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Comfort Food: Mom’s Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

We certainly wish we could be gathering for Lent soup suppers and worship this year, but we hope you’ll find these special Midweek Lenten Experiences a fun, warming, comforting, inspiring, yummy alternative.
“Comfort Food” is part devotional, part fellowship time, and part cooking show. Starting today, and for the next four Wednesdays in Lent, a Cross of Christ staff member or lay leader will be sharing a favorite soup recipe prepared on camera from their own kitchens, along with a reflection about where they are finding comfort in these uncomfortable times. They will also highlight an organization fighting hunger, poverty, and/or economic injustice each week.
Join us in the Cross of Christ Zoom Room from 6 to 7 pm. Need the link? Subscribe to our newsletter, or email office@crossofchristbellevue.org for information.
“Comfort Food” will begin with the prerecorded cooking and sharing time and be followed by an interactive opportunity when you can ask questions about the recipes, cooking techniques, partner organizations – or just check in with that week’s host/chef and fellow church members. 
Our Director of Worship and Music Ministries Ben Fowler hosts this week. Thank you for joining us!

Mom’s Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

Ingredients
• 2 cups packed bite size kimchi, fully fermented
• 4 ounces fresh pork belly or other pork meat with some fat or other protein choice
• 1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) adjust to taste or omit
• 1 teaspoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I use sesame oil, but any cooking oil is fine)
• 1/2 onion, chopped
• 1/2 cup juice from kimchi if available
• 2 cups reserved rice rinsing water
• 1 teaspoon soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon fish sauce
• 6 ounces firm tofu
• 2 scallions
• salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prep
Start the rice, either in a pot on the stove or rice cooker. Reserve 2 cups of rice water for stew.
Cut the meat into bite sizes
Chop onions
Mince garlic
Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick)
Roughly chop the scallions
Cut the kimchi into bite size pieces.

Cook
Heat a small-to-medium pot with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the pork, kimchi, and garlic. Cook
over medium-high heat until the kimchi is softened and the pork cooks through, about 5 to 8
minutes depending on the thickness of your meat. If using, you can add onion and red pepper
flakes.

Add the kimchi juice and about 2 cups of rice water. Add the soy and fish sauces at this time, as
well. Bring it to a boil and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and
boil, covered, for about 15 minutes. You can add more water if necessary.

Drop the tofu and scallions in. Salt and pepper to taste. (Salt is usually not necessary, unless
kimchi was lightly seasoned or kimchi juice is not available.) Boil until the tofu is cooked
through, about 5 minutes. Serve, while bubbling over from the heat, with rice.

Notes
Use old, sour kimchi.

Cook the kimchi and pork together before adding the liquid. This step develops extra flavor.

Use the water used to rinse rice as the stew base. It’s commonly used for Korean stews. Use the
water from the second or third round of rinsing. The rice water thickens the broth slightly and
enhance the flavor.

Use the juice from the kimchi if available. It will add lots of flavor to the broth.

One Comment

  1. Thank you Ben. This is a great recipe and will send to my Korean friend in Port Orchard. She always gave us of her Kimchi. Tom loved it but had to reduce because of salt intake.
    I was in Germany on a trip , we had lunch in beautiful restaurant . we encountered a group of Korean travelers. The server tried to tell them Sour kraut is not the same. I think they were very disappointed.

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