Gettin’ Jjigae Wit It (or How to Make Kimchi Stew)

Sep 2, 2011 by    Posted under: Food

Kimchi jjigae is everything I love about Korean food served up in a bowl. It’s spicy, tangy, super flavorful, comes in many varieties (I’m big on having options) and most of all it’s just plain delicious!

One of the great things about kimchi jjigae is that it’s a great way to enjoy the spiciness and tang that kimchi offers without the heavy fermented flavors that go along with it.

Plus it has amazing healing powers. Like Grandma’s chicken soup. If I feel like I’m coming down with a cold, I eat some kimchi jjigae and it always makes me feel better.

This simple recipe for kimchi jjigae serves 4 and costs about $6 (or $1.50 per serving). I use beef broth but this can easily be made vegetarian and vegan by using vegetable broth or water.


  • 1 cup onion, sliced or diced into bits size pieces
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups Napa Cabbage kimchi (the older the kimchi is, the more flavorful the jjigae will taste)
  • 1/2 cup kimchi juice (this is the liquid that the kimchi is packaged in)
  • 1 TBSP toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp doenjang* (optional)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups water or stock (I like using beef broth)
  • 8 oz diced tofu
  • Gochujang* to flavor (optional)
  • Four cloves of garlic, minced

1. Saute the onions in sesame oil over high heat.
2. Add the garlic and kimchi to the pot. Cook for about 8 minutes.
3. Add the broth (or water), kimchi juice, gochujang and doenjang, string until everything is mixed well.
4. Add the tofu in and simmer for another 10 -15 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Meat variation: Pork is a big part of the Korean diet and many kimchi jjigaes are made with pork or pork belly. Using pork add a richness and meaty flavor to the jjigae.

*Doenjang is very similar to Japanese miso paste, which can be substituted for doenjang.

*Gochujang is one of my favorite seasoning. It’s a spicy chili bean paste and is a staple in every Korean kitchen.

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3 Comments + Add Comment

  • Bring me some!!! No seriously..

  • Ha! I’ll bring some next weekend. Get ready for a pot of spicy awesomeness!

  • your blog seems to be really informative .. Hoping for more such blogs from you abt korea

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