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Kimchi Stew with Tuna, Quick and Easy Kimchi-jjigae
참치 김치찌개

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Average: 3 (1 vote)
quick n easy
nut free
prep time: 
10 min
inactive time: 
0 min
cooking time: 
30 min
total time: 
40 min

This is a quick and easy way to make Kimchi Stew with a can of tuna. See traditional or classic Kimchi Stew recipe here.

Kimchi Stew is one of the most loved dishes in Korea. No appetite? This is sure to fix it. Anyone can finish 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 you eat 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, usually larger in quantity, and served in individual bowls.

Buy Korean ingredients online here.

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Change to: Metric US
12 ozKimchi 김치
Canned Tuna 참치 통조림
1 tbsButter 버터
2½ cups  Water 물
½ cupKimchi Juice 김치국물
1 tbsGochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes 고추가루
8 ozTofu, Soft or regular (for stew) 두부 (찌개용)
1 tspSalt 소금
1 tspChopped Green Onion 다진파 (optional garnish)

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.

For 2 servings, ½ block of tofu is used. One block of tofu generally weighs 400-500g although it varies depending on the brand. You can always add more tofu if you like.

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 this is also a good variation if you like fish. Also, you can make it really quick and easy. See traditional or classic Kimchi Stew recipe 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.

Butter: You can omit this although butter adds richness to the soup. You may be wondering why butter is used in a Korean stew. Butter is not a traditional Korean ingredient but it is widely used in Korea today especially in Kimchi fried rice and other stir-fries.

Tofu: You don't have to use tofu.

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. Saute canned tuna

In a pot, sauté 1 can of tuna (you can add another can if you love tuna) with 1 tablespoon of butter on high heat. Stir constantly.

image: STKCTN01.JPG


  • 1 can tuna
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Stir constantly

High Heat image: highheat.png

image: clock.png 2 min

2. Saute Kimchi

Cut kimchi into about 2 inches long and add to the pot with tuna. Saute for another 7 minutes. *If it starts to stick to the bottom, add a little bit of kimchi juice or water.

image: STKCTN02.JPG


  • Kimchi
  • 2 inches


High Heat image: highheat.png

image: clock.png 7 min

3. Add water and boil

Add 2½ cups of water and ½ cup of kimchi juice (optional). Add 1 tablespoon of red chili flakes (optional) to make it spicier and more red in color. Bring to boil and boil for another 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Season with salt (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: STKCTN03.JPG


  • 2½ cups water
  • ½ cup kimchi juice (optional)


  • 1tbs red chili flakes (optional)

Bring to boil

Boil Med Heat image: medheat.png

image: clock.png 10 min

Season with salt

4. Add tofu (optional)

(optional) You can add tofu and boil for another 2 minutes.

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Add tofu (optional)

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

5. Serve

Serve in a big bowl. You can also use ddukbaegi or stone bowl with a bowl of rice on the side. You can add chopped green onions on top as a garnish.

image: STKCTN05.JPG


Garnish with green onions (optional)


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