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.
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!
To get the flavour just right, you will need to stock up on both.
Step by step photos of kimchi jjigae
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- 375g (3/4 lb) pork belly, cut into bit small sized pieces
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- FOR THE JJIGAE
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serve with white rice topped with the thinly sliced spring onions, scallions.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 1397mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 11g