Sheila Cooks: Kimchi jjigae

Kimchi jjigae simmering in pot

I love Korean food. I can’t always afford to eat out since I’m not working right now, so I try to recreate some of my favourite dishes at home for a fraction of the price. One of the dishes I’m currently obsessed about is kimchi jjigae. Kimchi is basically Korean pickled lettuce and jjigae is stew. This dish is extremely quick and easy to prepare and is perfect for those cold winter months.

Ingredients (keep in mind these are just the basic ingredients, you can take off or substitute anything that you want):

  • Kimchi – use as much or as little as you like
  • Soft tofu – cut chunky
  • Sliced pork (or the meat of your choice) – Preferably the ones that have a good amount of fat content. A lot of the fat will melt during the cooking process so you end up with tender meat rather than meat thats been cooked too long
  • Pork or vegetable stock (soup base)
  • Scallions (aka green onions) – chopped
  • More Chinese lettuce! I’m loving this vegetable so I always add a ton
  • Optional: shrimp, squid or other seafood

Instructions:

  1. On a medium-low flame, simmer the stock and half your kimchi in a pot for 10 minutes until the kimchi has thoroughly flavoured the stock. This will be your soup base. (I use a ceramic pot at home but sometimes I use a stone bowl if I’m feeling fancy. You can do this in any pot at home if you don’t have ceramic or stone.)
  2. If you decide to add more vegetables, add them to the pot during this time and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add your tofu and continue to simmer, on a low flame, for another 5-10 minutes. Tofu should be soft and flavourful but not “melted” or broken up too much.
  4. Add the pork (or other meat) and seafood. Simmer for 3-5 minutes until meat is tender and seafood is cooked.
  5. Add the rest of your kimchi and fold it in. Try not to break the tofu too much so its still chunky.
  6. Turn off your flame and add the scallions.
  7. Serve with rice.

Its really simple, just add everything to one pot and cook. If you’re cooking a smaller portion the cooking times will definitely be shorter so you don’t have to follow the times I write out to the letter, use discretion!

Enjoy ^___^

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