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4.61 from 38 votes

Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

a classic Korean stew made with flavor-packed, old kimchi!
Servings: 2
Author: Hyosun


  • 2 cups packed bite size kimchi fully fermented
  • 4 ounces fresh pork belly or other pork meat with some fat
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons Korean red chili pepper flakes gochugaru - adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1/2 cup juice from kimchi if available
  • 2 cups of water 1/2 cup more if not using kimchi juice - see note
  • 6 ounces tofu
  • 2 scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut the meat and kimchi into bite sizes. Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick), and roughly chop the scallions.
    kimchi jjigae
  • In a pot, cook the kimchi and pork with the red pepper flakes, garlic, and ginger over medium high heat until the kimchi is softened and the pork cooks through, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the kimchi juice and water. Reduce the heat to medium, and boil, covered, for about 20 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
    kimchi stew
  • Add the tofu and scallions. Salt and pepper to taste. (Salt is usually not necessary, unless kimchi was lightly seasoned or kimchi juice is not available.) Boil until the tofu is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Serve while bubbling over from the heat.
    kimchi jjigae

Tuna kimchi jjigae

  • To make kimchi jjigae with no meat, follow the same steps leaving out the pork. Add one can of tuna (chamchi) with oil when adding the kimchi juice and water and boil for 10 - 15 minutes. (You can add onion slices at this point if desired.) Follow the rest of the recipe above. (Fresh or canned salmon works well too in kimchi jjigae.)


For added flavor, save the water used to rinse rice, ssal ddeum mul, and use for jjigae/stew. The water used to rinse rice is commonly used for Korean jjigae. I normally use the water from the third round of rinsing. Another option is to use anchovy broth (about 7 or 8 medium dry anchovies and 1 3-inch square dried kelp boiled in 3 cups of water for 10 minutes).