegetables and pork belly

2. Start by adding the sesame oil and minced garlic

3. Add pork belly and keep cooking until the pink color is gone

4. If you like a thick and sweet stew, add onions and/or gochujang (both optional)

5. Add Kimchi and cook for about 10 mins. Add water and on low heat, cook for approximately 20+ mins.  Longer the better

6. Add tofu and green onions last and cook for 5 more minutes.  Add sugar as needed for sweeter flavor.  (Used to add Shin ramen soup base here but found out that it was pure MSG and no good)

If you’re not a fan of pork belly, you can use the Korean tuna can.  Half-can would be sufficient.  This would eliminate the need for sesame oil, pork belly, sugar, and gochujang as it would make it sweeter and thicker.

13 Responses to “Kimchi Jjigae / Kimchi Stew (김치찌개)”

  1. Anonymous September 30, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    this is an amazing recipe

  2. Adriane November 30, 2012 at 10:53 am #

    I love Korean food but I live about 1 1/2 hours drive away from the nearest Korean restaurant.This recipe sounds great and I can’t wait to cook it. The problem I am having is the directions go straight from chop the vegetables to continue cooking. The start of cooking and how is left out. (I was expecting to read “saute the vegetables in such a pot over such heat”) How can one continue cooking if one has not started.

    Also, I would appreciate the source for the cast metal tabletop grill shown in your Samgyupsar post.

    All your help is appreciated. Thanks for all the lovely recipes. Your site jumped onto my speed dial the first day I discovered it!

    • Lala January 18, 2013 at 1:35 am #

      Clearly you just toss it all in to the soup :)

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