Kimchi stew (Kimchi Jjigae, 김치찌개) is perhaps the most well known Korean stew. It is usually made with very fermented cabbage kimchi with pork or tuna. But have you tried kimchi stew made with chicken? It is not common but definitely not unheard of either. Kimchi stew made with chicken is really tasty and I am not sure why it hasn't become popular yet. Shall we get cooking?

Simmering the chicken for a long time adds to the tenderness, and the sour kimchi packs a flavorful punch. You can use any part of the chicken, but make sure it is bone-in because the flavor comes from the bone. I recommend using chicken drumsticks or thighs. They hold their meat in tact with bone better than the breast. Also I recommend to get rid of the skin if you can. I am not much of fan of slimy chicken skin in the stew nor the extra fat. You can get skinless chicken drumsticks in many Korean grocery stores, or simply remove it yourself.

If you love kimchi stew, you will be happy with this recipe. It is easy and crowd pleasing.

You will want to use very sour cabbage kimchi. The older, the better. Cut into large bite size pieces with knife or scissor. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine soy sauce, Korean chili flakes, Korean chili paste, garlic, ginger, rice wine, and a little bit of honey.

This is an optional step but recommend. Cook chicken pieces in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then rinse out. This will help get rid of some fat and impurities.

Add the chicken and sliced onion to the seasoning mixture and toss to coat.

Arrange chicken mixture and kimchi in a pot. Pour water to the mixing bowl to rinse off the seasoning residue and pour over the chicken kimchi mixture in the pot. Add some of kimchi juice as well. Cover and bring them to boil first. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the potato chunks and cook over low heat for another 10-15 minutes or until they softens. Sprinkle some green onions on top at last and stir.

Serve chicken kimchi stew hot with rice, of course.

The chicken will fall off the bone easily and you will love the flavor that melted in the broth.

As you can tell, it is not difficult at all to make delicious Korean style stew. If you have a jar of old kimchi that you don't know what to do with it, make a pot of stew. You just created one of the most mouth watering stew in the world. Enjoy~!

- Holly

Chicken Kimchi Stew

serves 4-6


  • 2 lb chicken drumsticks or thigh (bone-in but skinless)
  • 3 cups sour kimchi sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 2 small Yukon potato, peeled and diced into large chunks
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon Korean chili paste
  • 1-2 tablespoons Korean chili flakes
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon pureed ginger
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 3 cups water
  • 2-3 tablespoons kimchi juice


  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, cook chicken in boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Drain the water and rinse the chicken pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine Korean chili paste, chili flakes, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, and rice wine; mix well. Add the chicken and onion slices; toss well.
  3. Arrange chicken mixture and kimchi in a stew pot. Add water to the mixing bowl to rinse off the seasoning residue in the bowl. Pour the water and kimchi juice over the chicken mixture in the pot. Cover and bring it to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the potato chunks to the pot and stir well. Cover and simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Taste and season with salt if needed. Sprinkle green onion lastly and toss.
  5. Serve hot with rice.

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