It was late lunch, kids still in school...hubster and I alone! Hm! I knew the question will come: "What's on the menu today?" ...Before he even asked, since the moment I woke up I had this delicious spicy stew on my mind, well I had it on my mind for a weeks, 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...stew had to be made, and had to be the...you know the other day!
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 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 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 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 cooks 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...yea that's my new term instead of google it. Anyhow here is the recipe and Happy Friday!
Kimchi JjiGae (Kimchi Stew)
- ½ Lb. Pork Belly, (OR READ the notes)
- 1 Tbsp. Garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 Onion, chopped
- 2 Cups Fermented Kimchi, chopped
- 1.5-2 Cups Stock/chicken, beef etc.
- ½ Cup Kimchi juice
- ½ tsp. sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Red Hot Pepper Paste (gochujang) or to your taste
- ½ teaspoon Hot Pepper Powder (gochugaru)
- ¼ teaspoon Ginger, finely minced (or powder)
- ½ Cup Green Onions + 2 chopped for garnish
- ½ Pack Tofu, cubed
- Salt to taste
- Drizzle of Sesame Oil
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- Cut the bacon into bite size or 1 inch size. Discard the skin if any.
- Preheat deeper saute-pan on medium high and drop the bacon in. After few minutes, drop in garlic and onion. Stir and let it cook for a few minutes.
- Chop fermented cabbage (kimchi) into bite size pieces, and drop in the saute-pan. Stir fry it for 2 to 3 minutes on medium high.
- Pour in broth and fermented cabbage (kimchi) juice, stir.
- Add red hot pepper paste, red hot pepper powder, ginger and scallions; Stir again and cook on high temperature until boiling point, then turn down the heat and let it simmer, covered for 15 minutes.
- Add in the stew cubed tofu, salt to taste if necessary and drizzle of sesame oil .
- Garnish the stew with more chopped scallions, chilies and crunchy bacon bits.
- 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 pork, and smoked sausages(meat) with pork belly or smoked bacon. It adds so much more flavor.
- 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 little bit at the time until you reach what you like.
- List of Korean dishes click here
Wishing you wonderful weekend!