Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

by Paris B on · 48 comments

in Food & Lifestyle

To be fair, smelly would be a matter of perception. Some of us will enjoy the strong, pungent smell and taste of the fermented cabbage that is the popular Korean dish of kimchi icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae Well in my case, it was an acquired taste. I hated it too the first time I had kimchi. The first time I had kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) I wasn’t impressed and in fact, didn’t quite enjoy it.

But look where I am now, whipping up my own kimchi jjigae at home, and being terribly anti-social while at it! icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

kimchi jjigae Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

I love having kimchi jjigae at Korean restaurants. Its one of those dishes I always have to order, because I love the spicy, sour, pungent smell and taste of the stew. One day however, I got bitten by the bug to experiment making it at home. I tried it a while ago without too much success but this time, I hoped it would succeed. And it did! icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

Do you enjoy this dish too? icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

I looked up a few recipes online and the basic tenet is the same. The primary ingredient that you need is kimchi. Whatever else goes into your soup is up to you!

What you need (feeds 2):

  • 250g Kimchi – well fermented
  • Garlic smashed – as you like it. I put lots
  • Water
  • Soy sauce
  • Gochujang or Korean red pepper paste if you want something spicy
  • Meat, tofu, scallions/spring onions, onions, glass noodles etc to your preference

How to:-

  1. In a pot, heat up a little oil and fry the smashed garlic until fragrant, do not brown.
  2. Add slices of meat and stir fry briefly
  3. Add kimchi. I just put in the whole tub, kimchi, liquid and all
  4. Add a little water to make it a stew or soup, depending on your preference and bring to a boil then turn fire down to simmer
  5. Add a little soy sauce. If your kimchi isn’t very fermented and if you want it more spicy, you can add a tablespoon of gochujang and some chilli flakes. I just go with the gochujang because it makes the flavour more robust.
  6. Simmer until meat is cooked then serve hot with rice.

There is no right or wrong way to do it, I realised from reading the recipes. It just depends on how you want it to taste and what you like. So you can make it as light as you want or as robust as you want, as thick as you want, or as watery as you want. It all boils down to taste.

I like to make a pot of it and then leave the remainder aside for the next day. It tastes stronger then, and I water it down, add some noodles to it, and turn it into a kimchi noodle soup. Easy peasy!

kimchi jjigae2 Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to order this outside anymore, now that I know how quick and easy it is to cook it at home icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

Still, if I do go for a Korean meal, you can bet I’ll be ordering it anyway. Habits die hard icon wink Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

Do you like eating kimchi or kimchi jjigae? icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

I do, as you well know now, and thanks to the amount of garlic I chuck in mine, its such an anti-social dish so make sure you have this with friends, or rather, people who don’t mind the pungent smells icon biggrin Scrumptious Saturday Vol. 22: Spicy Smelly Goodness that is Kimchi Jjigae

Paris B

Scrumptious Saturday: One day of the week where I indulge in my other love – Food! It will feature my cooking experiments or eating and travel adventures. Yes, I will travel for good food.

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[ 48 comments… read them below or join the discussion ]

Jennifer January 12, 2013 at 8:56 am

Wowzer, kudos Paris! Your kimchi stew looks heavenly! Korean food is interesting with the side dishes galore, stews and BBQ stuffs. Though I don’t normally go for Korean as often as I would for Japanese for example, one of the healthier option and yet flavourful would be kimchi stew. I love it! I used to go to the Korean restaurant in Gardens and we’d order a large pot of the kimchi stew because the price difference between the large and small pot was minimal. The Korean waiter gasped and advised us against it haha. But it was yummy! Hot boiling pot with an array of goodness such as meat, vegetable, glass noodle and rice cake in fiery broth!

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:23 am

Ooh which Korean restaurant at the Gardens did you go to? I am always testing the kimchi stews everywhere I go because I find the quality differs so much from restaurant to restaurant.

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Jennifer January 20, 2013 at 10:00 am

Morning Paris! I went to Go-Gung Korean Restaurant which is located at
Lot 212, Level 3, Gardens Mall. Come to think of it, I haven’t been there for a long time now. Korean food is usually more delicious when you go with a gang of eaters lol as the servings are usually for sharing :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:02 am

Morning Jennifer! I totally know which one you mean! :D I’ve been there once only – can’t remember why I’ve never gone back but I’ll give it another shot soon. You’re right. Korean food is a social activity – all those banchan side dishes! yummy :D

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Jess January 12, 2013 at 9:57 am

Oh my… Kimchi Jigae is definitely one of my absolute favorite dish out of everything and of all time! :p

Too many times I have thought about preparing it myself at home, but my laziness has been in the way until now. :p

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

Haha its super easy Jess. I make it sometimes when I get home from work and want a quick hot dinner – 15 minutes tops! :D

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Sehseh January 12, 2013 at 10:54 am

One of my favorite comfort food. I make my own kimchi (5kg load LOL) and old kimchi make the best kimchi jiggae! The one in my fridge is already one year old :)

p.s. If you have old kimchi (those that are too sour to be eaten as side dish), they make good fried rice too.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:25 am

Whoa! You make your own kimchi! Now that’s an achievement :D I came across a recipe once and thought to try it but I still haven’t :P Thanks for the fried rice tip too!

