Kim Chi Jjigae (Kim Chi Soup): Eating South Korea

by Karen on Thursday, October 21, 2010

Post image for Kim Chi Jjigae (Kim Chi Soup): Eating South Korea

I have a bad habit of buying very specific cookware.  This includes my ddukbaegi and dolsot which are wonderfully heavy clay and stone pots that are used to cook Korean stews and rice, respectively.  Cooking such a down-to-earth dish like kim chi jjigae almost requires cooking it in such earthenware.  The stone pot used to steam rice is especially nice because it forms that lovely brown rice crust that is later scrapped up and eaten.  Of course, if you want to use your rice maker and stainless steel pot, go for it.

I've also used multi-grain rice, which has become more and more popular among Asian households as a healthy substitute for white rice.  I actually prefer it in taste and texture to white rice.

Serves 2-3

– 1/2 lb of pork belly, cut into small cubes
– 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
– 1 cup of old kim chi, diced (or if you have relatively fresh kim chi, add 2 tbsps of gochujang, Korean red pepper paste)*
– 1/2 cup of kim chi juice, left over at the bottom of the jar
– 1/2 block of soft tofu, diced into 1 inch cubes
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
– 2 scallions, thinly sliced
– tsp of sesame oil
*You can find these ingredients at a Korean market and kim chi nowadays is available at most east Asian markets

On medium-high heat pour a drizzle of sesame oil into your pot and cook the ginger and garlic for a few minutes until softened.  Add the pork belly and cook until it is no longer pink.

Add the onions, kim chi, kim chi juice, gochujang (if you are using fresh kim chi). Fill the rest of your pot with water until everything is just covered.  Stir the contents and bring to a boil and lower the heat to simmer for about 30 minutes.

Once the onions and kim chi are more translucent add the cubes of tofu to the soup and gently fold them into the red soup.  Let the soup simmer for another 10-15 minutes.  Garnish with sliced green onions and your kim chi jjigae is done– simple as that!

Eat the soup boiling hot with your rice.

Mmmm… I am warm and full.



shayma October 21, 2010 at 5:29 pm

i dont eat pork- but oh my god, this looks utterly delicious. love this soup and love your photos. x shayma

Karen October 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Thanks– you can definitely make it without the pork, will still be very tasty!

Valerie October 21, 2010 at 10:14 pm

Karen, this was SO delicious!! It might be my new comfort food. And your pictures are beautiful… I can’t stop staring.

jeff October 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Yummay. You mean some serious business with those oriental looking pots there. huh?

gileria October 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm

o my GOD-ness! this makes me hungry all the way up in santa rosa and with no access to kim chi or cubed pork belly or wild rice OR the nice asiatic cookware.

this recipe looks doable, it may become a household staple in my not-yet-house.

Karen October 21, 2010 at 11:22 pm

It is very do-able and EASY, you should definitely give it a shot!!!!

M October 22, 2010 at 11:23 am

Mmm, I’m tempted to try this out. How long does it keep for though out of curiosity?

Karen October 22, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Please do! Um not sure, it has pork in it, so probably no longer than a day or two in the fridge. If you’re making without pork I’m sure it can stay for a while longer.

Victoria October 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

This is crazy gal!I will definitely try it!Kim Chi, Tofu, ginger are the must-haves in my fridge!I still have a big bag of that kind of mix grain rice…yum yum
The pork looks fabulous…My dad is really crazy about it:) (He used to cook that a lot…)

Lisa~Korean American Mommy October 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm

OH no you didn’t! I love pork belly in my kimchi chigae. Yikes, now i’m craving some. Nicely prepared!

Kulsum@JourneyKitchen October 23, 2010 at 2:07 am

Okay Karen, I WANT THAT STONE POT. OMG! I’m in love with it. I just want it so bad and I’ll be looking for it everywhere I go. And Ditto as Shayma said, I don’t eat pork but this looks soo GOOD.

P.S. Did I say I loved that pot?

Karen October 24, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Thanks! You can find them at Korean markets if you’re near any and they’re pretty cheap. Good luck w the search- I love mine!

Sarah October 25, 2010 at 8:27 pm

i have been considering a dolsot for some time…i think you may just have convinced me to get one! Thanks for making my favorite Korean dish so approachable! You are a wonderful chef!

Erica October 26, 2010 at 12:46 am

Love this post! This is the ultimate comfort food and can have this almost daily! Can’t wait to try it. xx

Jeanette October 27, 2010 at 4:18 am

I love this soup (without the pork) when its cold and dank out. I’ve used tuna fish if I want something more substantial.

Karen October 27, 2010 at 9:35 am

Yes! With a can of tuna is not only healthier but easy– and just as tasty– thanks for the suggestion!

genn November 4, 2010 at 8:51 pm

this was soooo good! i added paoched eggs. delicioso!

Karen November 4, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Mmmm good call! Happy to hear it turned out well!

hye rin December 23, 2010 at 3:30 pm

oh my…I am a big fan of kimchi jigae too…I had dinner and luch with it for this whole week..hehehe

Valerie February 27, 2011 at 12:54 am

Made this a couple nights ago and it was SO delicious! I had fresh kim chi and I used the super hot, hot, hot gochujang so I didn’t use quite as much as recommended and it was perfect. Awesome recipe, thanks so much!

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