One of my favorite cold-weather meals is kimchi stew, often known as kimchi jigae. Nothing beats coming in from the cold to the sight of this flaming crimson stew simmering away in a stone pot.
REFINING THE SPICY LEVEL
It may look like a fiery dish, but this kimchi stew is actually quite mild. Despite their fiery appearance, Korean chili flakes are not as spicy as, say, the crushed red pepper flakes you may get on a pizza.
But feel free to modify the recipe to your preferred level of heat. Avoid this dish if the sight of even a single buffalo wing causes you to break into a sprint. You can handle the heat if a hearty dash of Tabasco on your scrambled eggs seems delicious.
It’s a breeze to prepare, especially if you take the easy route and use premade broth. Using a high-quality organic chicken, fish, or even beef stock will allow you to cook kimchi jigae in under an hour, whereas many kimchi stew recipes call for a homemade broth made from kelp, dried anchovies, and other components.
Got it? Okay, so let’s get started.
- 8 ounces of thinly sliced pork belly or shoulder
- 8 oz. of firm tofu (cut into 1/4-inch thick slices)
- 1 pound of chopped kimchi (with juices)
- 3 cloves of sliced garlic
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 1 chopped scallion
- 3 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of Korean chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon of gochujang
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- In a big pot, heat oil on medium-high. Cook the pork belly, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes, until the pork is browned and the onions softened.
- Toss in the kimchi and cook for 2 more minutes. Next, pour the broth and season with salt, sugar, chili flakes, and gochujang. Mix thoroughly by stirring.
- Raise the heat to a simmer, cover, and let it cook for 10 minutes.
- Bring out from hiding and place the tofu on top. Put back the lid and let it cook for another 10 minutes. Turn the heat up to high, add the sesame oil, and then cover again.
- Sprinkle the chopped scallion over the top and serve with steaming rice right away!