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January 27, 2011

Kimchee Stew, what goes around comes around



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Kimchi, Kimchee, I love Kimchee.
Fresh or rotten (?), hot or cold...

When I was in the college once upon a time in the far far west, one of my roommate threw away my precious bottle of Kimchee one day telling me that my cabbage was rotten. She did not apologize. Next day I threw away her cheese telling her that her milk went rotten and stinky. It was.
No questions were asked. We didn't fight but I made my point.
Life is funny sometimes.
Several years later I bumped into her at the mall. It turned out that she married to someone who loves Korean food and keeps a bottle of Kimchee in the fridge all the time!
And I married to a guy who has to nibble on cheese and crackers pretty much every night.
We laughed...
What goes around comes around.

 If you have the stinky rotten Kimchee (Kimchi) in the fridge, don't throw away. Make a pot of stew.

Important: Your Kimchee needs to be VERY, VERY FERMENTED. If you are starting with store bought jar of Kimchee let it sit on the counter for at least couple of days. You want the Kimchee to be so old that you don't want to eat as is.


You will need; Kimchee of course, pork belly or butt, tofu (I use firm), onion, garlic, kimchee juice, Korean soy sauce, rice wine, rice cake (optional), anchovy and sea kelp (optional).

 
I must be an anchovy in my previous life. I love them. If you don't care for it, forget about them. Use water instead. I won't be offended.
For the stock, boil first and let it simmer for 10 minutes, strain the stock and discard the anchovy and the sea kelp.

Season your pork with Korean soy sauce, rice wine(Mirim), and garlic. Set aside.

This is Ms. Kimchee, a lady in red. Shake her bum bum gently to remove some stuffing inside over the sink.

Slice any way you like.

Slice the onion.


In a small bowl, combine some chili with some kimchee juice and rice wine.

In a somewhat shallow pot, spread onion on the bottom and place kimchee slices on top.

Scatter the oink-oink, I mean the pork...

Place tofu slices on top and smother the chili flake sauce on anywhere you like.

Pour the reserved kimchee juice all over,

 
and the anchovy stock or water.
I forgot to take a picture but you can add some rice cake slices if you happened to have. (I always save a few slices whenever I make rice cake soup for this purpose. Helps thicken the stew)

Now, my lady in red is totally immersed. Cover and boil.

When it gets boiling like this, reduce the heat to low.

 
Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.  You want your lady to be nice and tender.

February and March are the month when Kimchee stew is eaten the most in Korea.
Why?
Because all the Kimchee which has been made during Nov/Dec to last through the winter finally comes to an end of their shelf life. 
April brings the spring cabbages. The new Kimchee will be born in a glory.
 But my old fermented Kimchee will never go out of spotlight.
She will not step down to a clearance rack.
 Let it shine!
in the name of STEW...



Kimchee Stew
(김치찌개, Kimchee Jjigae)
makes 4-6 servings

1/4 head of fermented cabbage Kimchee (about 1 lb), stuffing removed and sliced
2 1/2 cup anchovy stock or water
1/3 lb pork belly or pork butt diced
8 oz firm tofu, sliced
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 garlic, chopped
 2 tsp Korean soy sauce
2 Tbsp rice wine, divided
1/2 cup Kimchee juice
1 Tbsp Korean chili flakes
6-8 rice cake slices (optional)

Anchovy stock:
5-6 large dried anchovies
3 dried sea kelp squares
3 cup water

In a bowl toss pork slices with Korean soy sauce, 1 Tbsp rice wine, and garlic. Set aside.
In another small bowl, combine Korean chili flakes with 2 Tbsp of Kimchee juice and 1 Tbsp rice wine and set aside.
In a shallow pot, spread onion on the bottom, layer Kimchee slices, the pork, and the tofu slices on top. You can add rice cakes if you want to. Drizzle the Korean chili flake mixture over. Pour the rest of Kimchee juice and the stock (or water) over everything.  Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes, covered, until the cabbage gets soft and tender. Garnish with green onion if you wish. Serve hot with rice. 

Anchovy stock: Bring anchovies, kelp, and water to boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. If you let it rest for a few minutes the stock will have better flavor. Strain the stock and discard anchovies and kelp.




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5 Comments:

At January 28, 2011 at 5:23 AM , Anonymous tastesofhomejen said...

What a funny story! hehe I love kimchi jjigae :D and love your step by step photos as always

 
At January 28, 2011 at 5:28 AM , Anonymous J Saltsea said...

While i'm not a huge fan of kimchee, your pictures are beautiful and I -really- like your blue pot, what is the brand of it?

 
At January 28, 2011 at 5:41 AM , Anonymous Christina of Form V Artisan said...

LOVE your Staub! I have one in Grenadine. It really is true love.

 
At February 1, 2011 at 6:32 AM , Anonymous Arudhi@A box of kitchen said...

I`m falling in love with your blue pot. With kimchi stew in it :D With this kind of weather, kimchi stew is the best!

 
At April 4, 2011 at 5:11 PM , Anonymous lee shu-han said...

that looks like a beautiful stew! i made korean gamjatang before, and would love to try more korean stews! yay and i have kimchee now, althought not as good as yours I'm afraid ):
http://mummyicancook.blogspot.com/2011/01/gamjatang-korean-pork-bone-soup.html

 

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