Cooking Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi stew)

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 6

As the weather gets colder, windier and wetter, we find ourselves craving delicious, spicy and belly warming Kimchi Jjigae from beneath our duvets. Kimchi Jjigae is a kimchi stew. It’s hot, it’s fiery and on a cold day it warms you up from your belly to your toes. But we’ve never been the type to brave the rain so we thought it’s about time we learn how to make it at home so we can have Kimchi Jjigae whenever we want!

As with all our cooking blog posts, we would like to state that we’re not professional chefs (in fact probably the very opposite). My personal level of cooking is ramen, putting stuff in the oven and Dolmio. But I was feeling adventurous (sort of) so I scoured the internet for the easiest and simplest Kimchi Jjigae recipe. Luckily I found a recipe that looks simple enough for me on our favourite Korean Chef Maangchi’s website. For the original blog post along with helpful YouTube video click here.

So we gave it a go and here is our variation of the recipe, we decided to use chicken instead of pork belly and bean sprouts instead of tofu as that’s what we had in the fridge and did we mention it was raining outside? 하자!

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 1

200g chopped kimchi
300g chicken thigh fillet (sliced or diced)
½ onion (sliced thinly)
1 stick of spring onions (chopped)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Gochujang 고추장 (hot pepper paste)
1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes (optional, for those who like their Kimchi Jjigae extra spicy)
100g beansprouts
Sesame oil

Prep time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes

Services 2-4 people

The Recipe – Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개

We got our little pot from a Daisoo in Korea but you can use any pot or saucepan.

1. Place your pot on the hob at a low heat. Add the chopped kimchi, make sure you pour in some of the juice

We’re using a pack of store bought kimchi hence not a lot of juice. This would be a lot better with homemade kimchi that has a lot of juice. We’re hoping to put our kimchi making skills from Yijo into practice soon!

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 2

2. Add:
the sliced onion
the chopped green spring onions
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of gochujang
1 teaspoon of hot pepper flakes (your own spicy preference)
and the meat

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 3

3. Add water until all ingredients are submerged

4. Boil on high heat for 10 minutes

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 4

5. Depending on how soft you like your bean sprouts, you can either add it after the 10 minutes or at the end for a more al dente texture

6. Lower to a medium heat and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes, if your dish starts to look a bit dry, feel free to add more water

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 5

7. After simmering, taste the soup and see if it’s to your taste, season and add more gochujang or chilli flakes if you want it spicier. Maangchi suggests adding sesame oil right before serving.

8. Serve! The beauty of Kimchi Jjigae is that you can serve it in the pot for family sharing style or dish out individually.

Kimchi Jjigae Recipe 7

As you can see, the great thing about Kimchi Jjigae is that it’s very versatile, you can add whatever you want and adjust everything to your own personal tastes. If you’ve tried making Korean dishes at home you’ll no doubt have most of the ingredients already and like us, just use whatever you have in the fridge. Luckily as Korean food has become more popular in the UK, it is fairly easy to pick up ingredients like Gochujang. You should be able to find it in Chinatown, larger Tescos with a world food section but failing all this you can always make a trip to New Malden where you’ll have your pick of Korean supermarkets.

This is a seriously easy recipe, it’s basically just throw everything in and boil. Everything can be adjusted to your own personal taste preference and the measurements are also just rough guides, we were not strict and in reality just chucked everything in and made sure we didn’t overflow the pot. You can pretty much try anything in a Kimchi Jjigae, we plan to try it with salmon and maybe adding ramen too. Just need to invest in a bigger pot.

This recipe is pretty fool proof, you’re boiling for a good 25-30 minutes so there’s not much chance of under-cooking anything. And if I can do it, anyone can. So be brave, experiment with your favourite ingredients and create your perfect Kimchi Jjigae.

If you’re in London and interested in Korean cooking, make sure you check out the upcoming Korean cooking workshops from the Korean Cultural Centre. The Taste of Korea Hansik: K-Cuisine 2 day Workshops are free! Deadline for application is 20th October. For more information click here.


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