"Fancy" Jjigae

By • March 15, 2017 0 Comments

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"Fancy" Jjigae


Author Notes: There's mom's weeknight jjigae of water, tofu and kimchi, and then there's Fancy Jjigae. This is a leaner hybrid of family and online recipes with a more Western approach to stewing. I often skip the pork- this stew is just as satisfying as a vegetarian main. Fancy Jjigae doubles well- just add more protein, soup base and water to cover.

Notes: The pork neck can (theoretically) be subbed for pork shoulder steaks. If the slices are greater than 1/2" thick, the initial braising time will have to be increased.

Some chunks of radish kimchi can be added to the recipe if you happen to have let some get too sour to eat.
Corby

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Serves 3 generously

Stew

  • 1/2 pound pork neck slices (see note, optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (marinade)
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (marinade)
  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat or neutral oil
  • 1 cup old, sour napa kimchi (see note)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 1/2 cup kimchi brine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 green onions, trimmed
  • 4 dried shiitake mushroom caps
  • 1/2 pound large, meaty mushrooms such as king trumpet
  • 1 packet medium or soft tofu

Soup Base and Garnishes

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (soup base)
  • 1 tablespoon gochuchang (Korean pepper paste) (soup base)
  • 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes) (soup base)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil (soup base)
  • 4 green onion tops, sliced on the bias
  • 1 pinch toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  1. IF USING PORK: Combine the pork slices with the marinade ingredients and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Submerge the shiitake caps in room-temperature water and allow to hydrate.
  2. Cut the kimchi into large bite-sized pieces. Slice the green onion bulbs from the tops and reserve the greens. Slice the shiitake caps into slices or leave whole and score with a cross, depending on your preference.
  3. Heat the fat or oil in a deep cooking vessel. Add the drained kimchi and saute until translucent, then press the garlic clove into the pot. Add the water, brine, shiitake and onions and braise, covered for 40 minutes. At this juncture you can refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to allow flavors to meld, or proceed with the recipe.
  4. If the stew was refrigerated, bring back to a simmer. Slice the tofu and mushrooms into large, bite-sized pieces. Add the mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in the soup base, then shingle the tofu slices across the top and submerge in the soup. Simmer 10 additional minutes, uncovered. Slice the green onions on the bias while the stew simmers. Serve with cooked rice, garnished with green onion tops and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, if desired.
  6. VEGETARIAN: Submerge the shiitake caps in room-temperature water and allow to hydrate. Measure out 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to add to the pot with the garlic (since you have no marinade).
  7. Slice the kimchi, tofu and mushrooms into large bite-sized pieces. Slice the green onion bulbs from the tops and reserve the greens. Slice the shiitake caps into slices or leave whole and score with a cross, depending on your preference.
  8. Heat the oil in a deep cooking vessel. Add the drained kimchi and saute until translucent, then press the garlic clove into the pot and add in order the black pepper, water, brine, onions, and mushrooms. Simmer for 20 minutes covered.
  9. Stir in the soup base, then shingle the tofu slices across the top and submerge in the soup. Simmer 10 additional minutes, uncovered. Slice the green onions on the bias while the stew simmers. Serve with cooked rice, garnished with green onion tops and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds.

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