Kimchi Jjigae is a classic Korean stew that is spicy, satisfying, and takes only 20 minutes to make!
Kimchi Jjigae : the quick video version!
I’m finally feeling the first signs of Fall! The crisp air and cooler weather has me in the mood for one of my all time favorite Korean stews: Kimchi Jjigae.
What is Kimchi Jjigae
Kimchi Jjigae is a classic hot and sour Korean stew that is made with aged kimchi, salty pork belly, and tofu. The broth is rich, red, spicy, and fragrant.
Growing up, my mom made several gallons of kimchi at a time. So, naturally some kimchi would get older, more sour, and softer. This was the perfect time to make kimchi jjigae. The more fermented the kimchi, the better the taste of the stew!
How to make Kimchi Jjigae
First off, kimchi jjigae is so easy to make that even my dad can make it! And that’s saying a lot! Growing up, he never stepped into the kitchen to cook, except when it was time for this special stew. To his credit, he makes the best kimchi jjigae. It’s always pungent, spicy, and satiating. One sip leaves you feeling satisfied and fortified! So, if he can make it, you can easily make it too!
Marinate the pork
- After cutting the pork belly into bite size pieces, drizzle sesame oil, salt, and pepper. (pro tip: freeze the pork belly for 15 minutes for easier cutting and handling)
- Separate the kimchi from the kimchi juice and roughly chop into small pieces.
- Save the kimchi juice for later.
Put it all together
- Saute chopped garlic and ginger before adding the pork belly.
- After several minutes of cooking, toss in the chopped kimchi and mix together. Can you smell it now?
Season the broth
- Add water, gochugaru, kimchi juice, and hondashi.
- Dashi gives this stew its unique umami-ness. Without dashi, this stew can taste flat. So don’t skimp out. However, home made dashi stock can be used instead of hondashi for a natural umami flavor. Add anchovies and dried kelp to boiling water for 20 minutes and then remove. If you can’t find these ingredients, hondashi is an easy alternative.
- Top this stew with sliced tofu and scallions and always serve Kimchi jjigae piping hot!
- I love my jjigae with warm steamed rice. Mix it right into the stew. Enjoy!
You are going to love this stew if you:
love spicy, comfort food served in one communal pot
want to make a quick and simple dinner
have a lot of leftover kimchi and don’t know what to do with it
- ¼ pound pork belly
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 cup fermented kimchi + ½ cup kimchi juice
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp ginger
- 1-2 Tbsp gochugaru (depending on your level of heat)
- 1 tsp hondashi
- ½ package of tofu, sliced thin
- chopped scallions for garnish
- Chop pork belly into bite size pieces and marinate with sesame oil, ½ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp pepper
- Roughly chop kimchi and set aside
- Add 1 Tbsp of oil (vegetable or grapeseed) into pot on medium heat and add chopped garlic and ginger. Saute for 1-2 minutes
- Place pork belly into pot and cook for 5 minutes, or until brown on all sides
- Add kimchi directly into pot and mix with pork for 5 minutes, until fragrant
- Add gochugaru, hondashi, kimchi juice, and water. Stir together and cover until boiling, 5 minutes
- Top with sliced tofu and garnish with scallions
- Serve immediately!