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 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 jjigae 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.
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 very 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.
More recipes made with kimchi
Everything tastes better with kimchi, right? Try these other favorites:
Kimchi soondubu jjigae (soft tofu stew)
Kimchi mandu (dumplings)
Kimchi fried rice
Kimchi kongnamul guk
Kimchi bibim guksu
Spaghetti with kimchi
If you’re inspired to make some napa cabbage kimchi at home and let it get old for some of these dishes, try pogi kimchi, mak kimchi and vegan kimchi recipes.
More Instant Pot recipes
Braised Oxtail (kkorijjim)
Dakbokkeumtang (spicy chicken stew)
Boiled chicken and rice
Spicy Galbijjim (Braised Short Ribs)
For more Korean cooking inspirations, follow along on YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Instant Pot Kimchi Jjigae (Stew)
- 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
- Cut the meat and kimchi into bite sizes. Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick), and roughly chop the scallions.
- 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.
- 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”.
- 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.
Nancy M says
What pork cut(s) do you recommend for the fatty pork? Pork shoulder/butt? Pork belly? I’m looking forward to trying this and glad to have an Instant Pot recipe. Thanks!
All of the above!! I usually use pork shoulder, but also use belly or even pork ribs sometimes.
Hi, can I use beef and pork together in this stew?
I used spam as the meat. So goood!
This has become one of my favorite quick dinners on very, very cold nights.
Yay! Great to hear that. Thanks!
Relearning some cooking techniques so, i wanted to ask if there’s anything I should do to the tofu before using it?
Hopefully, that’s not a dumb question, but I want to be sure I do this correctly. Plus, i would love to start adding more fermented foods into my diet instead of just yogurt.. so hoping this kimchi / tofu recipe will be a hit. 🙂
You don’t need to do anything else other than cutting it. Enjoy!
I made this recipe twice workout tofu and using pork chops the first time and pork neck bones the second time. They both came out great, I am trying it a third time tonight but adding in some potatoes and onion for extra chew and I added more rice water to help even it out. Best and easiest recipe for aged kimchi!
cheri ulinski says
I made this stew for the first time but had to make a few changes because I’m the only one in my family that likes tofu , so I used squash and potatoes instead . The stew turned out great my husband said it was very tasty but he could not handle the heat from the spices, So I got the whole pot by myself and can’t wait to fix it again!
Just tried this recipe with my pressure cooker! So easy and so good. ^_^
After me and my boyfriend scooped our first bowl, we kept cooking at low temp to stew it more.
I’m trying it again after it being slow cooked for about 3 hours and it’s even better! Soup is more flavorful and the meat falls apart easier. 🙂
Lindsey Webb says
This recipe is easy to follow and is exceptionally delicious! Just made it for the 2nd time tonight.
My husband and I loved this instant pot jjigae recipe! Thank you so much for all your amazing recipes!
I ate it many times in Korea. The best one nearby hotsprings at Gadzisan not far from Ulsan. Tomorrow will do it by myself!
Oh I bet that was good! Happy to hear you’ll be making it.
this was a great recipe! I used my kimchi that I made from a few weeks ago for this recipe, and even tho it is spicy, it’s absolutely delicious. The broth is so savory! I didn’t have tofu on hand, and I think it would’ve been better with it. Even so, I added 2 tsp of doenjang and it did give it a great flavor. Thank you again for such an awesome recipe. Your recipes are easy to follow.
Hi, if I would like to throw it some daikon radish, should I throw it in together with other ingredients and pressure cook for 5 minutes as well? Tia.
I’d add it in step 3. Don’t cut it too thinly.
Hello, how do I adjust this recipe for 8qt instapot?
Sorry I don’t have 8 qt IP, so not exactly sure. I’d think this would work as is or use a little more liquid to be safe.
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.
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)
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!
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.
Hi! Can you freeze the leftover soup?
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.
Yes I really like to cook this in the Instant Pot. Thanks!
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.
Alice lee says
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 😋
Oh nice! Thank you so much for letting me know.
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.
Ju Kim says
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.
Hi Ju – we all learn from our experience! Glad you figured it out. Mom’s is always the best!
boiled rice will be a good side dish for this kimchi recipe.
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!
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.
Oooh this looks so yummy! I need to try this – I just got an Instant pot ^_^
Thank you! You’ll love your Instant Pot. Hope you try making kimchi jjigae soon. Enjoy!