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Kimchi Stew with Pork, Traditional Kimchi-jjigae Recipe
돼지고기 김치찌개

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nut free
prep time: 
5 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
35 min
total time: 
35 min

Kimchi Stew is one of the most loved dishes in Korea. Even when you don't have much appetite, this is sure to fix it. You'll have no problem finishing a big bowl of rice with Kimchi Stew! As long as you have nicely fermented Kimchi, you can't go wrong with this one.

Stews are supposed to be a salty dish eaten little by little with rice. It's usually placed in the middle of the table and shared with a few people. Soups are more of an individual dish that is less salty and usually larger in quantity, and served in individual bowls.

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Change to: Metric US
12 ozKimchi 김치
7 ozPork Neck(uncut) 돼지고기 목살
½ cupKimchi Juice 김치국물 (optional)
3 cupsWater 물
1 tbsGochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루 (optional)
2 tspSalt 소금
½ Green Onion 파 (optional)

Good to Know:

For good kimchi jjigae, you need over-fermented (sour) kimchi. If your kimchi is not fermented enough, you can add 1 tablespoon of vinegar to add some extra sour taste.
For 2 servings, one quarter of a whole napa cabbage kimchi is used which is equivalent to 2 cups of cut kimchi (2 inch pieces) or about 350 g in weight.

A chunk of pork belly without too much fat is ideal for this stew. But, you can use any cut of pork.
You can also use pre-cut pork but it won't be as tender as cooking it as a chunk and cutting it after.

Adding kimchi juice and seasoning
If you add a good amount of kimchi juice, it will taste much better, although it could get spicy. Remember the more kimchi juice you add, the less salt you will need. So, taste as you season.

Traditionally, kimchi stews are made with pork, but there are many different variations. See quick and easy Kimchi jjigae with tuna here.

Optional Ingredients and Substitutions

Gochugaru, Red Chili Flakes: This is optional if your tolerance to spiciness is low. Add gochugaru if you don't have any kimchi juice to add or if you like your stew extra spicy.

If you are a tofu lover, you can also add tofu at the end and boil for 2 minutes. For 2 servings, ½ block of tofu is used. One block of tofu generally weighs 400-500g, although it varies depending on the brand.

More questions? Please leave your questions below in the comments section. We will do our best to answer as soon as we can.

Ingredient amounts in the recipe instructions are for the default serving size.
Click to enlarge photos.
Ingredient amounts in the recipe summary are for the default serving size.

1. Cut

Cut kimchi into about 2 inches long (2 cups of kimchi when cut) and add to the pot. You can sauté kimchi for 2 min to get more flavors out of kimchi (optional). Add 3 cups of water.

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Cut kimchi 2 inches long

Put in a pot

Saute (optional)

High Heat image: highheat.png image: clock.png 2 min

Add 3 cups water

2. Kimchi Juice

Add ½ cup of kimchi juice. You can add 1 tablespoon of chili pepper flakes if you like it spicier. Bring to boil.

image: STKCPK02.JPG


  • ½ cup of kimchi juice
  • 1 tbs chili pepper flakes (optional)


3. Add Pork

Add pork without cutting it. Boil with a lid on for another 30 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt as needed. Add gradually as you taste it. The amount of salt will vary depending on the type of kimchi and how much kimchi juice you used. Usually Korean stews are a little saltier than regular soups because it’s meant to be eaten in small amounts with rice.

image: STKCPK03.JPG

Add pork (chunk)

Boil with lid

  • Med Heat image: medheat.png image: clock.png 30 min

Add salt if necessary

4. Slice Pork

Take out pork, cool it down until it’s ok to touch and slice into bite-size pieces.

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Slice pork

5. Serve and Enjoy!

Serve in a big bowl or a stone bowl. You can also use ddukbaegi or stone bowl. Place sliced pork and chopped green onions on top of the stew. Another option is to serve sliced pork separately on a plate with ssamjang and saewoojeot as dipping sauces. Garnish with finely chopped green onions.

image: STKCPK05.JPG

Serve in a bowl

Place pork on top

Green onions on top


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