Kimchi Stew or (Kimchi-JJigae 김치찌개), is a savory soup that is commonly eaten all throughout Korea. It’s one of the best ways to make use out of aged kimchi and is a dish eaten especially during the winter. It’s extremely nutritious and also very easy to make. Learn how to make it today!
Growing up, I wasn’t always a fan of stew.
Mainly because I didn’t like drinking all the liquid that comes with the stew. However that has since changed once my friends introduced me to this one dish called a kimchi stew. I first had this dish when I was invited to my friends birthday party at a local Korean restaurant.
I ordered many things, one of which was this stew which my friends all recommended and said I definitely need to try it. So I did. And oh man, was I happy to have ordered it.
This stew was spicy but in a good way and also very flavorful and filling. There was so much ingredients loaded up inside the stew, that sometimes I didn’t even know what I was eating exactly.
But one thing I knew for sure was that it was delicious.
And I wanted to learn how to make it!
Fortunately for me, I have quite a few Korean friends whom I am able to ask for some help. I asked around for a couple of their family recipes, and took the best parts from each of the recipes to create something of my own version of this Kimchi Stew.
Even though it is my own version, I still consider it pretty authentic because it contains all the vital ingredients that would normally come with a Kimchi stew.
And that is exactly what I will be showing you how to make today!
What Is Kimchi Stew?
Have you ever had Kimchi Stew / Kimchi-JJigae / 김치찌개 before?
If you haven’t, then you are totally missing out!
Kimchi Stew is one of the most commonly eaten food dishes in all of Korea. In fact, it’s pretty normal to see households eat this dish as often as 2 to 3 times a week during the cold winter months.
After all, this soup is spicy, hot, and also full of vegetables and meat that provides a lot of nutritional values. It’s a hearty soup that will have anybody full within minutes.
The star ingredient of the stew is definitely the kimchi. The older the kimchi, the better the flavors of the stew becomes. And aside from the kimchi, you’ll often find other ingredients like pork shoulder or pork belly, tofu, mushrooms, or any other vegetables to pair along with it.
It’s a versatile soup that anybody would love.
What Is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a food item that is commonly eaten all throughout Korea.
In fact, it is so popular that there are also special fridges made just to store this delicious item.
It is a staple ingredient where almost every single Korean household will have in their fridges. They’ll eat it with almost every meal and pairs perfectly well with anything you add on to it.
But for those wondering, Kimchi is basically a traditional side dish of salted and fermented vegetables, such as napa cabbage and Korean radish, made with a widely varying selection of seasonings including gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal, and more.
The older your kimchi gets, the more sour it will become. And that sourness is key to making certain dishes like this Kimchi Stew.
You can find this item being sold in almost any local Asian Supermarket near the refrigeration section of the store. Some Western markets may also carry it as well but for a higher price.
Ingredients Used To Make Kimchi Stew
The ingredients you’ll need to make this Kimchi Stew / Kimchi-JJigae / 김치찌개 is as followed:
- Vegetable Oil – 2 Tablespoon
- Onion – 1 Medium Onion Chopped
- Garlic – 3 Cloves Garlic Chopped
- Ginger- 1/2 Teaspoon ginger Minced
- Pork Belly Or Pork Shoulder – 2 Pounds Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Kimchi – 1 Pound Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Black Pepper – 1 Teaspoon (Optional)
- Salt – 1 Teaspoon
- Sugar – 2 Teaspoons
- Chicken Stock – 3 Cups Chicken Stock
- Firm Tofu – 8 Oz
- Sesame Oil – 1 Teaspoon
- Green Onion – 2 Stalks Chopped Into Tiny Pieces
- Shiitake Mushrooms – 3 to 4 Shiitake Mushrooms Sliced
- Korean Chili Flakes or Powder – 1 Tablespoon
- Gochujang – 1 Tablespoon
And that’s basically it!
How To Make Kimchi Stew
Making Kimchi Stew / Kimchi-JJigae / 김치찌개 is a really simple thing to do.
