People assume that because I can bake it also means I’ll be a good cook. Let me lay this out but baking and cooking are completely different. Baking you have to be very precise and follow steps to a tee. If you miss an ingredient you are pretty screwed. You need to know your oven very very well and you need to know when something looks right. Cooking on the other hand is a lot more forgiving. You add ingredients on a whim, change the recipe a bit and as long as your chicken isn’t pink you are good to go. The worst thing that can happen with cooking is that it won’t taste very good. Baking on the other hand can turn out very bad. I’ve made rock hard cupcakes and had chocolate separate into an oily mess.
I’ve started dabbling in cooking and one of the hardest things is trying to impress C with Korean food. C is Korean and growing up on his mum’s amazing food makes him quite fussy. I’ll always hear the comment “it doesn’t taste like mum’s”. Sadly this kimchi jjgae doesn’t taste like his mum’s but I think this recipe is delicious (even C is willing to eat it haha).
I’ve been tinkering with it for a few years and I’ve finally got it the way I want it. I marinate the pork belly which makes it super flavourful in the stew. The good thing about kimchi jjgae is that half the work is done if you have good kimchi. Luckily for me C’s mum gives him an unlimited supply of kimchi which I’ve slowly scabbed. They will be vacuum sealed in bags and wrapped in many layers of gladwrap to not stink up the plane. You’ll need to use your oldest kimchi as it’ll be more sour which will add more kimchi flavour to the stew.
With this disgustingly cold winter weather, eat this hearty kimchi jjgae to warm up your bellies and your soul :)
Kimchi Jjgae Recipe
Recipe adapted from No Recipe’s Kimchi Jjgae Recipe
600g pork belly – skinless and cut into cubed chunks
6 garlic cloves, minced
14g ginger (freshly grated)
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp soju
1 onion, roughly shredded into slices
2 cups kimchi (remember to use the oldest kimchi you have)
1½ cup kimchi juice
3 cup water
1½ tbsp gochujang
450g silky tofu (cubed)
- In a bowl mix garlic, ginger, soy sauce and soju. Add pork and let it marinate while you prepare other ingredients.
- Add oil to a saucepan on medium heat until hot.
- Add pork and let fat render (some of the fat will disappear).
- Add onions and kimchi and cook until fragrant.
- Add kimchi juice, water and gochujang and stir to combine.
- Bring to the boil and have a taste; add more gochujang if you want it more spicy.
- Add tofu and turn the heat lower to let it simmer. Cook until pork and kimchi are tender.