Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)

This Instant Pot adaptation of the classic Korean stew made with kimchi is so flavorful and rich! The texture of the kimchi turns out nice and soft in a fraction of the time. 

kimchi stew with tofu and port in the Instant Pot

Kimchi jjigae (김치찌개) is a classic Korean stew made with flavor-packed old kimchi! It absolutely is one of my favorite comfort foods of all time. Lately, I’ve been making it in my Instant Pot, and I really like how it turns out. The stew is flavorful and rich, and the texture of the kimchi turns out nice and soft in a fraction of the time. In this recipe, I’ve adapted my stovetop kimchi stew recipe for my 6 quart Instant Pot.

How to make kimchi jjigae in the Instant Pot

To develop extra flavor, I usually stir-fry the kimchi and pork before adding water or broth. The Saute mode of the Instant Pot comes in handy for this step.

Once the liquid is added, use the Soup mode for pressure cooking. The actual cooking time is substantially shorter than the stovetop method. But, the time saving benefit diminishes if you count the time for the Instant Pot to build up the pressure.

one ladle full of kimchi stew

After the quick release of the pressure, add some tofu slices and scallions (and onion slices if you like) and cook for a few additional minutes, using the Saute button. If you don’t use tofu, you can wait for a few minutes for the natural pressure release, and then stir in the scallions.

Kimchi for the stew

When cooking with kimchi, you should always use fully fermented, sour kimchi. The older the better! If you don’t have old kimchi, don’t let that stop you from making this kimchi stew or other dishes made with kimchi. Your Korean market may carry commercially packaged kimchi called mukeunji (묵은지), meaning old kimchi.

If the kimchi is overly sour, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to the stew to balance out the sour taste.

Meat for kimchi jjigae

I make kimchi stew mostly with fatty pork. It’s simply the best! However, I know some of you don’t like or eat pork. If so, use beef or canned tuna. You can cut the meat into large chunks if you like! You won’t have a problem with tough meat after it has been cooked in the Instant Pot. This reminds me, kimchi jjigae with pork ribs will be great cooked in the Instant Pot.

Spicy Kimchi Stew served in an earthen ware

More recipes made with kimchi

Everything tastes better with kimchi, right? Try these other favorites:

Kimchi soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew)
Tofu kimchi
Kimchijeon (pancake)
Kimchi mandu (dumplings)
Kimchi fried rice
Kimchi kongnamul guk
Kimchi bibim guksu
Kimchi ssambap
Spaghetti with kimchi
Kimchi jjim.

If you’re inspired to make some napa cabbage kimchi at home and let it get old for some of these dishes, here are my time tested pogi kimchi, mak kimchi and vegan kimchi recipes.

More Instant Pot recipes

Braised Oxtail (kkorijjim)
Dakbokkeumtang (spicy chicken stew)
Boiled chicken and rice
Instant Pot Spicy Galbijjim (Braised Short Ribs)

bite sized kimchi on a cutting board
Kimchi jjigae with pork and tofu

4.54 from 15 votes
one ladle full of kimchi stew
Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)

This Instant Pot adaptation of the classic Korean stew made with kimchi is so flavorful and rich! The texture of the kimchi turns out nice and soft in a fraction of the time. 

Servings: 4
Author: Hyosun
Ingredients
  • Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 pounds well fermented kimchi about 3 cups of cut kimchi packed
  • 8 ounces fatty pork or beef
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes gochugaru - adjust to taste
  • 1/2 cup juice from kimchi if available
  • 2 cups of water* 1/2 cup more if not using kimchi juice
  • 1 tablespoon soup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 8 ounces tofu
  • 2 scallions
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar - optional
Instructions
  1. Cut the meat and kimchi into bite sizes. Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick), and roughly chop the scallions.
    Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)
  2. Push the Saute button of the Instant Pot. When it becomes hot, add the pork and kimchi along with the sesame oil and red pepper flakes until the kimchi is slightly softened and pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
    Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)
  3. Add the kimchi juice, water, soup soy sauce, and garlic. Lock the lid, change it to the Soup mode, and adjust the time to 10 minutes. Set the steam valve to “Sealing”.
  4. When the Instant Pot beeps, turn the steam valve to “Vent” to quick release the pressure. Open the lid, and add tofu and scallions. Push the Saute button again, and boil for an additional 5 minutes or longer until the kimchi reaches the desired tenderness.
    Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)
Recipe Notes

