Kimchi Jiggae: the way your Mom wouldn’t make it

I had a huge craving for kimchi jiggae the other day and decided to make my own! Kimchi jiggae is one of those Korean staple meals that you probably eat every couple of days at home because your mom makes a huge pot of it when she doesn’t feel like cooking anything elaborate. Haha. It’s fairly easy to make and I’ve been making this very simple poor college version of it since…well, college.

Here we go!

– 2 small packages of kimchi from your local gas station
(homemade kimchi is the best and the older the kimchi the better! gotta work with what you have..)
– 1 package of tofu
– any type of meat: leftover ham in this case or beef, pork belly, and even canned tuna
– 1 spoonful of Dashida
(Korean beef soup stock! – if you don’t have this readily available in your house, you are not Korean)

Step 1: Get a medium sized pot and pour your pre-packaged kimchi with all its juicy goodness in. You can choose to stirfry the kimchi with a little bit of oil at this time, but I’m too lazy. Once the kimchi is in, pour enough water to cover the kimchi and heat it up to a boil!


Step 2: Once it starts boiling, put a spoonful of Dashida in there. This is to add flavor to the broth. My mother makes her own stock out of dried anchovies instead, but once again, I’m lazy. Continue to boil!


Step 3: Add your protein! Typical proteins are chucks of beef, pork belly, canned tuna or spam. (Yes, spam is da bomb!) I happen to have left over ham from a party I hosted last week, so I sliced that up and threw it in the stew. White meat isn’t really preferred in this stew. Don’t do it, it’s weird.


Step 4: Add the tofu. No self respecting kimchi jiggae would be complete without tofu. Don’t you dare leave it out! I only used half of the package. Just slice it up and toss it in. At this point, you also want to bring it down to a simmer.


Step 5: You can always add more water if you need to. Once you get it down to a simmer, put a lid on that pot and stir it once in a while. You also need to douse some of the soup on top of the tofu so that it can cook a bit as well.


Step 6: Go prepare your rice while your kimchi jiggae is stewing away. You will know when your jiggae is ready when the whole thing starts turning into an orange color and the kimchi gets translucent. I always taste the broth as I cook because that’s the best part of the meal to me. You don’t want it to taste like watery hot kimchi juice. Add more Dashida!! hahaha



It won’t be the best kimchi jiggae, but it’ll be good enough to fill your tummy and to give you enough leftovers for the next day. I always think kimchi jiggae is the best the day after. Just heat it back up and put your other half of tofu. 😛



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