I am not a big fan of spicy food but I love eating kimchi. I love kimchi as a side dish for any fried or grilled meat or fish. There is something about salted and fermented napa cabbage that brings out the best in any food. It is no wonder that it is used in a variety of dishes in Korean cuisine. It gives distinct flavor and texture to kimchi fried rice, bibimbap and makes ramen tastes better. This kimchi stew with pork belly and tofu recipe is another way to use this versatile fermented vegetable.
Kimchi stew (Kimchi-jjigae) is a classic Korean food that is popular and loved by all. It is simple and easy to make. The pork belly is sautéed with the garlic until browned and then cooked in the mixture of kimchi, kimchi juice and pork broth. The tofu is added in the last few minutes of cooking. The result is a spicy, hearty, savory and delicious stew.
- Pork belly – the main protein in this recipe. Other protein like fish may also be used.
- Firm tofu – another protein in the recipe. It absorbs the flavors from the stew.
- Napa cabbage kimchi – the star in this recipe. It gives the stew its spicy flavor and crunchy taste.
- Vegetable oil – is used to sauté the garlic and pork belly.
- Garlic – the only aromatic in this recipe.
- Pork broth – is used as a base for this stew. Other broth like vegetable, chicken or water may also be used.
- Seasoning – salt or soy sauce
- Garnish – chopped green onions
HOW TO MAKE KIMCHI STEW:
To make this kimchi stew, first sauté the pork belly with the garlic until browned. Add the cut cabbage kimchi, kimchi juice and pork broth, and then simmer until the pork is tender. Next, add the tofu and continue cooking until heated through. Lastly, correct the seasoning by adding salt or soy sauce, if needed.
- You can replaced the pork belly with any protein you prefer.
- You can omit the pork belly to make this dish vegetarian.
- You can adjust the level of spiciness by increasing or reducing the amount of kimchi in the recipe.
- The kimchi is already salty so use a minimum amount of salt when seasoning the broth.
Kimchi Stew with Pork Belly and Tofu (Kimchi-jjigae)
- 8 oz pork belly , skin removed
- 8 oz firm tofu , drained
- 1 to 2 cups cabbage kimchi , drained with juice reserved
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic , chopped
- 3 ½ cups pork broth or water
- Salt or soy sauce , to taste
- Chopped green onions , for garnish
- Steamed rice , for serving
- Prepare the main ingredients by slicing the pork belly into thin strips, the tofu into 1-inch cubes and the kimchi into bite-sized pieces. Set them aside.
- Using a pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 20 seconds. Add the pork belly and sauté until browned and no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the kimchi, reserved juice and broth. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, covered until pork is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the tofu and cook until heated through, about 3 to 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt or soy sauce. Garnish with green onions.
- Serve hot with steamed rice.