For added flavor, save the water used to rinse rice, ssal ddeum mul, and use for the jjigae/stew. The water used to rinse rice is commonly used for Korean jjigae. Use the water from the second or third round of rinsing. Another option is to use anchovy broth (about 7 or 8 medium dry anchovies and one 3-inch square dried kelp boiled in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes).

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Comments

  1. Oooh this looks so yummy! I need to try this – I just got an Instant pot ^_^

  2. I’m so excited that you have Instant Pot recipes! It’s so hot in Texas right now so I prefer to use the IP to cook. Thanks so much for posting this (and others)! I will try it this weekend.


  3. I have a magic pot – I bought it about 3 months ago. It is very versatile – you can make jjeok (congee) in it, as well as rice and a slow cooker. This recipe for kimchi-chigae looks amazing and I will be making it. I have some mukenji in the fridge – this will be perfect!!!! Gomapsumnidah!


  4. boiled rice will be a good side dish for this kimchi recipe.

  5. I learned it the hard way that whenever you cook a stew in Instant Pot, leave the tofu out and add it in after the pressure cycle with saute, just as you instructed. If you include the tofu in the pressure cycle, tofu will be hardened and become chewier in a not very pleasant way! Thank you always for the recipes that makes me miss my 엄마’s cooking.

  6. Sudheshna Miryala says

    how would i make this vegetarian?

    • Omit the pork, and use some mushrooms instead if you like. Your kimchi also needs to be vegetarian. If interested in making vegetarian kimchi, I have a recipe on the blog.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes. I just did this kimchi jigae with my Phillips multi purpose cooker and it turned out super yummy 😋


  8. One of our favorite meals is kimchi jjigae. I was looking for the closest recipe to ours so I could convert it over easily. I followed it pretty closely and was pretty good.
    Now that I know how it works I will probably stick to our recipe.
    My 8 year old said good but not as good as grandma’s.
    We don’t add pepper flakes since we have little ones eating. Have never added soy sauce or sugar but we do add a powder kinda like bullion called dashida.
    I also think my son preferred grandma’s cause she simmers the tofu for a long time and his favorite part is the tofu. I have known of it as tubu since I was a kid but now know it’s tofu, lol.
    Oh yeah, my mom is always adding random things in at the end… smoked sausage or polska kielbasa usually, but she has been known to throw in hotdogs in a pinch.
    I am giving 5 stars cause it was the closest one and the taste was very similar. I was very pleased at the outcome of the instant pot conversion. Now I just gotta figure out to simmer more flavor into the tofu without overcooking everything else.

  9. Anna Ferrara says

    I’ve made this on the stove before, and I think it’s actually more delicious made in the Instant Pot! It was done so quick and sooo delicious, perfect for a cold winter evening.

  10. Hi! Can you freeze the leftover soup?

  11. Yum! Gets the taste of stewing it for a long time but in a fraction of the time. Delicious, easy, and no spatter. Particularly with your kimchi recipe.


  12. Your recipes are great! I’m half Korean and I’ve been learning how to make my favorite foods that my mom makes by following your instructions. I love the IP versions. Thank you!

  13. hihi, just wanted to check if we are cooking for 4 persons, we use 2.5 cups of water? the last round i did, it seemed to be dried up and I was only cooking for 2 persons (and used 2,5 cups of water too)


  14. I make this all the time now and I love it! I’ve been using a combination of regular soy sauce and Rhee Brother’s Jjajang Black Bean Paste because I have had difficulty finding “soup soy sauce” at the market. Is there a particular other name that “soup soy sauce” goes by? I sometimes see it called “guk-ganjang” when I google it, but people don’t seem to understand what I’m talking about when I try to ask about it.

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