If you have a ton of overly fermented cabbage kimchi that is too sour to eat as is and you're thinking about throwing away, please don't. Those extremely sour kimchi can make a wonderful stew. 

Pork is one of the most common choices to match with the pungent flavor of fermented kimchi. I use pork belly for this recipe, but you can use any pork cut. If you can't have pork, you can throw in some dried anchovies or canned mackerel (Mackerel Kimchi Stew) instead, and they will bring a different kind of delicious flavor in the stew.

Making a pot of kimchi stew (Kimchi Jjigae, 김치찌개) is perhaps the easiest stew you can make. Just put everything together and simmer it. Then you will have delicious stew ready for your rice. Here is how to.

A good sea kelp stock makes the stew taste even better.  Combine1 large piece of dried sea kelp with 3-1/2 cups of water. Simmer for 5 minutes and you will get a gorgeous sea kelp stock. Set aside.

In a pot, put sliced onion, and sliced pork belly...

Put kimchi slices on top. If your kimchi is very sour, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of sugar to cut down the acidity.

Add about 2-3 cups of sea kelp stock. The stock shouldn't be cover the kimchi completely. Otherwise it will become too soupy.

Add about 1/3 cup of kimchi juice.

This is optional, but I would like to add a handful of rice cake rounds in my kimchi stew. They help thicken the stew a little bit, and it is always nice to chew on those rice cakes.

Bring them to boil, then simmer over low heat for 30 minutes, covered with a lid.

Toward the end of simmering time, add tofu slices, and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Taste the stew. You can adjust the seasoning with Korean soy sauce for soup or salt according to your preference. At the end throw some chopped green onions.

Now, the kimchi stew is ready.

Grab a bowl of rice and dig in! The mingled flavor of fermented kimchi and fatty pork is so comforting good with the just right amount of heat. It is hard to describe the taste, and you just have to try it. Once you began to enjoy, you are quite hooked. That's why so many people are so addicted to kimchi jjigae. 

Hope you get to try!

~ Holly

Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Jjigae)

serves 4-6

  • 1 large sea kelp
  • 3-1/2 cups water
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 thin slices pork belly
  • 2 cups diced sour cabbage kimchi
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/3 cup kimchi juice
  • 1 handful rice cake rounds
  • 1/2 block tofu, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Korean soy sauce for soup or pinches salt
  • 1-2 green onion chopped, optional
  1. Combine sea kelp and water in a pot. Bring to boil and simmer over low heat for 5 minutes. discard the sea kelp and reserve the stock. Set aside.
  2. In a soup pot, place slice onion and pork belly, top with kimchi. Sprinkle sugar if you kimchi is too sour. 
  3. Pour about 2-3 cups of the reserved stock and the kimchi juice . Add the rice cake rounds if you wish.
  4. Cover with a lid and bring to boil. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Toward the end of simmering time, add the tofu slices and continue to simmer for 5 more minutes. Taste soup and adjust the seasoning with Korean soy sauce for soup or salt according to your taste. Remove the pot from heat and garnish with green onion. Serve hot with rice.

Here are more recipes that uses sour kimchi. Click to get the recipe~!

Kimchi Bacon Fried Rice Braised Pork RIbs and Kimchi Mackerel Pike Kimchi Stew

Do you enjoy making Asian food? Check out DramaFever's Asian food board on Pinterest for more recipe ideas!