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Claire January 12, 2013 at 11:04 am

love kimchi jigae! that look delicious and reminds me that I have to go to a korean restaurant anytime soon, lol. I am definitely going to make this now, I have that korean paste at home anyway (and I am really hungry after I saw your delicious pic). nom nom.
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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:30 am

I hope you managed to try making it Claire :D Someday if we meet, we know where we can hang out – the Korean restaurant with a steaming pot of kimchi jjigae! LOL :D

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Becca
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 11:34 am

Mmm this looks SO good, Paris! Good job! I have been craving kimchi a lot lately, for some reason and had it as a midnight snack the past 4 nights in a row :P
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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hmm… kimchi as a midnight snack sounds… intriguing! :D Ever since I learnt how to make this, I now have it at least once a week! I think I have to and pick up a 1kg bottle of kimchi soon :P

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Lily
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Love this dish! I made it the other day and it’s great I could make it according to my taste! I tried it with chicken, but it just tastes better with pork. AND ramen, of course :-)
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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:33 am

Oh yes! It does taste better with pork and the ramen soaks up all the lovely sauce yum!

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Eli January 12, 2013 at 1:10 pm

It tastes even better if you fry some onion with the garlic and add mushrooms (swiss, shimeji, oyster or enoki) after the meat is cooked. The onion helps to bring out the kimchi flavour and the mushrooms taste buttery. It’s exactly the same for Korean seafood stew as well but you need some fish sauce, bean sprouts and doenjang.

I used to make this all the time for my uni-mates during winter. And kimchi fried rice. And doenjang chigae. My grandmother is quite fond of Korean food but doesn’t like eating out so a few years ago, I decided to learn to cook my own Korean food. Homemade kimchi and vegetarian kimchi chigae are now part of the vegetarian fare for the first day of CNY.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:34 am

Thanks for the tips, Eli! I didn’t have any mushrooms on hand haha but I’ll try that and the onions next time :D OH and you make your own kimchi too? Nice! I was planning to try it once when I came across a recipe a while ago but never got around to doing it. Maybe this year :P

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Tuti January 12, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Beauty blogger cooks her own food and now has other role become a chef :) Two Thumbs up, PB. Did you make your own fermented kimchi? How long did we need to ferment it? And how? Aiksss……looks like I am digging your secret recipe :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hahaha thank you Tuti :D I’m no chef, just a random potterer about the kitchen :D I didn’t make my own kimchi unfortunately. I just buy them in store or Korean supermarkets. There are lots of recipes online on how to make your own kimchi. I was planning to try once but didn’t get around to doing it. Maybe soon! :D

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yunayuni
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Oh wow, that actually looks delicious! Even though I am not yet into the Korean food bandwagon (i still prefer Japanese) but this one is appealing. Haha. Maybe I should try more (I just had Korean food once). It also kinda look like Asam Pedas to me haha..

Just stumbled upon your blog today, did not know that such helpful beauty blog exists in Malaysia :) Keep it up!
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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:43 am

Hi Yuna :D Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment. It does look like asam pedas doesn’t it? About as pedas too LOL! :D I think Korean food is an acquired taste. The smells and tastes are stronger and more pungent while Japanese food is fresher and more delicate. I love both! :D Hope to see you around more often :)

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Monstro January 12, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Love kimchi! Thanks for this. Your dish looks amazing!

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hiya Monstro, you’re welcome and time to experiment? :D

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MisSmall January 12, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Kimchi Jigae is one of my must-have’s at Korean restaurants, it’s especially comforting in winter. I never did find the smell too strong or needing to get used to though, weird. I vaguely remember attempting to make it at home with kimchi paste. But it’s like miso soup, even though I know I could easily make it at home myself with miso paste, I still can’t help but ordering it whenever I have Japanese. :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:45 am

Its a must have for me too – I like tasting the different varieties from different restaurants although making it at home has spoilt me because mine is chockfull of good stuff and when I eat out, I’m like… where’s the meat?! LOL

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Sam
Twitter:
January 12, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Yum! I had kimchi pancake for the first time this week, I want to try that one at home too. Kimchi Jjigae looks like a lovely easy dish for winter nights.
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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 9:46 am

Ahhhh I love kimchi pancake too! I tried making Pa Jeon (Korean pancake) at home once. It was really easy although it took a while to get the hang of things. Oh and its delicious too! I think I shall try making it again soon :D

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Marla January 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

That looks so delish!

