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Kimchi Jjigae

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Kimchi jjigae is a delicious and hugely popular spicy Korean stew.

This one is savoury, spicy, mildly sweet and sour. When it comes to a mouthful of deliciousness, Kimchii jjigae ticks all the boxes. I learned this recipe back when I was in Uni and used to stay down in LA with friends often. A couple guys I knew from school studied at UCLA and their roommates were from South Korea. This recipe brings back great memories of those days, drinking way too much beer and gulping down bowls of kimchi jjigae.

kimchi jjigae

You are going to love this one!

A bit about this recipe…

Their apartment wasn’t far from Little Korea where we spent a lot of time drinking and eating. It was on one such night out that I was introduced to my first bowl of kimchi jjigae and I loved it. 

The two friends from South Korea were there and told me how easy it was to make so the next evening, we did just that. A huge pot of the stuff to serve about 10 people and it all went.

We purchased some well aged kimchi, something I never thought I would ever purchase at the time and some pork belly and made this exact recipe. 

Well, close anyway. I just watched all the ingredients go in and have made kimchi jjigae from memory ever since. Finally, today, I got down to writing the recipe down for you to try too. 

Choosing the kimchi

It is important to find well aged kimchi. You can make your own but I find that a bit labour intensive. I simply find some online or go to a Korean market and stock up.

How easy is this recipe?

As recipes go, kimchi jjigae is so easy to prepare. There isn’t even any frying. You just need to throw everything in a pot and cook it for about 50 minutes.

Cooking really doesn’t get any easier!

Special Ingredients…

To popular and mildly spiced ingredients that are used a lot in Korean cooking are gochugaru are chilli flakes and 
gochujang, a hot pepper paste. Both are available at Asian markets and online.

To get the flavour just right, you will need to stock up on both.

Step by step photos of kimchi jjigae

Ingredients for kimchi jjigae

Get all your ingredients together before you start cooking. It’s a lot easier that way.

Adding kimchi brine, kimchi and onions to the pot

Pour the kimchi brine into the pot and top with the aged kimchi and onions.

Adding remaining ingredients to the pot

Top with everything else and add a little water or stock to cover.

Simmering kimchi jjigae

Cover and bring to a simmer. Continue simmering for 20 minutes.

Adding tofu to the pot

Remove the lid and add the tofu. Cover again and continue simmering for another 15 minutes or until the pork is tender.

Kimchi jjigae

Divide between 3 to 4 bowls and serve immediately.

Kimchi jjigae

You are going to love this!

You might also like…

Easy Korean Bibimbap
Japanese Chicken Curry
Malaysian Devil Curry
Ayam Masak Merah
Asian Honey Glazed Baked Salmon

Yield: 3 - 4

Kimchi Jjigae

kimchi jjigae
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 375g (3/4 lb) pork belly, cut into bit small sized pieces
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) Kimchi brine
  • 450g (1 lb) aged kimchi, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 300g (3/4 lb.) tofu, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • 3 spring onions (scallions), roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 ½ tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Salt and sugar to taste
  • 2 spring onions (scallions) thinly sliced


  1. Pour the kimchi brine into a sauce pan that is large enough to contain all the ingredients. Cover with the kimchi, spring onions (scallions) and sliced onion.
  2. Press it all down and then arrange the marinated pork on top. Add the gochugaru, gochugang, sesame oil, soy sauce, black pepper and chicken stock or water. Ensure that all the ingredients are completely submerged in the stock.
  3. Place the pan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Then take the lid off and add the tofu. Be sure to spoon some of that delicious sauce over the tofu.
  4. Cover the pan again and simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste the sauce and add salt and sugar to taste. I usually add about a tsp salt and a tsp sugar but you need to add these to your preference. Be careful with the salt as kimchi and soy sauce is already salty.
  5. Serve with white rice topped with the thinly sliced spring onions, scallions.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 1397mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 11g

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