I had never even heard of Kimchi Jjigae before I moved to Korea, but happened upon it a couple months after we first arrived. Jjigae means soup/stew in Korean. After I tried it that first time, I was hooked on this delicious food. It’s got a really good flavor profile, and I love the tanginess that the kimchi provides. I was all about learning how to make it after quite a few Koreans told me that it is super easy. This dish is best with Kimchi that has been sitting around in the fridge for a long time, the more it sits, the more flavor it has. They also gave me a rough recipe, and here it is. I couldn’t believe how easy and tasty it was to make at home!
8 oz pork belly or shoulder
1 tbls sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
2 cups kimchi (the older the better, reserve the juices)
6 oz regular tofu
6 oz mushrooms (enoki or baby oyster)
4 stalks of green onion
3 green chilis (optional)
1 tbls Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) (optional)
3.5 cups broth (I make my own Korean style stock, I’ll share that in a later post, but feel free to use vegetable, chicken or beef. You can also use water if you don’t have broth)
1 tbls fish sauce (helps to pump up the umami!)
1 tbls vegetable oil
- Start your rice cooker.
- Mince garlic. Cut scallions into 1.5 inch sections and tofu into 0.5 inch slices. Cut pork into bite size pieces. Cut kimchi into small pieces if not already pre-cut.
- Toss pork in the sesame oil. Heat pan on medium heat and add vegetable oil. Once hot, add in the pork and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and kimchi (reserve any liquid for later) and gochugaru and saute for another 5 minutes until kimchi has softened.
- Add kimchi juice, broth, and fish sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Taste broth and salt and pepper as needed.
- Just before serving, add mushrooms, tofu, green chilies, and scallions and cover for another 5 minutes.
- Fluff up your rice and bring the whole pot of Kimchi Jjigae to the table and ENJOY!
UPDATE** A friend of my recommended dropping a pat of butter on top of the Jjigae as a finishing touch and I tried it and it was delicious of course! So definitely give that a try as well 🙂