Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae)

Kimchi Jjigae is a staple in our household. The key to great kimchi jjigae is to have really sour (fermented) kimchi. When kimchi is freshly made it doesn't add the flavor that sour kimchi lends to the recipe. This four ingredient recipe is simple and satisfies. There are many ways that you can make Kimchi Jjigae most recipes call for pork belly. I have made it this way in the past but now I have a new love of making this with fresh bacon. No I am not talking about the thinly sliced bacon that you see in the super market but the thick cuts from the butcher shop. Wait a second bacon is pork belly you say? Why yes it is the only difference is that pork belly is not soaked in salt or brine. You can also opt to not use pork and make it with tuna or mackerel. I prefer the mackerel over tuna, there's something about the mackerel taste that seems to make it pop. If using mackerel just use one can or tuna use two small cans or one large can. Serves 4  Total cook time 35-40 minutes

  • 1lb of fresh bacon (or pork belly)
  • 5 cups of kimchi (remember sour is better)
  • 1/4 cup of kimchi juice
  • 1 14oz package of soft tofu

1. Cut fresh bacon into 1 inch pieces and add to cold pan. Turn stove on to medium to medium high heat and cook for about 20 - 25 minutes.
2. While bacon is cooking cut kimchi into 1 inch pieces as well if you have whole cabbage like myself. If you have store bought you can skip this step since most that are purchased in store have already been cut. When bacon is cooked add in your kimchi and 1/4 cup of kimchi juice from the jar into the pan. Stir bacon and kimchi together and cook additional 10 minutes.
3. Cut tofu into 1 inch pieces as well add to the pan, since the tofu is soft and not the firm tofu. I move my bacon and kimchi to one side and add in the tofu, then fold over the mixture onto the tofu in order to not have a crumbled mess. Cook this for an additional 5 minutes. 

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