Kimchi JJigae in a Jiffy

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!

Kimchi Jjigae

Serves 4


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



  1. Start your rice cooker.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Add garlic and kimchi (reserve any liquid for later) and gochugaru and saute for another 5 minutes until kimchi has softened.
  3. 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.
  4. Just before serving, add mushrooms, tofu, green chilies, and scallions and cover for another 5 minutes.
  5. 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 🙂






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