Kimchi-Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

This hearty stew from Korean YouTube star and cookbook author Maangchi uses fermented kimchi to achieve its distinctive sour flavor, and is the perfect probiotic-packed addition to your soup rotation.
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Kimchi-Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)

Recipe by Maangchi

This recipe originally appeared in our Winter/Spring 2021 issue. Get the magazine here

Start to Finish: 35 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 2 1/2 cups Anchovy-Kelp Stock or unsalted chicken or beef stock
  • 1 lb. napa cabbage kimchi, chopped, plus 1/4 cup brine (brine is optional)
  • 1 lb. pork belly or pork shoulder, cut into bite-size pieces, about 1 inch square and 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 6 scallions—5 sliced into 2-inch pieces, 1 finely chopped, for garnish
  • 1 tbsp. gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tbsp. gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 8 oz. medium-firm tofu, sliced 1/4 inch thick


1. In a large pot, add the stock, kimchi, brine, if using, pork, onion, sliced scallions, gochujang, gochugaru, sugar, sesame oil, and salt over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil with lid ajar and cook for 10 minutes.

2. Stir the stew, then place the tofu on top. Reduce heat to medium. Cook with lid ajar until the pork is cooked through and the kimchi is tender, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped scallion just before serving.

Tip: Use well-fermented kimchi for this recipe. It softens as it simmers but still retains a bit of crunch, and the sour taste gives the stew its distinctive flavor. Serve with rice.

Tip: Maangchi says homemade anchovy stock is the secret ingredient that gives this hearty stew its delicious umami punch.