Comfort food: kimchi jigae with pork

We all have a preference when it comes to comfort food.  Mine usually involves some form of homemade Vietnamese noodle soup as that was my family’s staple get-together meal.  But when it comes to sating a craving where heat is desired I always fall back to kimchi jigae.

I find this Korean stew so comforting, in fact, I always order it when dining at a Korean restaurant.  This is somewhat crippling to someone who likes to discover new and different dishes.  So you can imagine my delight when I realized kimchi jigae is not that hard to make thus freeing me up to order adventurously when dining out.

ISO 400 | f16 | 1/30 sec | 50mm

I adapted the below recipe from this source based on the level of difficulty and number of ingredients required – which is to say it wasn’t very hard nor did it break the bank.  The serving size is for 4 people and can also be frozen for future enjoyment.

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb pork belly
  • ½ Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups of kimchi with juice
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp kochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1 tsp of red pepper flakes or kochukaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cups veggie or beef broth
  • ½ block tofu, medium firmness, cubed
  • 2 scallions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Sauté pork in sesame oil in a soup pot for 3 minutes.  You can omit the sesame oil since pork belly has its own juice fat to cook in but I love a hint of sesame oil.
  2. Toss in the kimchi to stir-fry for 5 minutes
  3. Add onion, garlic, kochujan to the pot and mix to combine
  4. Pour in the broth and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce heat to simmer
  6. Cook for 10 minutes then add tofu to the stew
  7. Continue cooking for another 20 minutes
  8. Add the scallions when ready to serve

Do you have a favorite comfort food story or recipe you want to share? Leave a comment!

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