Kimchi JjiGae

It was a late lunch, kids still in school Hubby and I alone! Hm! I knew instantly the specific question would come: “What’s on the menu today?”

Before he even has 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 reasonI skip Jjigae 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 made now. 

The funniest scream with the question was coming my way from the living room:

What the hell is that smellwomen?”– 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 – yesmost 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!!!

Nevertheless, he wasn’t complaining when it was the time to eat! He ate a full bowl of rice and reached for some more. It‘s so excellent with colder rice…

If you never had this stew or made it at home, I got to tell you this must be tried and I fully recommend it, especially now that cooler days are coming our way. 

Heck! Even in the Summertime, this hits the spot. One important thing that you will need is a napkin and preferably two… Trust me on that one!)

Therefore you might ask what is Kimchi Jjigae or Chigae. It’s hearty Korean Stew (jjigae) and Kimchi (fermented Napa cabbage) is precisely the star of this dish. The other ingredients are used up to the cook‘s specific preferences. 

Kimchi stew is most commonly cooked with more fermented or older/aged kimchi, because it instantly creates a much stronger taste and deeper flavor, while new kimchi or less fermented doesn’t bring as much flavor.

If you are undoubtedly kimchi lover and love spicylicious stews, this is positively 100% for you. Comforting, spicy, simple and delicious in any possible way that I could correctly describe. 

If you are not sure how to naturally make it and would sincerely like to see it, just YouTube it Yes, that’s my new term instead of googling it. Anyhow, here is the delicious recipe and Happy Friday!


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

Kimchi JjiGae (Kimchi Stew)

Kimchi Jjigae 김치 찌개 {Korean Kimchi Stew}
Course Soup, stew
Cuisine Korean
Keyword soup, stew, asian food
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking


  • 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.
  8. Serve it hot and with rice and other banchan {side dishes}

Recipe Notes

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.


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