Korean Comfort Food- Kimchi Jigae

Not having my mom around means that I don’t have access to delicious Korean dishes like I used to. That lady rarely eats “American” style foods, so that meant she was cooking up something every.single.day. Well, no more and I was started to crave it. For lunch, I decided to make my all time favorite Korean comfort food, kimchi jigae (aka kimchi soup) with a little bowl of brown rice.

This dish is pretty much a comfort food, at least for me it is. It’s always on the menu at Korean restaurants.  Kimchi jigae is to Korea as country fried steak is to the South. Like my SAT skills? There are a lot of simple recipes out there, but I think mine is very similar to Maangchi’s except I always saute the kimchi with extra garlic for 10 minutes before adding the rest of my ingredients. I also add my scallions after it’s done cooking. I like the fresh taste and I’m all about presentation .

I almost always cook the stew in a ddukbaegi (earthenware pot) because it holds heat and cooks just like a Dutch oven. Plus it’s traditional and I dig that part the most. Reminds me of ordering kimchi jigae in Korea.

Note: You should always use some type of trivet to protect your tables. I had mine hidden underneath the place mat just for these photos, but if you’re not careful it’ll burn fabrics also. All that heat is no joke!

This stuff is spicy and I’m not going to lie, I always add extra red pepper powder. Sometimes I’ll even add fresh jalapenos. I would eat this all the time as a kid. I’m not joking, at least 2-3 times a week. I feel eating a soup filled with spicy pickled cabbage, onions, and tofu is a much healthier meal to eat multiple times a week than say, mac and cheese. Nothing against mac and cheese. It’s pure cheesy deliciousness, especially when it’s homemade!

I just hope Vanessa grows up to love kimchi jigae as much as I do and hopefully continues to enjoy eating ethnic foods. That would make me so happy! Now I just need to convince Philip to love this stew. He absolutely LOVES kimchi, he’ll even put it on his burgers if we’re out of pickles.  He just generally dislikes soups and stews, I can’t blame him. I dislike most soups also.  He does love the same exact recipe minus the water, it’s called kimchi bokeum, aka “fried” kimchi, which I also happen to like, A LOT.

Do any of you have some not so typical comfort foods that you always crave like I do?

Comments

  1. 1
    Life: Designed says:

    My sisters LOVE Korean food. I have my moments of craving it. This is one of my favourite dishes! My friend told me about Maangchi a while ago but I have yet to cook a single Korean dish… One day I'll tackle it! Good for you!!

  2. 2
    JulieRagle says:

    Ugh!!! That looks sooo good. mmmmmmm

  3. 3
    Maria @ Craft Crazy Mom says:

    Maangchi has some seriously ridiculous recipes. Most of the recipes are very traditional and time consuming, but so delicious. Yum :)

  4. 4
    Maria @ Craft Crazy Mom says:

    Haha Julie! It was delicious :)

  5. 5
    Angela (Cottage Magpie) says:

    That looks so good! Any chance you'll be sharing the recipe here?

    ~Angela~

  6. 6
    Maria @ Craft Crazy Mom says:

    Hi Angela!
    The recipe I use is identical to the link below from Maangchi. I just saute the kimchi with some extra garlic as my step one & add the green onions just before serving. It's really good & really spicy :)
    http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/kimchi-chigae-kongnamool

  7. 7
    Anonymous says:

    Hey Maria,

    I am now hungry…thanks!

    Question: Do you like the store bought kimchi in a jar, or do you make it yourself or do you get it fresh from an Asian market? which do you prefer?

    *Heather Le Gaux*

  8. 8
    Maria @ Craft Crazy Mom says:

    I buy it at the Asian market in Marina and it's delicious. Too labor intensive for me!

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