Kimchi Jjigae was one of the first soups/stews I was ever introduced to. Even before I arrived in Korea. I organised two of my best friends to join me on a little Korean adventure to a Korean restaurant in Johannesburg to sample the cuisine. My friends were just as intrigued as I was so we ended up ordering some Bibimbap, Kimchi Jjigae and Chicken Fried Rice.
The Kimchi Jjigae arrived in this gorgeous bubbling black pot bursting with aroma. I could feel my nose hairs singe as the chilli wafted across the table. I didn’t expect it at all. My friend Nick did his best to finish it and he even likes spicy food. I took one spoonful and my head almost exploded. It was such an intense sour spicy fishy combination. I couldn’t handle it so I continued ravaging through my Bibimbap.
After I had arrived in Korea I was introduced once again to the spicy pot of hell. This time however I managed to handle the heat and after a few months my taste buds started changing and I could handle the spiciness like never before. Add more Hot pepper Flakes please!!
Once I started teaching myself how to make Korean food I just knew that this Jjigae had to be on the menu. So here it is. It was also made with my fresh homemade Che Gourmet Kimchi.
It’s traditional in Korea to have your Jjigae with a steaming bowl of rice and I definitely recommend it. It also helps cut through the sting of the chilli. You can also omit the pork for a vegetarian option with some delicious Shitake mushrooms and some people even add tinned Tuna.
11. Fry Kimchi, Onions and Pork in a pot with some oil. Add Kimchi Juice and cook for 2 minutes.
22. Add Hot Pepper Paste and Hot Pepper Flakes and mix together then add water.
33. Boil covered for 10 minutes and then turn down to a light simmer for 20 minutes.
44. Chop the Tofu into small squares, add to the soup and boil it for 5 minutes.