Kimchi Jjigae Traditional Stye, Kimchi Stew with Pork 김치찌개

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.

Kimchi Jjigae, Kimchi Stew with Pork (Traditional Stye)

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Korean
Servings 2



  • 14 oz Kimchi well fermented
  • 1 tbs Vegetable Oil optional
  • 7 oz Pork Butt uncut
  • ½ cup Kimchi Juice optional
  • 3 cup Water
  • 1 tbs Gochugaru, Korean Hot Pepper Flakes optional
  • 2  tsp Salt amt. may vary depending on kimchi saltiness and the brand of salt
  • 1 root Green Onion optional


  • Cut kimchi into about 2 inches long and add to a pot. Add 3 cups of water.
  • Sauté kimchi on low heat for 3 min to get more flavors out of kimchi (optional).
  • Add water and kimchi juice. Bring to boil.
  • Add pork without cutting it. Bring to boil. Cook 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.
  • Take out pork, cool it down until it’s ok to touch and slice into bite-size pieces.
  • (Optional) If you like tofu, you can add cut tofu and boil for another 2-5 min or until tofu is cooked to your liking.
  • It's best use ddukbaegi or stone bowl so the stew keeps hot while eating. 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.


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.

Keyword Spicy
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