Kimchi jjigae is the perfect comfort meal to warm up. Jjigae meaning stew, is made with aged kimchi 김치 and it’s liquids, tofu 두부, spring onions 파 and either tuna 참치 or pork 돼지고기. It’s deceptively flavourful for its minimal ingredients. The meat adds depth, the spice is a punch to the mouth without the burn and the onions give the dish a subtle sweetness. A Korean woman once told me that as a rule, women are partial to tuna, while men prefer pork as the base. It’s true for this household.
We ordered this one in Hongdae at a drinking house. It was 10:30 pm on Tuesday so most of the restaurants around there had closed and we didn’t feel like drinking. Inside was packed and loud so I wanted to sit outside. The owner thought we were crazy and brought us blankets, cushions and a hot pack – a gift from the makers of cho-eun-dae soju. I guess we won’t be able to eat outside again anytime soon. Bobby’s a trooper for lasting.
This particular place added a noodle cake and bean sprouts to theirs, making it more substantial. I thought it was strange but Bobby said its like a chocolate cake, there’s no one recipe to rule them all. This one here looks awesome, uses pork (swap for tuna if you want) and is a fairly simple recipe to follow.
Happy eating – Chan and Bob