Thursday, 15 December 2011

RECIPE: 김치찌개 (Kimchi Jjigae aka Kimchi Stew)

So today I woke up and decided I really, really wanted 김치찌개 - kimchi stew! I was cold, outside it was cold, everything was just...cold. On days like this, some kind of 찌개 is exactly what you need to warm you up from the inside out!

I'd never actually made it before and I had some leftover kimchi in the fridge so thought I ought as well put it to good use~!

I used the recipe from Korean-cuisine.blogspot (see credit link below) but I had to admit I didn't entirely follow it. I'm kind of like that with recipes, which is probably why it doesn't look as "reddish" as it's supposedly meant too! I also cooked it in a saucepan, which again is a big no-no, but hey, I'm living in a student dormitory - one must make do!

Kimchi stew can be made either with or without meat depending on preferences and it's a really good meal in the sense that you can kind of throw anything you want in there. Leftover carrots- pop them in. The mushrooms you promised yourself you'd use..and haven't yet quite managed too - in they go. It's a really good "clean-out-your-fridge" meal - and it's also pretty simple to make!

For substitute ingredients etc, please see below.

This shows the vegetarian recipe version:

What you're going to need :
-Garlic (fresh, minced, whatever - it's all good!)
-Kimchi and kimchi juice
-Tofu  (around 200-250g should do)
-고추장 (Korean red pepper paste)
-Sesame oil (doesn't taste as good but easily substituted for olive oil, vegetable oil etc)
-Onions - one large one is probably enough
-Meat (if you want it)

1. Heat up a dolsot bowl (if you have one, otherwise a saucepan is fine) with about 1tbsp of sesame oil  and add 3/4 tbsp of minced garlic.

(If you want meat, around now is the time to add it / cook it)
2. Add onions. Add as little or as much as you want. I added about half an onion, cut into medium sized  

3. Add kimchi, again, as much as you want. Generally, the more the better. If your kimchi is well fermented then you shouldn't really need to add any 고추장 (Go-chu-jang, Korean red pepper paste), if not, you can add more to thicken the stew.

4. Add kimchi juices - I pretty much just drained what was in the bag but I've heard they actually sell it in some stores (?) so if you feel an urge, I'm sure this is equally good to use! Most recipes recommend around 5-6 teaspoons but in true, random recipe style, I just added all I had!

5. Add enough water to cover everything that is in the bowl or pan. Remember, alot of the water will boil off, so feel free to be quite liberal with the amount of water.

6. Then add tofu and mushrooms. I would recommend cutting the tofu into fairly medium sized blocks before adding it to the stew.

7. Leave to stew for as long as possible - as a general rule, the longer the better as it really brings out the flavour. I left mine for 45 minutes.

8. To finish, garnish with sliced spring onions and serve with rice.

Enjoy! :) 

 Yours should probably look nicer than mine...I kind of just threw everything in there - but it tasted amazing!
Me and my 김치찌개!

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