Easy Kimchi Jjigae (김치 찌개 - Kimchi Stew) for Two
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Easy Kimchi Jjigae (김치 찌개 - Kimchi Stew) for Two

To make kimchi jjigae (TCHEEgeh), you really should use ripe (as in sour) kimchi. You could make it with the fresh stuff, but that's not what this dish was invented for, which was to get rid of the kimchi that's been fermenting just a little too long when you've got huge earthenware jars full of fresher stuff still waiting to be eaten.

And because it's jjigae or stew, you don't want it to be all that soupy. Jjigae is meant to be thin enough to give you the occasional spoonful of intensely flavored and piping hot broth to eat with your rice, but not so soupy that you could drink it.

This recipe is easily doubled if you'd like more servings. Just need a bigger pot. ;)

Shinae

Ingredients

2 servings
  1. 2 cups ripe kimchi
  2. 1.5 cups sliced pork shoulder (but you can use other protein)
  3. half an onion, sliced into roughly 1/4" thick pieces
  4. 1 serrano, sliced
  5. 1 garlic clove, sliced
  6. 5 dried anchovies or shrimp (You can sub a teaspoon of fish sauce or omit this component altogether if you don't have either.)
  7. 1 teaspoon sugar
  8. 1.5 cups water
  9. If you're going to eat this with steamed rice, best to get the rice started before you start on the jjigae

Method

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    Put all ingredients in a small pot (if you don't have the little earthenware pot like I used, you can use a medium saucepan).

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    Turn the heat to medium high until it's actively boiling, uncovered, for a couple of minutes. At that point, give a few gentle stirs to evenly distribute all the ingredients.

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    Turn the heat down to medium, put lid askew, and let it continue simmering for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the kimchi is soft and tender.

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    Depending on how much salt is in your kimchi and how the salt concentrated during cooking, you might want to adjust the seasoning about 5 minutes before it's done, adding salt in pinches, or fish sauce in dashes, to taste. Or, if too salty, adding just a little bit of water to dilute.

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    Enjoy with steamed rice. :)

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