Kimchi Jjigae (Lovely Korean spicy winter stew)

At this miserable time of year, what better way to cheer ourselves up than with a tasty hot pot using those hardy winter greens. Ross shares his recipe here.

If you make Kimchi like I do, it’s great for the first week or two and then it starts to get really sour.  I’m sure plenty of people like it that way, but there’s a limit!  If you don’t make Kimchi, then there’ll be a recipe for it (vegan) coming up very soon.

So what do with it when it’s gone too sour? I was perplexed.  Just try to munch through it or find something else to do with it.  I remembered having a lovely hot spicy Korean stew at Oh Shio restaurant on Trafalgar street a long time ago now.  So thought I’d look that up to see how it’s done. 

I made it two nights ago with what I had to hand and because it’s a hot pot you can put in any root or green veg you have that’s seasonal especially if, like now, it’s getting a bit bare in the garden or allotment.  I put in Shungiku (chop suey greens or crown daisy) and various oriental brassicas growing in the poly tunnel plus topped it up with shop bought daikon (white radish), carrots and some dried mushrooms.

By the way, all the ingredients that might sound unusual or unfamiliar are all to be found in Yum Yum on Sydney Street.  They are really helpful in there and will help out if you just show them your shopping list. Here goes:

Ingredients

1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil

About 500g of Kimchi.  Strain it so that you separate the liquid from the vegetables.  (Keep the liquid)

One white onion chopped

Three spring onions sliced diagonally

1 Tablespoon Gochujang (this is a sweet spicy red paste essential for the final flavour)

½ Tablespoon Doenjang (basically a Korean miso paste – could substitute brown miso but either way essential for the final taste)

½ Tablespoon Gochugaru (this is tiny flakes of Korean chilli pepper) – can of course add more.  This is the chilli that makes Kimchi red!

750ml vegetable stock

2 teaspoons sugar or you can use Mirin which is a Japanese sweetener made from rice

Vegetables and tofu – for example 2 or 3 thickly sliced carrots, 2 medium potatoes, dried or fresh mushrooms, courgette, dried seaweed (Kombu) if you have it, and sliced medium or firm tofu (this is essential!)  You can put almost anything in (I used my Shungiku and some komatsuna I have growing in the poly over winter).

Method

Heat the sesame oil and add the chopped onion.  Fry for a few minutes until the onion starts to go transparent, then add the kimchi, spring onion. Stir and cook until for another few minutes to heat through then add the gochujang, doenjang, and gochugaru. Stir until everything is well combined.

Add the kimchi liquid, the stock, the sweetener, then the vegetables.  Best to add root veg first, bring to the boil and make sure they are cooked through before adding the green vegetables and tofu later.  Simmer these later additions.

Serve with rice.  It’s nice to garnish the hot pot with thinly spliced spring onions and scatter sesame seeds over.

Got a favourite recipe to share using something seasonal from the veggie plot? Share it with us: info@bhogg.org.uk

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