Kimchi stew

Kimchi-jjigae 김치찌개

Kimchi stew is one of the most-loved of all the stews in Korean cuisine. It’s a warm, hearty, spicy, savory, delicious dish that pretty much everyone loves. As long as they can handle spicy food, I never met a person who didn’t like kimchi-jjigae.

I learned this recipe from a restaurant famous for kimchi-jjigae in Korea. The restaurant was always full of people eating and sweating over kimchi stew.  There was only one item on the menu, so everyone was there for the same thing: a steaming pot of spicy kimchi-jjigae, a few side dishes, and a bowl of warm rice. Customers would call out: “Please give me another bowl of rice!”

What really made an impression on me at the time was the fact that they brought the stew out to the table uncooked, and then fired up a burner and cooked it at the table. This way we could sit and talk and watch it cook. I could get a good look at the ingredients: kimchi, onion, green onion, thinly sliced pork on top, and seasonings. There was some white granules (salt, sugar, and probably MSG) and also they used water at the broth base.

From this I developed my own recipe to make at home, which was very delicious.

My kimchi-jjigae recipe served me well for years and years and I even made a video of it in 2007. But since then I developed this version, which is even more delicious. The secret is in the umami-rich anchovy stock.

I hope you make it and enjoy it for years and years to come!

The difference between kimchi soup and kimchi stew

Kimchi stew is thicker than kimchi soup. Kimchi soup is less salty than kimchi stew.

Also, soup is always served in individual bowls, with rice. Traditionally in Korean cuisine stews were served in a big pot on the table, and the family would eat communally from the pot. These days, some people (including me) get a little freaked out by double-dipping, so for stews I put individual bowls on the table, and a large spoon so that diners can take what they like from the pot and put it in their bowls.


(serves 2 with side dishes, serves 4 without)

  • 1 pound kimchi, cut into bite size pieces
  • ¼ cup kimchi brine
  • ½ pound pork shoulder (or pork belly)
  • ½ package of tofu (optional), sliced into ½ inch thick bite size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang (hot pepper paste)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 cups of anchovy stock (or chicken or beef broth)

For stock (makes about 2½ cups’ worth):


Make anchovy stock:

  1. Put the anchovies, daikon, green onion roots, and dried kelp in a sauce pan.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  2. Add the water and boil for 20 minutes over medium high heat.
  3. Lower the heat to low for another 5 minutes.
  4. Strain.멸치국물 (anchovy stock)

Make kimchi stew:

  1. Place the kimchi and kimchi brine in a shallow pot. Add pork and onionKimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  2. Slice 2 green onions diagonally and add them to the pot.
  3. Add salt, sugar, hot pepper flakes, and hot pepper paste. Drizzle sesame oil over top and add the anchovy stock
    Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  4. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium high heat.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  5. Open and mix in the seasonings with a spoon. Lay the tofu over top.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)
  6. Cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes over medium heat.
  7. Chop 1 green onion and put it on the top of the stew. Remove from the heat and serve right away with rice.Kimchi stew (kimchijjigae: 김치찌개)


Other delicious stuff on maangchi.com:


  1. Karu My profile page joined 11/15
    Posted November 20th, 2015 at 1:34 pm | # |

    Maangchi~ Thank you so much for the updated version of your recipe!
    I made it last week and my house smelled soooo good!
    Instead of the pork belly or shoulder, I used some leftover tenderloin and cut it against the grain, it tasted like beef!

    See full size image

  2. janling82 My profile page joined 11/15
    Posted November 11th, 2015 at 11:02 am | # |

    How many servings/ppl will be eating based on yr kimchi stew recipe?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted November 11th, 2015 at 7:54 pm | # |

      If you only eat kimchi-jjigae then it will serve 2. But if you have other side dishes it will serve 4.

  3. cebuphilippines My profile page joined 10/15
    Posted October 15th, 2015 at 4:06 am | # |

    I’m going to cook this weekend , for sure my family will enjoy this yummy Kimchi!

  4. yeyewynes Singapore My profile page joined 3/14
    Posted August 23rd, 2015 at 6:17 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, i love this! However, wondering what’s the difference between this kimchi stew and kimchi soup?

