Recipe: Zen’s Kimchi Jjigae

Summary: After tasting other people’s Kimchi Jjigaes and introducing some of my more western preferences, here’s my latest recipe for Kimchi Jjigae. Like my chili recipe, it’s constantly evolving.


  • 1/2 lbs. Bacon or Samgyeopsal (fresh pork belly), thick sliced, salted or unsalted
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. Ginger, minced
  • Handful of Garlic Cloves, smashed and whole
  • 1/2 lbs. Kimchi, preferrably old
  • 2 Tsp. Sugar
  • Salt to taste (depending if you have salted or unsalted bacon)
  • Fresh cracked Black Pepper, lots of it
  • Rice Vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 bottle of Soju (Korean traditional liquor)


  1. Brown the Bacon in a hot wok. When it is brown, move it to the side.
  2. Brown the Onions in the bacon grease.
  3. Add the Ginger, Kimchi, and Garlic. Stir fry for a while.
  4. Fill the wok with water until it’s covered the ingredients. Boil for five minutes. You will end up with a rich red broth.
  5. Add the Sugar and Black Pepper and taste. Adjust the Sugar, Vinegar and Salt until a nice balance of salty, sweet, and sour is achieved. The Kimchi should give it enough sourness, but vinegar should be at the ready just in case.
  6. Throw in 1/2 bottle of Soju to give it that extra kick. Drink the rest with due caution.
  7. Let it boil for a few more minutes. Serve it hot or boiling (if possible) with steamed rice to balance the strong flavor of the stew.


You can also substitute a can of tuna for the pork. Not only is it healthy, it’s a surprisingly good tasting alternative. Something magical happens with Chamchi (Tuna) Kimchi Jjigae. It’s sweeter and has good depth.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

My rating 4 stars: ★★★★☆ 1 review(s)

Culinary tradition: Korean

Calories: 399

Fat: 27

Protein: 8

Microformatting by hRecipe.

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