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.
Serving Size: 2 people
Total Time: 45 minutes
¼ pound of pork belly
2 cups of aged Kimchi (older the better)
1 ½ cups of water
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.