Friday, February 25, 2011

Kimchi Jjigae

One of my favorite dishes when it's cold outside is fiery kimchi stew with cubes of tofu strewn throughout. While my rendition suffered a bit since I didn't have any silken tofu to hand and instead made do with firm tofu that had been frozen, giving it a chewy texture, it was still exactly what I wanted on a gray Sunday afternoon.

Kimchi Jjigae
Adapted from Serious Eats and Tamarind and Thyme

200g pork belly, thinly sliced
1 medium sized onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 loose cupful of kimchi, cut into bite-sized pieces and all the kimchi juices
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine (or mirin)
2 tbsps gochujang
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 block of soft tofu (silken, if possible)
3 spring onions, chopped
salt to taste

Add pork belly to cold large dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Once fat starts to render off pork belly, add onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add kimchi and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kimchi liquid, water, dried ginger, shaoxing wine, gochujang and soy sauce. Stir well, and bring to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low, and simmer. Add tofu. Cook for 20 minutes, adjusting to keep to maintain simmer. Add salt to taste (you may not need any – I found mine fine as is) and throw in the spring onions at the end. Serve piping hot with white rice on the side. 

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