Mom’s Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
• 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
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
Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick)
Roughly chop the scallions
Cut the kimchi into bite size pieces.
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
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.
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.