Char Siu Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
Char siu kimchi jjigae is easy to prepare for some quick comfort food. The warm spices from the char siu add depth of flavor and nicely complement the kimchi flavor. Together with the tofu and shiitake, this stew is hearty and delicious with just a bowl of steamed rice.
Kimchi Jjigae (김치찌개) is a hearty stew that is quick and easy to prepare with some old kimchi in your fridge. Rich in flavor with protein and vegetables, this warm stew is delicious with just a bowl of freshly steamed rice.
The kimchi, shiitake mushrooms and dashima-based broth add extra umami. And the tofu soaks up the savory, kimchi flavor and spices from the soup. While not necessary, the chopped green onions for garnish do help cut the richness of this stew (in a good way!). You could also add more gochugaru if you would like to increase the spice level of your kimchi jjigae. I do not use gochujang in my kimchi jjigae recipe.
Char siu & Kimchi Jjigae
Unseasoned pork, beef, or canned tuna is usually added as protein in this dish. However, I decided to use leftover gochujang char siu and found it to be a delicious pairing of flavors. The five spice from the char siu adds complexity and depth of flavor. It also nicely complements the kimchi flavor. You can omit meat or protein from this dish. However, I find that pork, specifically gochujang char siu, makes the soup rich and flavorful.
The char siu marinade also helps reduce the gamey pork flavor that often makes me shy away from eating unseasoned or unmarinated pork.
Aged kimchi has a bit of a sour taste. It is not particularly good to eat alone, but it is perfect to use in some Korean recipes, such as kimchi jjigae and kimchi jeon. It is important to use old kimchi in this recipe for its deeper, fermented flavors.
You will know that it is aged or fermented when the kimchi is a bit translucent and has a yellow tint. It takes about 2-3 weeks for fresh, store-bought kimchi to age in the fridge. I also read that you could leave it at room temperature for about 12 hours to speed up the fermentation process. However, I would just recommend making this dish when you already have some old kimchi in your fridge that you want to use up.
Some common tips:
- If the kimchi is not aged enough, add a bit of rice vinegar.
- If it is too old, add some sugar to round out the sour taste.
More recipes with kimchi:
Mise en place
If you make this Char Siu Kimchi Jjigae, I would love to hear your thoughts! Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Char Siu Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
- ¼ lb gochujang char siu, sliced
- 1 cup well-fermented kimchi, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- ¼ cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced (about 4 mushrooms)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp gochugaru
- ½ tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp garlic, crushed
- 1½ cup anchovy seafood soup packet broth (see notes)
- ½ tbsp mirin
- 100 g tofu, cubed into ½" pieces (~¼ of a pack)
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional garnish)
- Heat a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Add the gochujang char siu and let it cook for about 4 minutes, flipping half-way through, or until it is a bit charred.
- Stir in the kimchi and garlic, and sauté for another 4 minutes.
- Stir in the shiitake mushrooms and sauté for another 3 minutes or until it is cooked through.
- Mix in the soy sauce, coconut sugar, and gochugaru.
- Add the dashi broth and mirin, and let it come to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for another 3 minutes.
- Add the tofu and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
- Garnish with green onions and serve immediately.