Kimchi Jjigae is one of the most iconic dishes of Korea. It is a staple in virtually all Korean households and served as a meal a few times a week.
With an angry red color, the stew looks aggressive and intimidating! However, the broth is surprisingly mellow, neither too spicy nor too salty. The stew is typically paired with a bowl of hot sticky rice. To eat, take a spoon of the broth, along with a piece of kimchi and pork and pour over your rice. Then balance it on your spoon and take a large bite!
Kimchi Jjigae is comfort food for virtually all Koreans. When Koreans travel or stay abroad, the first thing we crave is a bowl of hot kimchi jjigae. While many people have tried kimchi by itself, few have tried it as a stew! Try it at home and sample how Koreans eat everyday! If you can enjoy it, I think it’s a good sign that you will enjoy traveling and/or living in Korea.
Note, that this stew tastes best with “aged kimchi“. The longer the kimchi ages, the more sour it becomes. That flavor provides a deep flavor to the broth.
Kimchi Jjigae - Taste of Korea
- Kimchi - 1.5 cup If you have Aged Kimchi, even better!
- Pork - 1/2 cup Choose a cut with some fat on it - I like pork collar/neck
- Rice water - 3 cups or use anchovy-kelp broth
- Cheongyang chili peppers - 2 or use 1/2 Jalapeno, no seeds
- Spring onion - 10 inch piece size of your forearm
- Gochugaru - 1.5 teaspoons
- Minced garlic - 1 teaspoon
- Soup soy sauce - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Chop green chili peppers and green onion into small circular pieces.
- Chop pork and Kimchi into bite-sized pieces.
- Rinse rice a couple of times and extract rice water - see video below for reference. (Or you can use an anchovy-kelp broth - reference this video)
Make the broth
- Place pork in a large pot. Put rice water (or anchovy-kelp broth) into the pot as well. Turn on medium heat and bring water up to a boil.
- Boil for one minute or longer (until pork is fully cooked through). Skim the surface and get rid of any scum. Add your kimchi to the broth as well as your green onions and chili peppers (save a few onions and pepper pieces for garnish).
- Then add in the garlic, Korean red chili flakes, soup soy sauce, salt.
- Let the soup boil for an additional 10-15 minutes on a medium heat. This will reduce the stew and combine all of the ingredients together.
- Garnish the stew with spring onion and chili peppers. It is ready to eat now.
- If you can resist... save some of the soup. Let it sit overnight (or 6 hours) and give it another boil in the morning. You will see that the soup tastes even better!