Bring the wave of Korean dramas right into your kitchen with this easy recipe for kimchi stew with pork and tofu! This popular Korean dish, also known as kimchi jjigae is deliciously rich and flavorful! A bowl of salty, sour, sweet, and spicy soup in one!
I've been cooking this dish for a while but I have not quite gotten the right balance of saltiness and spiciness until recently. I always skip adding the kimchi brine that was why my kimchi stew before was just meh and bland.
My love for kimchi started during our trip to South Korea in 2017. When you eat at any diner in Korea, there's always kimchi and lots of sides in every dish! Authentic kimchi is not just spicy and salty but amazingly there is a tinge of sweetness to it. The cabbage tastes fresh and crunchy too.
Make sure to try my homemade kimchi recipe.
I'm glad that here in the US, Asian store is abundant. I usually buy kimchi in bulk. A 10-pound jar costs $20. I use it all the time, especially when I cook this stew or as a side to any fried food I eat. This stew is a household favorite that I have in rotation twice a month.
How To Make Kimchi Stew with Pork and Tofu?
Cooking kimchi stew is actually easy and simple if you use store-bought broth like chicken, beef, or vegetables. In Korea, they usually make their own stock from scratch using anchovy.
But for this recipe, I'm using chicken broth because that's what I have on hand. You can also use beef or vegetable stock.
To make kimchi stew, you will need sesame oil, garlic, onions, pork belly, kimchi, its brine, broth, gochujang (Korean red pepper paste), salt, sugar, firm tofu and scallions.
Except for kimchi, I never really liked spicy food so this version is a bit mild on the spiciness. If you like hot and spicy kimchi stew feel free to add more red pepper paste and chili flakes.
You will need a pot to cook this stew. In Korean dramas, they usually serve this in a stone bowl called dolsot.
In medium-high heat, start heating a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Saute 2 teaspoons of minced garlic, medium-size sliced onions, and half a pound of pork belly for 5 minutes or until the pork is not red anymore.
Add 2 cups of chopped kimchi along with 1/4 cup of kimchi brine. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour in 2 cups of broth and add in 2 teaspoons of gochujang, and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Season with salt and simmer for 10 minutes. Topped with sliced firm tofu and sprinkle with scallions. Add a splash of sesame oil, cover the pot and simmer for 2 minutes.
Kimchi stew with pork and tofu is best served with rice and fried salted mackerel.
What to do with leftover kimchi stew? What I always do with the leftover stew is turn it to ramen or udon. I either add ramen or udon noodles to the soup and stir in an egg.
Kimchi Stew Recipe with Pork and Tofu
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion medium-size, sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic minced
- 1/2 pound pork belly thinly sliced
- 2 cups kimchi chopped
- 1/4 cup kimchi brine it usually comes with the kimchi
- 2 cups broth chicken, beef or vegetable
- 2 teaspoons gochujang (korean red pepper paste)
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- salt to season
- 12 oz firm tofu sliced
- 1 stem scallions sliced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- In a pot, heat oil in medium-high heat and saute the onions, garlic and the pork belly for 5 minutes or until the pork is not red anymore.
- Add chopped kimchi along with its brine. Simmer for 2 minutes. Pour in broth and add in gochujang, and sugar. Season with salt and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Topped with sliced firm tofu and sprinkle with scallions. Add a splash of sesame oil, cover the pot and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Serve with rice.
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