BEST EVER KIMCHI JJIGAE (KOREAN KIMCHI AND PORK STEW)
My Best Ever Kimchi Jjigae In 7 Minutes Flat
This delicious Kimchi and Pork Stew always puts a smile on my face and fills my kitchen with an amazing smell. Ready in 7 minutes flat (I timed it!), this is perfect for a mid-week dinner. Gluten free and dairy free.
Watch My Kimchi Jjigae Recipe Video
When I was a kid, there weren’t many American fast food restaurants in South Korea like these days. The first time I ate a hamburger was when I was around 10 years old. As hamburgers became popular in my hometown, Daegu, a friend of my mum’s opened a hamburger shop. Just so you know, my mum has millions of friends. I’m not kidding. My dad calls her the Mayor of Daegu!
It’s not a surprise anymore when one of my mum’s friends opens the latest popular franchise. There is always something that a friend of my mum’s is doing you see.^^ She had some stock left which she wasn’t allowed to sell the next day when she started her business. We had a lot of hamburgers that she kindly gave us. Also, we popped into the shop from time to time and my mum bought some hamburgers to help her friend’s business to flourish as well!
Anyway, as hamburgers, pizza and all the western foods weren’t available, we were eating much healthier food than the kids nowadays. Most kids’ top favourite food was Kimchi Jjigae, the same as the adults! Can you believe that? This stew is still most Koreans favourite food without any doubt.
Mmm, thinking about this stew makes me want to eat it now even though my husband and I ate the whole thing after filming this post. Some of you might know already that my husband is British. When I asked him, “What are the top 5 Korean foods you can list?” He said, “Mmm. That is difficult to answer…. Dakgalbi, Kimchi Jjigae, Galbijjim, Jjimdak, Kimchi, Dwaejigalbi, Samgyeopsal …… Aww…. There are too many. But, Dakgalbi and Kimchi Jjigae are definitely on my list!”
Hmm. His taste is almost Korean, isn’t it? I think he loves Dakgalibi and Kimchi Jjigae more than me! When we were living in Korea, he went to England in the summer by himself sometimes. When he came back to Korea after his holiday in the UK, he asked, “Can you please make Kimchi Jjigae?” “Can we go to the Dakgalbi restaurant for dinner?” Haha. He really missed Korean food while he was in the UK. Just like Koreans when they come back from holiday, they need this stew!
My mum used to make Kimchi Jjigae quite often. Specially in the cold winter, she cooked it 2 or 3 times a week! I was never ever bored of Kimchi Jjigae. Actually, this is one of the first dishes I learned to make. My mum had an operation when I was 13. My mum asked my nanny and my aunt to come over and take turns to cook food and look after us. Before she went to the hospital, she showed me how to cook Kimchi Jjigae just in case one day they couldn’t come round. I was surprised how easy it was to make!
In my recipe, I always add Doenjang (Korean soybean paste) to make it extra tasty. My mum always shallow fries the tofu before she puts it in the stew. I prefer soft and tender tofu, so, I just chuck it in after chopping. It is your choice if you want to shallow fry them. Some people add Gochujang to the stew, but I think it distracts from the overall taste.
More fermented kimchi makes the stew tastier. This is a fact. If your kimchi is not fermented, add a teaspoon of apple vinegar to the kimchi and leave for 10 minutes or so to make the stew more tasty. Here’s my kimchi recipe…
My authentic Kimchi Jjigae will lead you to a new world of kimchi food. I hope you enjoy my recipe as much as I do!
- Vegetable Oil
- 1 Onion, chopped into small pieces
- 150g Pork Shoulder Steak, chopped into small pieces
- A pinch of Sea Salt
- A pinch of Black Pepper
- 300g Kimchi
- 1 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Powder)
- 2 Garlic Cloves, mashed
- 3 Cups Water
- 1 tbsp Doenjang (Korean Soybean Paste)
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 400g Tofu, chopped
- 2 Spring Onions/Green Onions
- 2 Chillies, chopped
- Chop the kimchi in a bowl with scissors. If you chop it on a chopping board, it will stain the board and you have an extra thing to wash up. Koreans often use scissors for chopping. Just so you know, I have 3 pairs of scissors in my kitchen for cooking use only. ^^
- Heat a dolsot or pot over a high heat, add a little vegetable oil and heat for a short time. Add the chopped onions and cook them for about 30 seconds.
- Add the pork, a pinch of sea salt and a pinch of black pepper and stir fry them for about 1 minute.
- Add the kimchi, gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder) and the mashed garlic, mix them altogether and cook until the kimchi is tender and soft. It takes less than 2 minutes.
- Add the water, doenjang (Korean Soybean Paste) and the fish sauce. Stir them until mixed. Put the lid on and bring it to the boil.
- When it is bubbling nicely, add the tofu, put the lid back on and cook over a medium heat. It doesn’t take long to cook tofu. It takes me about 1 minute. It differs depending on the stove.
- Add the spring onion and the chili. Add salt to taste. The saltiness will differ depending on the saltiness of your kimchi. The chili is optional. I love adding chilies to soups and stews as they add a sharp taste, but, it is your choice! Cook the stew for another 30 seconds and then it’s done!
- Serve with a bowl of Korean rice and side dishes. Enjoy!