Monday, May 29, 2006

Kimchi Chigae

I’ve decided to post some of my Korean recipes b/c well… there are few good Korean recipes online!

When I moved out of my parents’ house 6 years ago and craved Korean food I was very sad. Korean restaurants are expensive and the recipe’s I found in the internet all sounded weird—not like my mom’s food. It was an uphill battle to get her to share recipes w/ me. She doesn’t measure anything, so I always had to guess what she meant by “a little” or “a lot”. She didn’t want me to cook b/c she started so young and feels like she has spent her life cooking. She says there’s plenty of time for me to learn. ALSO, I think she likes knowing that I still need her.

ANYWAY, I’m sharing some of my recipes. These are not my mom’s recipes, cuz my food is pretty good but never is as tasty as her’s. She still makes all her own kimchi (a billion different types), brings the dish that first disappears at church potlucks and family celebrations, and just in general is an AMAZING cook. I’m going to mainly post Korean recipes but will occasionally post other recipes as well (including cookies! YUM!) So, here is my first recipe post:

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)
Tastes: spicy (duh), garlicky, and a tad bit sweet
Difficulty level: EASY*

Ingredients (the measurements may be off by a little b/c I’m my mother’s daughter and don’t measure unless it comes to baking ):
2 C water
1.5 T sogogi dashi dah ( Korean beef bouillon)
1 T Olive Oil
1 C Kimchi w/ the juices (you need the napa cabbage kind)
1/2 package of tofu (soft or medium)- cut into 1-inch cubes
1 Green onion, chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 oz stew beef cut into half-inch cubes

In a medium pot heat up the olive oil. W/ the stove on medium heat, add in the kimchi and stew beef and saute until the kimchi leaves turn almost translucent (abt 5 minutes). Add the water to the pot, cover, bring to boil. Add in sogogi dashi dah; stir; taste. At this point you can add in more kimchi juice or dashi dah to adjust to your liking. Add the green onion and tofu, bring to boil once more. EAT!!!!! (Don’t be greedy and burn your tongue like I sometimes do).

Variations: Until recently I’ve been a relatively broke and extremely busy student. This means my kimchi chigae usually is just the water, oil, dashi, and kimchi. If I’m lucky I put in the tofu.

Beef: You can leave out the meat entirely or substitute SPAM (sounds good, but I like my SPAM fried). I’ve also heard people say they use canned tuna, but that’s a bit weird to me.

Sogoi Dashi Dah: You can probably substitute regular beef bouillon or beef stock. I’ve never done this, but imagine it to be okay. OR you can just go to the Korean market and buy some. Sogogi dashi dah is the base for all of my soups and a minor but important ingredient in a lot of my panchan recipes as well.

Too lazy to make rice? Add vermicelli noodles (like the kind in jap chae) or tuk/ rice ovalettes to your kimchi chigae for some starchy goodness!

*hmm, actually, almost everything I post will be spicy, garlicky, and easy to make (my top 3 qualities in a food)


Anonymous said...

It would be more tasteful without MSD (sogogi dashi dah) and Kimchi Chigae is always good with Pork.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it MSG?..

Hui Jeong said...

yup dashi has MSG in it, but that's prolly what makes it so damn tasty! i've heard kimchi chigae is good w. pork but never had it that way cuz we don't eat pork (except for some weird reason, we occassionally eat pork in its worse form: SPAM or bacon!)

Ronnie said...


Anonymous said...

Can you add gochujang?

Coddswaddle said...

My Korean mother has only recently agreed to teach me how to make my childhood favorites. In the past, whenever I asked her for a recipe, she'd respond with, "Why do you want to learn to make that?! I'll show you how to make American meatloaf instead!"

Bless her heart.

zlamushka said...


I just posted my ultimate kimchi recipe and cannot wait to try it again. Your stew looks like the one I ve been looking for. I ll be trying it as soon as I ferment another batch of this goodness.

Anonymous said...

I like my Kimchi a little old, that sour taste, to make the chigae. My wife doesn't eat meat so, we have our chigae meatless, but not without tofu. The recipe is exactly like my wife's recipe except the sesame oil is substituted for olive oil. I wouldn't use hot red pepper paste,because the recipe is heading towards yukaejung flavors.

tastingkorea said...

Instead of dashida, dried anchovies are a good option. Dashida doesn't have to be unhealthy if you find the natural kind. Some people make their own.

I have a post on kimchi and kimchi chigae here: