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Kimchi jigae (stew)


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#1 HappyHourHero

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 09:28 PM

I'm gonna make some kimchi jigae this week. Never made it before. I've searched around a bit, doesn't seem to be a conclusive recipe. This is what I am thinking:

2 Cup of kimchi chopped
2 Cup of kimchi juice
1-2 lbs pork shoulder braised in chicken stock, onion, garlic
1-2 lbs of brisket or meatballs (can't decide)
1 lb of mussels
some scallions
water as needed for consistency
an egg to drop in each boiling bowl
A side of bean sprouts and greens (like pho, I know this is not traditional, but think it would be a good addition)

This seems like the plan. Any opinions?

#2 austinhaas

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 09:31 AM

My wife and I have made kimchi jigae at least a dozen times, but unfortunately I can't say that we've ever mastered it. One tip that has helped the most, though, is to use dashi instead of plain water. For a two-serving bowl, we might boil half a dozen of those little dried anchovies for a few minutes in several cups of water, then remove them and use that in place of plain water. It's subtle, but it adds depth to the soup and keeps it from tasting too watery. We've tried using those little dried shrimps, too, but I don't like the way they taste.

The main problem that we've never solved is how to really get the umami flavor into the bowl. I've heard that some restaurants will use the flavor packet from ramen noodles. We've had the best luck with greasy meats, like sausage, franks, or ground pork (but the ground pork kinda ruined the dish by making it too much of a meat stew). We've tried pork belly a bunch of times, but we've never been able to get it tender enough.

I've never heard of dropping an egg in kimchi jigae, but I'd try it. It doesn't seem as compatible with kimchi jigae as with tofu soups, but I like egg with anything.

Other additions I really like are those soft glass noodles or rice cakes. We usually put a few tofu cubes in, too. Enoki mushrooms are also good. We always add a little gochujang or gochugaru while it is cooking, and then I usually add more gochugaru to my bowl because I like it hotter than my wife (and I love the flavor of gochugaru).

The great thing about kimchi jigae, though, is that you can really experiment and it is very hard to ruin it. I can't recall if someone told me there is a traditional style, but I believe there is a version that translates to "base," as in Army base, as in, "toss in whatever scraps of meat you can get from the Army base."

#3 Quo Vadis

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:06 AM

Many Koreans on the lower end of the economic scale will tell you the secret is adding processed cheese.
I use Kraft singles in mine.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#4 austinhaas

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 10:34 AM

I use Kraft singles in mine.


!!!

I can't wait to try this.

#5 Quo Vadis

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 11:35 AM

The main problem that we've never solved is how to really get the umami flavor into the bowl.


This is often the case because what makes slow cooked things so delicious also tends to make the flavours more homogeneous. Everything is nice and deep and rich but nothing really pops (think about how many SE Asian cuisines put a lime, or some pickles on the sides of soups and slow cooked things and how much a little additon makes things *pop* flavor wise.

A few suggestions for a more delicious balanced kimchi stew- have some nice acidic pickles on the side to add every few bites, have a little seasoned vinegar much as one would use lime in pho, grate a little citrus zest in right when you take it off the heat or save a little kimchi juice and stir in right before serving. Any of these will give you a brighter, more dynamic stew.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#6 Quo Vadis

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 12:05 PM

PS- army base chigae is called "budae chigae".

Budo is Japanese for marrior. Bu (martial) do (way)
I'm assuming the Korean "budae" is a loan term from the Japanese language but my Korean is not great.
Hotdog chigae is kind of the Korean equivelent of kare raisu made with hot dogs :w00t:
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#7 HappyHourHero

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Posted 28 February 2012 - 02:22 PM

Wow, thanks for the tips folks. I don't think I can bring myself to put kraft singles in. I have some sliced thai birds in fish sauce like at Ha VL for the side. I will do some lime and or vinegar as well. I am thinking of braising the pork shoulder separately, adding the broth and putting the should individually into each bowl. Who knows, I will definitely report back with my findings.

#8 StMaximo

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Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:22 PM

New Seasons has an organic version of Kraft Singles - not Kraft, but some other brand. Adding American Cheese to the stew seems to have become tradition at some point - probably when the war was on and the Americans were handing it out with Spam and Vienna Sausages.

#9 Quo Vadis

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Posted 01 March 2012 - 08:09 AM

New Seasons has an organic version of Kraft Singles - not Kraft, but some other brand. Adding American Cheese to the stew seems to have become tradition at some point - probably when the war was on and the Americans were handing it out with Spam and Vienna Sausages.


Yep!

The great part about the addition of the cheese is that it thickens and gives a velvety texture without making theless optimal choices of a)over reducing or b)adding thickeners such as cornstarch or roux which mute flavours somewhat
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#10 HappyHourHero

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:36 AM

Well, I did a terrible job of listening to suggestions. It turned out to have the consistency of tomato vegetable soup. It tasted pretty good, but definitely not what I had envisioned. Next time I will have to add some slices of cheese in there to thicken it up. Also, I could have braised the pork shoulder a little longer before adding it to the soup. I had some slices of steak in there that in the future I will just add to each bowl before pouring the soup so they do not get overcooked. The poached egg was a welcome addition and helped thicken it. Thanks again for the tips!

#11 daawgon

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Posted 26 December 2012 - 08:15 PM

I just returned from Asia, and had some awesome Kimchi Jigae in Hanoi (Mi Han Quoc Restaurant). I also had it at Incheon Airport, but I enjoyed the Hanoi version much more.

In case you guys missed it, the Kimchi Chronicles TV series was great - you can get the DVD or watch episodes online at kimchichronicles.tv

I'll paste the Kimchi Jigae recipe they have on the website here:

Featured on Episode 3 Ė The Jeju Chronicles

Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 pound pork belly, cut into 1/4-inch dice
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
3 cups coarsely chopped kimchi with a bit of its liquid (use the most pungent, sour kimchi available for best flavor)
1 tablespoon fish sauce or dashida
1 slice American cheese (optional)
5 scallions, thinly sliced
About ľ cup thinly sliced gim for garnish

Notes:
JJigae is the Korean word for stew and let me tell youóIím the jjigae lady. I love to make jjigaes and kimchi jjigae is one of the easiest to make (I canít imagine itís a coincidence that itís one of the most regularly consumed dishes in all of Korea). Itís the absolute best way to use up your oldest, most sour kimchi, an example of the Korean tendency to be extremely resourceful and to never throw anything away. In Seoul we went to a cool barbecue restaurant called Saemaul Shikdang thatís known for its ď7-minute Jjigae,Ē which takes exactly 7 minutes to prepare. I cook mine a bit longer, but I think the flavor is still pretty impressive.
Directions:

Heat the sesame oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pork belly, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring now and then, until rendered, browned, and crispy, about 10 minutes.

Add the onion and kimchi and stir to combine. Add enough water to nearly cover the pork mixture (5 or 6 cups), cover, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer until the onion and kimchi are softened and the soup is quite thick, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the fish sauce (or dashida), American cheese (if using), and scallions. If itís too thick for your liking, thin the stew with water. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Serve steaming hot sprinkled with gim.

Note: Gim is pressed and toasted sheets of laver seaweed. Japanese nori makes a good substitute.

#12 StMaximo

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Posted 29 December 2012 - 12:33 AM

Thanks for posting this recipe. It was awesome. I had a bunch of old funky kim chi hiding in the fridge and this made good use of it. I used the American Cheese. My half Korean daughter in law wouldn't have it any other way!