Thursday, August 14, 2008

Kimchi Jjigae

I mentioned on my other blog that I love Korean food. One of the easiest to cook is the Kimchi Jjigae (or Kimchi stew). The preparation of the kimchi itself is quite complicated to non Koreans like us. But we can always buy from the local kimchi supplier. You can get it fresh or the fully fermented kimchi meant to make this jjigae.
The main ingredient of course would be the sliced kimchi and some kimchi juice. For meat either thinly sliced pork or beef can be used though personally I like to use some pork chunks. Also slice up some tofu -firm or soft depending on how you like it, Korean ground red pepper or kochugaru, onion leeks, onion, soysauce, garlic, vegetable oil and a sliced red or green chili for some extra kick or just a garnish.
First, the meat is simply stir-fried in vegetable oil, since i'm using pork chunks I like to fry the pork until there are some brown crusts around the edges. Then you can add the onion, garlic, kimchi and stir-fry for about 2 or 3 mins. Add some water (ratio would be like 2cups of kimchi to 3 1/2 cups of water) or some beef stock, bring to a rolling boil then simmer for a few minutes.
Add the kimchi juice enhance the flavor, the tofu, red pepper, soysauce and leeks. If you like it to be a little bit more zesty add the sliced chili now or just use it for garnish. Return to boil and simmer for two more minutes.
Kimchi Jjigae should always be served hot with a steaming cup of rice.
On another note, Kimchi jjigae cooked in a stonepot is guaranteed to taste better.

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