Last night we had my brother and his beautiful soon-to-be wife over for dinner. If you know me, you know I am pretty much always thinking about food. I am either thinking about what I am going to eat for my next meal or what I will make for dinner, or what I can make to challenge myself in the kitchen. If you know me, you will also know I was adopted from Seoul, Korea as a baby and came to the States. This being said, while growing up in Napa, my house never had the smell of kimchi wafting in the air. It wasn’t until I was older that I started to discover a passion for learning to cook different cuisines, including Korean food.
I go through these spells of wanting only Thai food, or only sandwiches, or, like now, I am all about the Korean food. Luckily, being in the Bay Area I am close to Korean markets that can instantly transport me to feeling like I am in another country. I love markets and exploring them, but that’s another blog, ha ha. Okay, back to business! Last night I made a spicy soft tofu stew with kimchi and pork belly, also known as sundubu kimchi jjigae.
I tried this recipe during the week, and forgot a few steps but it still turned out well. I just made lots of mental notes not to forget when I was making for my guests.
What you will need: (recipe is for one serving, so just double, etc)
1 packet of soft tofu (or silken tofu)
1 cup of kimchi
3 oz pork belly (or any cut of pork)
1 clove of garlic
2 T of diced onion
1 tsp of oil
1/2 c anchovy stock** (or water or chicken stock)
1 T gochujang (korean hot pepper paste)
Green onions for garnish, chopped
1 earthen stone pot (or small heavy pot)
What you will do:
- Prep your ingredients; mince garlic, and onion. Measure out your kimchi and cut into smaller pieces, if needed.
- Over high heat, heat your earthen stone pot, add the oil to heat. Once the pot is hot, add the garlic and the onion, stir to cook (about 2 minutes). Then add the pork belly and stir until cooked (about 3 minutes).
- Add the kimchi and gochujang, stirring to combine.
- Add your stock, put lid on, and let boil for about 7-9 minutes (it will be HOT and BUBBLY).
- Add the tofu and carefully break apart and just let it come back to the boil. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately. Serve with rice and your favorite side dishes (banchan).
The soft tofu adds a silky texture to the stew.
The red from the kimchi against the pure white tofu is gorgeous! These pots keep the stew VERY hot so be careful! You can buy them at any Korean market. They come in a variety of sizes, with and without lids. The size I got w/lid was under $7 and a great investment. They are my new favorite kitchen item and cannot wait to cook other things in them. I definitely feel more blog posts coming featuring my new toys.
Cheers and happy eating!
**Anchovy stock recipe:
8-10 dried anchovies, heads and guts removed
4 oz korean radish
5×5 piece of dried kelp
1 green onion
1/4 small yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
5 cups water
- Basically, throw everything in a pot, boil for 10 minutes on high and then turn down heat to medium/low and boil another 20 minutes. Strain stock and enjoy!