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Delicious homemade recipe for Kimchi JjiGae - Korean Kimchi Stew

It was a late lunch, kids still in school... Hubster and I alone! HM! I knew the question would come: "What's on the menu today?"... Before he even asked, since the moment I woke up I had this delicious spicy stew in my mind, well, I had it on my mind for a week, but for some reason I skip Jjiage and go for kimchi ramen most of the time. 
I was saving and resisting one container of kimchi for 4 plus months, yes you heard me "months" and I simply couldn't wait any longer... The stew had to be made, and had to be the... You know the other day! 

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The funniest scream with the question was coming my way from the living room:" WTH is that smell, women?"- he asked. 
-"Ha! It's kimchi that was locked and away from my view for over 4 months, that's what the smell is, HONEY!" -I said. 
As he was approaching the air freshener, he mumbled to himself: "Thank goodness for Febreze!" I was laughing, and continued moving with the sound of music -yes, most of the time I have my headphones on while cooking, because I don't want to hear anything or anybody... At least I pretend that I don't hear anything... lol!!!  
Anyhow, he wasn't complaining when it was the time to eat! He ate a full bowl with rice and reached for some more. It's so good with colder rice...
If you never had this stew or made it at home, this is must try and I fully recommend it, especially now that cooler days are coming our way. Heck! Even in the Summer time this hits the spot. One important thing that you will need is a napkin and preferably two... Trust me on that one!:) 

So you might ask what is Kimchi Jjigae or Chigae? It's hearty Korean Stew (jjigae) and Kimchi (fermented Napa cabbage) is the star of this dish. The other ingredients are used up to the cook's preferences. Kimchi stew is most commonly cooked with more fermented or older/aged kimchi, because it creates a much stronger taste and deeper flavor, while new kimchi or less fermented doesn't bring as much flavor.

If you are kimchi lover and love spicylicious stews, this is 100% for you. Comforting, spicy, simple and delicious in any possible way that I could describe. 
If you are not sure how to make it and would like to see it, just YouTube it... Yes, that's my new term instead of google it. Anyhow, here is the recipe and Happy Friday! 
Kimchi JjiGae #koreanfood #homemade #kimchi #stew

Check my video and see how I'm making kimchi stew.

Kimchi JjiGae (Kimchi Stew) 
Serves 4 
  • ½  Lb. Pork Belly, (READ the notes) Or 1 cup smoked Bacon
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cups Fermented Kimchi, chopped
  • 1 Cup Stock/chicken, beef etc. 
  • 1 Cup Kimchi juice 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Hot Pepper Paste (gochujang) or to your taste
  • ½ teaspoon Hot Pepper Powder (gochugaru)
  • 2 Green Onions + green part for garnish
  • ½ Pack Tofu, cubed (soft or firm)
  • Salt to taste, and sugar to balance the spiciness of the stew
  1. Cut the pork belly into bite size or 1 inch size. Discard the skin if any. You can use smoked bacon instead.
  2. Preheat deeper saute-pan/pot on medium high and drop the bacon in. After a few minutes, drop in garlic and onion. Stir and let it cook for a few minutes.
  3. Chop fermented cabbage (kimchi) into bite size pieces, and drop in the saute-pan. Stir fry it for 2 minutes on medium high. 
  4. Pour in fermented cabbage (kimchi) juice, chicken stock and water, then stir. 
  5. Add red hot pepper paste, red hot pepper powder; Stir again and cook on medium high temperature for 10 minutes/ After 10 minutes check if you need to add more liquid. Cover, and let it boil/cook for 5 more minutes.
  6. Add in the stew green onions, and cubed tofu -firm or soft.
  7. Garnish the stew with more chopped scallions, and chilies if you wish.
            Serve it hot and with rice and other banchan {side dishes} 


