Kimchi-jjigae is a hot and spicy stew made with cabbage kimchi. It was considered the representative dish for commoners thanks to its simple ingredients and easy recipe. Simmered with napa cabbage kimchi, pork, tofu, and other ingredients, the stew tastes best when cooked with well-fermented and aged kimchi with a pungent flavor. Since records about the dish are not found in ancient documents, it’s speculated that the stew originated regular households in the 1970s when housewives started making kimchi at home thanks to cheaper napa cabbage prices.
Main Ingredients :
300g napa cabbage kimchi, 100g pork chuck, 20g scallion, 1/2 (70g) onion, 200g tofu, 5 cups water
Spices :Seasoning spices:
1 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp minced garlic, 2 tsp refined rice wine, 1 tsp sesame oil
Chop kimchi into 2-cm-long pieces. Slice the pork into 0.7-cm-thick, 2-cm-wide, and 3-cm-long pieces; rinse them under cold water; and drain. Cut the scallion diagonally into 0.7-cm-thick pieces. Halve the onion and run the knife to cut out 0.7-cm-thick slices according to shape. Dice the tofu into 1.5-by-1.5-cm cubes. Make seasoning sauce by mixing the condiments. Marinate the kimchi and pork pieces with the seasoning sauce by mixing them together with your fingers. Put them in a pot with 3 cups of water. Simmer for about 20 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the scallion pieces, onion slices, tofu cubes, and 2 cups of water into the pot. Simmer for another 10 minutes over medium-high gas.
☑ It’s best to use well-fermented kimchi.
☑ If the taste of the kimchi is too strong, remove the seasoned fillings between the cabbage leaves.
☑ Scallions are used to rid the pork of its unpleasant smell.
☑ Onion slices sweeten the dish, and can be substituted with various mushrooms. But refrain using pungent brown oak mushrooms.
☑ It’s recommended to make the seasoning sauce beforehand and marinate the main ingredients before simmering.
☑ When pork is not used for kimchi-jjigae, stir-fry kimchi pieces in an oiled pot and then pour in water to cook.
Kim Su-jin: Hansik Researcher
- Director of Association for Research on Taste of Korea
- Head Director of Food & Culture Korea Academy
- Nation’s First Film Food Director
(Major works: “Ssanghwajeom”, “The Painter of Wind”, “King and the Clown”, “Best Chef”)