The process to make this stew is as followed:
Prepping Your Ingredients
First you’ll want to prep your ingredients.
So grab a chopping board, and slice your tofu, shiitake mushrooms, onions, and pork belly/shoulder into thin slices. Then set it aside.
Then chop your green onions into tiny pieces and set it aside.
Grab your garlic and ginger and mince them into tiny pieces. Then set it aside.
Lastly, chop your kimchi into tiny pieces then set it aside.
Now you are ready to start cooking!
Making The Stew
Grab a large pot and pour some oil into the pot over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot enough, you’ll want to put in your sliced onions, sliced mushrooms, sliced pork belly/shoulder, minced garlic and ginger. Then stir things around and fry them until things start to get fragrant. This can take around 4 to 5 minutes. You want to keep stirring until the pork is lightly browned and the vegetables have softened.
Now add into the pot your chopped kimchi pieces and mix things around for 2 to 3 minutes.
Once the kimchi is nicely fried, you’ll want to add in your chicken broth, Korean chili flakes, gochujang, black pepper, salt and sugar. Stir everything together until it is all combined.
Bring the contents to a nice simmer and then cover the pot. Let the pot cook for around 10 to 15 minutes.
Once time is up, uncover the pot and place your tofu inside the pot. Then cover the pot again and let it cook for around 10 minutes.
After that, uncover the pot and garnish with some chopped green onions and sesame oil. Stir things around for a minute or so and then turn off the heat.
How To Store/Keep For Future Use
Storing the Kimchi Stew / Kimchi-JJigae / 김치찌개 dish is actually a relatively simple process.
First you’ll want to wait till the stew cools down a bit. Once it is cooled, place the stew into a pot or an air-tight container and cover it up. Then you can place it in the fridge where it should remain good for up to 3 days.
You can also freeze this stew as well. The storing process is similar as you’ll just make sure to store it inside an air-tight container and cover it up. Then place it in the freezer where it should remain good for up to 3 months.
As for re-heating this dish, all you’ll simply do is to place it back onto the stove top and cook it over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Once the stew is hot again, then it is ready to serve.
Kimchi Stew Recipe (Kimchi-JJigae 김치찌개)
- 2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- 1 Medium Onion Sliced
- 3 Clove Garlic Minced
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ginger Minced
- 8 Ounces Pork Belly or Pork Shoulder Sliced into thin pieces
- 1 Pound Kimchi Chopped
- 2 Stalks Green Onion Chopped
- 3 to 4 Medium Shiitake Mushrooms Sliced
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Teaspoon Sugar
- 3 Cup Chicken Stock
- 8 Ounce Firm Tofu
- 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Korean Chili Flakes
- 1 Tablespoon Gochujang
Prepping The Ingredients
- Grab a chopping board, and slice your tofu, shiitake mushrooms, onions and pork belly or pork shoulder into thin slices. Then set it aside.
- Chop your green onions into tiny pieces and set it aside.
- Grab your garlic and ginger and mince them into tiny pieces. Then set it aside.
- Lastly, chop your kimchi into tiny pieces, then set it aside.
Making The Stew
- Grab a large pot and pour some vegetable oil into it over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is hot enough, you'll want to put in your sliced onions, sliced mushrooms, sliced pork belly/shoulder, minced garlic and ginger. Stir things around for 4 to 5 minutes or until the pork is lightly browned and the vegetables have become softened.
- Add in your chopped kimchi pieces and stir things around for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add in your chicken broth, Korean chili flakes, gochujang, black pepper, salt and sugar. Stir everything together until it is all combined.
- Bring the contents to a nice simmer and then cover the pot. Let the contents cook for around 10 to 15 minutes.
- Once time is up, uncover the pot and place your tofu into the pot. Then cover the pot again and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
- Uncover the pot and garnish with your chopped green onions and sesame oil. Stir things around for a minute or so and then turn off the heat.
- Serve Immediately!
Did you try making my Kimchi Stew / Kimchi-JJigae / 김치찌개? If so, how were they? I would love to hear all about it down in the comment section below or you can connect with my on Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram.
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