I moved to Seoul, South Korea in November of 2008 and everything was new and different. The traffic was strangely peaceful, the hum of the subway like a sweet melody. Having grown up on an island off the coast of Newfoundland, my home was so very far removed from anything metropolitan. Upon arrival in Seoul, I took refuge in becoming a nameless face in the crowd.
While I was walking in this crowd, I observed. I never grew tired of the way steam bellowed from the street vendor food outside my subway station. Korean food had this way of warming everything, even the air. Now that winter is drawing near, my body seems to crave just one thing: Korean soups. When I think about it, it makes sense. My first few months in Seoul were cold. But Koreans know how to handle such climates: with piping hot, delicious stone bowls of yummy goodness.
So as we prepare for our first snowfall in Newfoundland, my mind wanders back to my first Korean love: kimchi jiggae. I love this soup so much I just have to spread that love.
Allison’s Crazily Authentic Kimchi Jjigae
What you need:
- Pork belly (200 grams or half a pound)
- 4-5 cups of chopped kimchi (including juice)
- One medium-sized onion
- 6 green onion stalks
- 1/2 package of tofu
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper flakes (add more if you love spice)
- 1 tablespoon Korean hot pepper paste (you know the drill)
- Water (enough to cover all ingredients)
1. Put kimchi & kimchi juice in shallow pot
2. Add onions, hot pepper paste, hot pepper flakes, sugar and pork belly
3. Pour water over the top until all are submerged
4. Close the lid and let it boil for 25-30 minutes
5. Add tofu and boil for 5 minutes.
6. Garnish with sesame oil before serving
7. Serve with sticky rice (and Korean side dishes – recipes to follow soon!)