I still have kimchi I made in early December of last year. Every year, I make enough to last through the winter and early spring. By this point, thekimchi has aged and fermented very well, resulting in a sour, pungent flavor perfect for stews or soups! This time, I braised it! Kimchi jjim (김치찜)is best made with mukeunji (묵은지), which is traditional poggikimchi that has aged over at least a six-month period. It impartsan extremely intense flavor.
Your favorite Korean restaurants might have a dish or two made with mukeunji, such as mukeunji jjim (braised with pork, usually) andmukeunji godeungeo jorim (braised with mackerel).
Don’t worry! Your kimchi doesn’t need to be6 months old for you to make this dish. However, you’ll need to use shin kimchi (신김치), which is well fermentedkimchi that has turned sour. The older it is the better!
Kimchi jjim (or kimchijjim) is braised with pork (or other meat or fish) in a small amount of liquid. The main difference from kimchi jjigae (stew) is the amount of liquid used to cook. The resulting dish is drier than kimchi stew but with deliciously concentrated flavors!
If you like kimchi jjigae, try this braised dish for a nice change! My daughter and her roommate loved it when I made this to use up the old kimchi in their fridge during my last visit to NYC.
Kimchi Jjim (Braised Kimchi)Main
- 6 ounces pork belly or shoulder (or beef chuck, round, or loin)
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1-1/2 pounds kimchi (1 quarter of the whole napa cabbage)
- 1/2 cup juice from kimchi
- 1 cup anchovy broth (or water)
- 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes)
- 1 or 2 scallions, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Cut the pork meat into large chunks (about 1/2-inch thick). In a pot, preferably with a thick bottom, combine the meat with the ginger and garlic.
- Cut the kimchi crosswise into 2 or 3 sections.
- Add to the pot with the meat. Add the kimchi juice, broth (or water), and the gochugaru. Bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, until the kimchi and meat are tender, 30 – 40 minutes. If the liquid is evaporating too quickly, reduce the heat a bit further and/or add more liquid.
- Stir in the scallions and sugar, toss well, and turn off the heat. Serve with steamed rice.