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kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew)


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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total: 25 minutes

Servings: 2


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Step 1

Please note that if you have not prepared your anchovy stock ahead of time, it will take at least 20-30 minutes to make. See my recipe below.

Step 2

Gather all the ingredients.

Step 3

I use these big and thick dried anchovies (called iriko from a Japanese market). Remove the head, belly (the bottom side), and black gut from the fish to reduce the bitter flavor of the stock. Soak the anchovies in the water for at least 20-30 minutes (or overnight). This is a cold brew anchovy stock called Iriko Dashi in Japanese.

Step 4

Transfer the cold brew iriko dashi and anchovies into a small saucepan and slowly bring it to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set it aside.

Step 5

Cut the tofu in half along the long side and cut into ½-inch (1.3-cm) slices.

Step 6

Thinly slice the green onion diagonally. Separate the white and green parts.

Step 7

Cut the pork belly slices into 1½- to 2-inch-wide pieces.

Step 8

Set a medium or large pot on medium heat. Once it’s hot, add the sesame oil and pork belly.

Step 9

Cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, or until no longer pink. Season with the salt and black pepper.

Step 10

Add the sake and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.

Step 11

Add the white parts of the green onions and the kimchi. If the kimchi is not cut yet, use a pair of scissors to cut it into bite-size pieces.

Step 12

Add the minced/crushed garlic (I use this garlic press) and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes until the kimchi is tender.

Step 13

Add the gochugaru, gochujang, soy sauce, and sugar.

Step 14

Stir to mix. Next, add the anchovy stock by straining it through a fine-mesh sieve over the pot. Then, add the kimchi juice, if there is any (I didn't have any).

Step 15

Bring it to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer. Continue to cook for 10 minutes.

Step 16

Add the tofu slices on top and cook until the tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes. You can submerge the tofu, but I left it on top to keep the tofu's white color for the final presentation.

Step 17

Garnish with green onions and keep it covered until ready to serve.

Step 18

Serve bubbling hot in individual bowls. You can serve Kimchi Jjigae with a bowl of hot steamed rice and some meat or fish (Bulgogi, Grilled Mackerel, etc).

Step 19

You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and keep them for 3 days in the refrigerator or for up to a month in the freezer. When you freeze it, remove the tofu as its texture will change when frozen. You can add fresh tofu when reheating the stew in a pot on the stovetop over medium heat.