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:02 am

It was, and super easy to make too :) Do you like Korean food, Marla?

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Tammy January 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Looks absolutely amazing! ;-) Yes love kimchi….. like you said not to everyone taste though!

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:03 am

I know of people who run at the smell of it! Haha… lucky for me my whole family loves it so Korean food is something we have quite often :D

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SharonC January 12, 2013 at 11:09 pm

It’s my favourite too! Haven’t tried making it own my own yet though.

How much is a small butter tub of kimchi cost? Did you get it one of those Korean supermarkets?

Yum… craving for it now!

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

Hmm I get kimchi from any supermarket or even Korean restaurants! The 250g one I picked up from Cold Storage was about RM9 I think. I used to get a bigger plastic rectangle tub for about RM10 from my regular Korean restaurant until they moved. But the average price should be about RM10 for a small-medium tub :)

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SharonC January 20, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hey Paris,

Thanks for the info! I guess it’s quite a good price to get it from the supermarket considering that I pay around RM18-RM20 for a Kimchi Jjigae with rice and side dishes.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Exactly! And if you cook it at home, you can put in as much ingredients as you want! :D Outside they sometimes don’t even give meat.

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shannen January 12, 2013 at 11:25 pm

i love love it!! Love at 1st taste.. at super duper cold Korea.. still love them now

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:15 am

Yummy! I found the ones in Korea did not taste as strong as the ones we get here. I wonder if its to do with the heat here quickening the fermentation process…

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Larie January 13, 2013 at 2:48 am

Hurray! I’m glad it worked out! :D A lot of Korean recipes are very general, and you can alter them as you please. Different people make them differently, too. Another example is a seaweed soup; my mom puts garlic in hers, but when her sisters found out about it, they were horrified! Hahahaha. So funny.

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:16 am

Yes it worked out well :) I think cooking is in general very personal and recipes should be a guide not the rule. Its also the reason I can’t bake – can’t follow instructions! haha… Oh now you have me craving seaweed soup! Yummy!

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Kay January 13, 2013 at 3:19 am

My mouth started watering when I saw the photo and read your post. I never thought of making it at home as we usually eat korean food in restaurants. But it sounds easy and delicious! Thanks :)

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 10:17 am

Do you enjoy Korean food then, Kay? :D Its really easy to make at home, and you can put in as much as you like in there to make it a full meal – hope you try it some day :D

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AnT January 14, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Wow! Looks delish!! Please leave some for me! :P Yummy~licious! :D
I love it with lots of garlic and gochujang as well :P Love it even more with hard boiled eggs :D

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Ooh hardboiled eggs! I shall try that next time. I’ve been making the stew then adding some ramen and cracking in an egg so its all thick and yummy :D

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Natasha January 15, 2013 at 11:58 am

Nom, nom!! I love Kimchee jjigae! My mother-in-law makes the best! Unfortunately, my husband does not share my love of kimchee so I don’t get to make this dish at home. :(

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Paris B
Twitter:
January 20, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Oh boo! Maybe you can cook it while he’s away then :D

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Bugs January 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I really wanted to enjoy kimchi stew but the ones I’ve tried so far are just too spicy for me that I can’t swallow spoonful by spoonful without needing a drink in between. Sad coz that spoils the kimchi mood.

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Mrs Top Monkey February 4, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Looks sooo delicious! I love kimchi and I love Korean food. Might cook this for my lunch soon but must air out entire apartment after to avoid the hubby fainting the moment he arrives home. He hates kimchi.
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Kristin T. October 3, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Thanks for the recipe! Do post more simple recipes like these. Totally need these since I’ll be relocating to the US for work very soon!

If you travel often, can you do a post on how to pack a suitcase? I find it so difficult to pack light!

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Paris B
Twitter:
October 4, 2013 at 11:14 am

Hi Kristin, what fun! Relocating ;) I do travel light but then I go on holiday so it’s quite easy. If I were relocating, I’d just pack my essentials and buy the rest where I’ll be going. You will anyway, and if it was clothes, you’d find something more suitable where you’ll be going. But if I were going to be away for an extended time, I’ll definitely pack foodstuff :P That’s what I did as a student.

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