            • I am sure some of you don't eat pork. You can use instead: chicken, beef(ground also good), tuna or keep it meatless and use mushrooms as a sub. Most authentic recipe I would say uses pork belly, but you are more than welcome to use whatever is your personal preference. I like adding the pork, and smoked sausages or smoked bacon. It adds so much more flavor. If you are using anything other then bacon/pork belly, know that the cooking time will increase. 
            • Mushrooms are so healthy, if you have any add them to this stew. 
            • As for Tofu, you can use soft or firm, it's up to your likes, you will not go wrong either way, but it is optional.   
            • Also, you can add gochujang (hot pepper paste) and/or gochugaru (hot pepper powder/flakes) half the measurement that I added in the recipe if you cannot handle or tolerate spicy food. OR simply add a little bit at the time until you reach what you like. 
            • List of Korean dishes click here 
            Kimchi JjiGae

            Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
            Your friend,

            Sandra's Easy Cooking by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. Based on a work at Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at


            1. Hi Sandra,
              Your kimchi jjigae looks super delicious! I think you can open restaurant selling Asian food. I'm sure there will be a long long queue waiting outside your restaurant everyday :D

              1. Aww thank you Ann so much for your sweet comment!To be quite frank with you I don't think that I could handle the pressure of having the restaurant haha...Thanks again and happy Friday!

            2. of my fav comfort foods! I eat this at least every other week. What about the Spam, Sandra?! lol I can't eat Kimchi Jjigae without the Spam haha. But the pork belly is also my fav part of this dish.

              1. hahaha, you made me laugh early....I do add spam or any cooked ham in my fridge in my Budae jjigae, although it would so good in this one too :) Thank you Kim! Have a great Weekend!

            3. I haven't heard if this delicious dish before but I simply adore it :D
              It looks heavenly warm and comforting!

              Choc Chip Uru

              1. Oh so happy that you saw it here. If you google it you will find many recipes posted online. Thank you Guru Uru!

            4. It's sort of getting cooler here, and kimchi jjigae has been on my mind! This looks so delicious! Now I need to go look in my fridge for some aged kimchi.:D Hope you are doing well!

              1. Yes, I am doing much better comparing to last week, how about you?
                I am sure that you will make jjigae many times this following season...Today is rather cool here so i might make it again for my lunch later. Thank you Gomo and have a great rest of the weekend!

            5. You have made this look intriguing. I have tried kimchi a few times and am not convinced but in a stew, I might be.

              1. I love kimchi, but I understand that it's not every person's cup of tea. Stew is very delicious, warm and comforting. I hope you will like it when you try! Thanks Suzanne!

            6. Holy smokes, this is insanely gorgeous, Sandra! I can see how this has been haunting you for a while, it certainly will be haunting me now, too!

              1. Hahaha...I hope you get to make it soon!:) Thank yo for your kind comment Liren!

            7. Just to look at this gorgeous colors makes my mouth water, Sandra!
              The pictures are amazing, so is the dish.

              1. Aww thanks so much, I am glad you like it Daniela! Have a great week!

            8. I first saw this post while I was feeding my little one on early Saturday morning (5 am!) and you made me really hungry and crave for Kimchi Jjigae! It looks absolutely delicious.

              1. Aww how sweet! They grow up fast, so enjoy this bonding time with your little one. Thank you for reading my post at 5am :D I really appreciate it Sue! Have a wonderful week ahead!

            9. What a superb dish! Thanks for sharing!

            10. wow....such a delicacy and lovely colors of this dish :-)

            11. I'm seriously in love with this Jjigae shot!!! It's so hard to show the right color and I love the back light you have! This is one of my favorite pictures (probably top 3) from your blog!! Looks delicious!

              1. Aww how sweet of you! i am really happy to hear that these are one your favorite pics. Thanks again and have a lovely Sunday, Nami!!!

            12. I had a Korean friend who used to make this for us. Her husband made her cook it outside on a hotplate! She used to call me and
              say...come over. Stinky soup is cooking! Love it and good memories.

              1. Oh how sweet of them, and funny that she called it "stinky soup" hehe...I hope you will try making it yourself! Thanks for sharing your memories!

            13. Oh we absolutely adore kimchi jjigae. Your opening shot is brilliant, with just a hint of the rice peeking through. Like how you give options in the recipe.

              1. Thank you so much my Korean food lover lady! I appreciate your kind comment :D

            14. It 's funny! I actually like the smell of kimchi when it's cooking. Your recipe was a success, my sister and I loved it. Thank you and continue the good work. xx


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