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Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개 Kimchi Stew

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.

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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

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3 thoughts on “Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개 Kimchi Stew

  1. I think Koreans are made of sterner stuff than even New Englanders. You won’t find us eating outside in parkas in January. Your husband must really love you to let you torture him like that. Haha. Thanks for sharing. I think it is awesome how Koreans eat soup so warm it bubbles. Just the sound of the soup bubbling made me drool.

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