Kimchi Jjigae is the comfort food for almost all Koreans. For Korean people, whenever you eat, there will always be kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage side dish, served with almost every meal. Many Koreans use Kimchi to make a hot pot filled with meat, vegetables, and seasonings. It is a perfect meal to cook on any occasion and it requires little time and allows a large area of flexibility.
Step 1: Before You Begin
Gathering What you Need
You must gather these ingredients at a local grocery store/international market.
Serving Size: 4 People
Some products may have different branding so you need to look for things by name not packaging
- 1.5 cups of Kimchi (First Picture)- Store bought or home-made(Home-made Kimchi Instructions)
- 0.5 cup Kimchi Juice - The juice found at the bottom of the Kimchi jar you bought/made
- 1.5 Cups of Water
- 1-2 lb of any choice of meat (Fourth Picture)- Recommend pork belly, beef, spam, hotdog, and/or medium firm tofu.
- Salt & Pepper
- 0.5 White Onion (Optional if it is too spicy)
You will need these cooking utensils in order to safely and properly make this dish.
- Cutting Board
- Measuring Cup
- Medium/Large Pot with a lid
- 2-3 Bowls
Step 2: Preparations
This process is important to do before cooking so that you have all the ingredients ready. Make sure you prepare all of these things before you turn on the stove. These preparing steps will help you not rush while cooking so you will reduce the chance of injury or spoiling the food.
Dangers: When using a knife, make sure you have a safe environment where there is no one in arms distance from you. When you are cutting make sure you hold the knife firmly and never place your thumb around the blade while you cut.
Prepping the Ingredients
- Grab the cutting board and place it on a flat surface.
- Take one section of Kimchi (1/4 of a whole cabbage) from the jar and place on the cutting board
- With a knife, cut up the 1.5 cups of Kimchi into 1-inch slices and place it in a bowl on the side.
- With your knife, carefully skin the ginger then cut around 5-6 slices as shown in the picture above.
- Slice your meat into small pieces (about 1 inch – 2 inch pieces)
Make sure you clean your knife and cutting board well after cutting raw meat before using again.
Step 3: Cooking/Combining the Ingredients
Make sure you follow these steps slowly so you do not risk spoiling the food or causing injuries to yourself.
Dangers: Hot stove may burn you on contact. Make sure you use a long ladle to mix the pot. Be careful of the steam when opening the pot because the steam may burn you.
Place 1.5 cups of Kimchi and 1lb of your choice of meat into the pot and DO NOT turn the heat on.
Step 4: Cooking/Combining the Ingredients
Add 1.5 cups of water, 0.5 cups of Kimchi Juice, and ginger into the pot and place the lid on the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil then take the lid off so the soup does not overflow.
The soup should be bubbling and the meat should look like it is starting to cook (losing the raw pink color and turning brown)
Step 5: Boiling the Soup
Boil the soup for about 5 minutes on high heat.
The soup should bubble around the edges and the vegetables and Kimchi should start to look a little soft. The meat should be losing the raw pink color and turning more brown now.
Step 6: Tasting for Spice
Taste the soup for spiciness once the meat is cooked. The meat should have no more pink showing
Be careful because the soup is hot
Adjustment to your level of Spicy
- If you want it more spicy add a little more Kimchi Juice
- If it is too spicy or sour then add sliced onions to make the soup sweeter
Step 7: Taste If You Need More Salt or Pepper
Add salt and pepper to desired taste.
If you add too much salt on accident then you can just add a little more water.
The soup should taste a little spicy from the Kimchi, a little salty when you added salt, meaty from the fat from the meat, and warm.
Step 8: Last Step and Eat
Bring the pot to a simmer, low-medium heat so the soup is not rapidly boiling but has little bubbles around the edge of the pot, for about 5-10 minutes longer. All of the ingredients should look cooked with no pink color showing. The Kimchi and other vegetables should be soft. DO NOT eat the ginger.
If you see the water and the Kimchi Juice separating, stir the soup before serving.
This dish is typically served with rice.