Friday, February 29, 2008

Kimchi Stew (Kimchi Chigae)

One of the most popular Korean dishes got to be the Kimchi stew. You will see this sizzling hot pot of kimchi with pork at Korean restaurants. Hopefully you tried it and liked it. If you did, you will find this recipe helpful. I cook Kimchi stew quite often at home and all I need is rice plus to stew for dinner. Everyone seems to have different ways to cook this stew but here is my own recipe and it is a good one!

1. Cut half an onion. It does not deed to be thinly sliced but something like below.

2. Cut bacons. You can also use pork but I like the flavor of bacons in my Kimchi stew.

3. In high heat, stir fry the bacons with "sesame oil." 2 spoons of sesame oil will be fine.

4. Slice mushrooms and add them into the pot. (Optional: zukinis if you like)

5. Add Kimchi and a spoon of minced garlic to the pot. My Kimchi is already cut into small pieces but if the kind of Kimchi you have is uncut, you may want to cut into smaller pieces.

6. Continue to heat the mixture for another 2-3 minutes.

7. Add water to the mixture. I would say maybe 2-3 cups but use your best judgment. Do not add to much because the broth will be too thin. The density of the mixture with the amount of water should look something like the picture below.

8. As you continue to heat up the soup, you want to add condiments to flavor up the soup. You need salt, thinly ground red pepper powder, clam/chicken base (optional), sugar and finally sesame oil (3-4 spoons). Make sure you wait until later to add sesame oil. In fact you can add the oil about 1-2 minutes before you turn off the heat later in the end. If you add it too soon, the flavor will disappear. For everything else, make sure you keep tasting the broth to cater your own taste buds. Just don't put too much salt in the beginning!

9. Change the heat to medium probably 5 minutes before you turn the heat off completely. Once the soup boils once after adding all the condiments, you can turn it to medium.

10. Cut green onions and add to the soup. The reason you add the green onions the last is because again this is something you want to preserve its freshness. If you add this into the hot mixture, it will not only become mushy but the flavor will disappear.

Here is what the final version should look like. Enjoy!

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