4ouncesfresh pork bellyor other pork meat with some fat or other protein choice
1 to 3teaspoonsgochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) adjust to taste or omit
1 tablespooncooking oil
1/2cupjuice from kimchiif available
salt (or a little bit of soup soy sauce or regular soy sauce) and pepper to taste
Cut the kimchi into bite size pieces.
Cut the meat into bite sizes. Slice the tofu (about 1/2-inch thick), and roughly chop the scallions.
Heat a small to medium pot with 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the kimchi, pork, red pepper flakes and garlic and cook over medium high heat until the kimchi is softened and the pork cooks through, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the kimchi juice and about 2 to 2.5 cups of water (or broth). Bring it to a boil, and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to medium, and boil, covered, for about 15 minutes. You can add more water if necessary.
Drop the tofu and scallions in. Salt (or soup or regular soy sauce) 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.
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.)
Use old, sour kimchi.
Cook the kimchiand pork together before adding the liquid. This step develops extra flavor.
Use the water used to rinse rice (ssalddeumul, 쌀뜨물) as the stew base. It's commonly used for Korean stews. Use the water from the second or third round of rinsing. The rice water thickens the broth slightly and enhance the flavor.