  5. Lisa2321 USA My profile page joined 5/13
    Posted June 30th, 2015 at 8:28 am | # |

    Maangchi, this was delicious! I made it with two cans of tuna. I’ve been following your recipes for about 3 years now I think but I have never posted a reply. Thanks to you, I can cook delicious Korean food. I will be purchasing your new book, too! Thank you for everything!

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 30th, 2015 at 10:28 am | # |

      Kimchi stew with canned tuna sounds great! Actually it’s one of my cookbook recipes. Cheers!

  6. bunraf My profile page joined 6/15
    Posted June 9th, 2015 at 1:22 am | # |

    Thanx for the recipe.. I LOVE IT

    See full size image

  7. junkka South Korea My profile page joined 3/15
    Posted March 16th, 2015 at 5:52 am | # |

    I have a tip for those of you who want to preserve the leftovers.
    Cool them in the refrigerator and just put them in plastic bags and throw into a freezer. You can keep it almost indefinitely. When you want to cook it just throw into a pot with boiling water and it will taste as good as new.
    I used to this during my college days. I would go home from time to time to get frozen kimchijjgae and keep them in my freezer.

    • beckaivans My profile page joined 10/15
      Posted November 17th, 2015 at 9:56 am | # |

      I did this in college too! We didn’t have a kitchen my first year, so I used a little electric tea kettle. It works for any kind of soup or stew. Lots of memories!

  8. KimchiSmell lJhkwbkjk9 My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted February 19th, 2015 at 1:02 am | # |

    I have some laver can I add that in there ?
    Also I’ve seen ramyun being added can that be added ? Or is that just ones personal preference ?

  9. hansik Singapore My profile page joined 2/15
    Posted February 17th, 2015 at 8:44 am | # |

    Thank you Maangchi for the recipe, I tried it and it was really delicious. I would like to know if I can add both tuna and pork – will it make it even better?

  10. Jarmak Boston My profile page joined 1/15
    Posted January 28th, 2015 at 7:13 pm | # |

    Made this with some leftover corned beef instead of pork belly as a quick meal, it was so good it made me want to cure another brisket just to make stew with!

  11. Amanda San Jose, CA USA My profile page joined 11/13
    Posted October 28th, 2014 at 8:54 pm | # |

    I added enoki enoki mushroom and king oyster mushroom. They added extra flavor to the stew. Taste so good!!! Thank you for the recipe!

  12. dinovta Indonesia My profile page joined 10/14
    Posted September 30th, 2014 at 8:53 pm | # |

    Dear Maangchi,
    Thanks for your recipes. I’ve made kimchi napa cabbage 3 days ago. I want to try kimchi stew for lunch, can i use chicken breast? Thankyou.

  13. sunny17 Singapore My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 14th, 2014 at 2:32 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, how much is 4-5 cups in gram? Haha because we use gram/kilo here ^^ Thank you.

    • weiweilau Singapore My profile page joined 8/11
      Posted July 13th, 2014 at 4:27 am | # |

      Hi Maangchi,

      Is it possible to tweak the kimchi jigae recipe a little to make Korean army stew instead? I love Korean army stew and can’t stop eating this whenever I visit Korean restaurant. I love the part where instant noodles are cooked in the stew.

  14. Xiin Singapore My profile page joined 6/14
    Posted June 11th, 2014 at 10:57 am | # |

    Hello Maangchi :)
    It is possible to use kimchi bought from supermarket right? But everytime i see the packing, it does not have enough kimchi juice, so what do i do?

    • Maangchi New York City My profile page joined 8/08
      Posted June 11th, 2014 at 11:32 am | # |

      of course you can use store bought kimchi! You may have to use more kimchi if it doesn’t contain much juice. Good luck with making super tasty kimchi jjigae!

  15. kimchi_dad West Virginia My profile page joined 5/14
    Posted May 17th, 2014 at 1:59 pm | # |

    I made this with my daughter today!!!! The only thing we did differently was to fry the tofu beforehand so that it would be chewy. It was absolutely delicious!!!! We watch you everyday and have probably seen all of your videos 50 times over on YouTube!!!! Thanks so much, Maangchi!!!!

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 5 6 7

Leave a Reply