I have not cooked kimchi jigae (kimchi stew) in a while simply because I had been eating lots of it ever since discovering this very delicious Korean dish. Not that I was tired of it.
Then I checked my fridge and saw that I had two containers of very fermented kimchi. I only eat kimchi that is freshly (home) made within 10 days. Once it starts becoming funky, I cannot eat it as is. I use it for cooking instead.
When I opened the lid, whew! the smell was so so pungent. Which meant that this will make a very delicious kimchi jigae. I usually cook kimchi jigae with pork belly but since I did not have any in the freezer, I used pork trotters instead. Not ideal because pork trotters take longer to cook and you have to deal with bones when eating.
Other ingredients to use are half a yellow onion, 3 stalks of spring onions and three cloves of garlic.
I also used a tablespoon of doenjang for depth of flavor. And I confess, I also used a chicken stock cube for extra oomph.
I also used about 600ml of my own home made bone broth with some water added.
To cook, it is so easy. I just heat some oil in my pot and the add the sliced onion, spring onion and chopped garlic. Saute briefly and then simply layer the pork trotters and kimchi and add the bone broth and additional water, enough to cover the ingredients.
Add doenjang, chicken stock cube and bring to the boil. I am using a Magic Cooker (thermal insulated cooking pot) and I let the kimchi jigae boil for about 20 minutes before placing the pot into the insulated outer pot.
I left the Magic Cooker to stand for about 2 hours. The meat was sufficiently tender and when I tasted the broth, it need extra seasoning and I added one tablespoon or fish sauce. Perfect!
I find that kimchi jigae tastes better and better after a few days because the flavors intensify. I transferred the stew into glass containers to be cooled and stored in the fridge to be enjoyed over several days.
This is a stew that I never get tired of because it is so tasty and I am excited every time I eat it. I would prefer to cook kimchi jigae with either pork belly, pork shoulder or even minced pork, not pork trotter.
I like to add tofu, egg, dumplings or beancurd skin when I eat this for variety. Sometimes I also add noodles or tteokbokki.
There is no need to follow any strict recipe because it turns out really good every time. I even think that I am addicted to kimchi jigae which is not a bad thing. After all, it has vegetables and meat and can be eaten with rice (or noodles) or just on its own for a low carb meal.
Recipe source : Adapted from various recipes found online
Note : My version is unorthodox and will make Koreans go tsk! tsk!
- 1.7 kg pork trotters, cleaned and blanched
- 1 kg kimchi (including juices)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 stalks spring onions, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 900ml bone broth (or water)
- 1 tablespoon doenjang
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 1 tablespoon gochugaru
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (optional)
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
1. Heat oil in a pot and add sliced onions, spring onions and chopped garlic. Saute briefly until aromatic.
2. Add pork trotters and kimchi.
3. Add bone broth (and extra water if necessary) to cover the ingredients.
4. Add doenjang, chicken stock cube and gochugaru. Stir to mix.
5. Bring to a boil and either transfer to an insulated cooker or simmer the stew on the stove until the pork trotters are tender.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning. I added fish sauce because my kimchi jigae needed more seasoning.
7. Serve hot and can be kept in the fridge up to 5 days.
Note : I left the kimchi jigae to cook in the insulated cooker for about two hours.