Kimchi Stew/Casserole (김치 찌개)

If I was stranded on an island and was allowed only one kind of meal for the rest of my life, I would choose my mom’s kimchee jjigae (김치 찌개). Kimchee jjigae, aka kimchee (kimchi) stew, is an incredibly easy dish to make, but it is also an incredibly difficult dish to make ‘right.’ This is my rendition of my mom’s kimchee jjigae…I got to admit, it isn’t as good as hers, but it comes darn close!

Things You Will Need:

kimchee (very fermented!!)
sliced spam (you can substitute this with pork)
pinch of hon dashi
1/2 spoonful of sugar
1 1/2 cup water
sliced green onion for garnish

As you can see from above, you don’t need that many ingredients to make this stew. This stew is meant for you to enjoy and appreciate the flavor of kimchee, so make certain to get yourself some good fermented kimchee. I usually buy mine at a Korean grocery store, and just keep it in the fridge for a good 2-3 weeks and let it ferment. If the kimchee is too fresh, I can bet that you will end up with a flavorless and bland stew.

Well fermented kimchee will leave your tongue with a somewhat soury taste. It will also appear slightly more opaque than fresh kimchee.

What to Do:

1. I like to cook my stew in a traditional Korean stone pot, but feel free to use a regular ol’ pot at home. Drizzle a little oil in the pot over medium heat.

2. Get a large spoonful of kimchee and put it in the hot pot.

3. Saute the kimchee for a good five minutes. When I say saute, I mean saute, don’t leave the kimchee in one place for even a second! Hey, it’s a good work out!

Note: If you are using pork, we would recommend cooking that first before the saute of kimchi.

4. After the five minutes, you will notice your kimchee getting dry, and the oil gone. At this time, get a large spoon/ladle, and get about 3 spoonfuls of kimchee sauce from your kimchee container and pour it into the pot. Continue to saute for another 3-5 minutes.

5. Add in the sliced spam (or pork) and continue to saute for another minute.

6. Look for the texture of the kimchee. I personally like my kimchee to be buttery soft so that it practically falls apart and melts in my mouth. The kimchee should begin to look translucent.and wilted..this is what you want:

7. Now add in the H2O!

8. Add in a good pinch of hon dashi.

9. Add in the sugar. Adding in the sugar will leave you with a somewhat sweet-tangy tasting stew, which is what my mom is famous for. If you do not want this, feel free to skip this step.

10. Now, close the lid, and simmer for a good 15 minutes.

11. Garnish with the green onions and you are DONE. Enjoy!!!! -H


6 responses to “Kimchi Stew/Casserole (김치 찌개)

  1. This is a wonderful post, and I have bookmarked it.

  2. tastymealsathome

    Thanks for coming by! Glad you liked the recipe. 🙂

  3. awesome.. i’m going to try making this

  4. Hi, does it taste different if I don’t add Hon Dashi? Is there any substitute e.g. chicken stock, fish stock, etc.? Not sure if I can find hon dashi in my area. How much do you recommend if I want to add in tuna? Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes!

    • tastymealsathome

      sorry for the late reply. a fish stock could be used to substitute for hon dashi but the depth of flavor usually comes from the dashi. In all fairness, hon dashi contains a lot of MSG so leaving it out wouldn’t be that bad a of decision however you will def. taste the difference!

    • tastymealsathome

      Hi juls,
      just wanted to add, we have another kimchi stew recipe. If you look on the right hand side and scroll down it is kimchi stew revived. hon dashi is not necessary if you add tuna. the tuna juice will add enough taste. if you use a lot of pork pieces, you also probably will not need the dashi due to the natural flavors from pork. chicken stock works great, but i would use half half (half stock, half water) to avoid oversalting.

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