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
  • 3 green onions
  • 1 medium onion, sliced (1 cup)
  • 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)



  1. Vimal Muscat, Oman. joined 10/17
    Posted October 12th, 2017 at 12:56 pm | # |

    I made this with chicken stock cube and chicken breast pieces. I didnt have sesame oil and tofu, so instead i added some butter in before adding kimchi and some mushroom as well :) It came out great. My first time cooking with gochujang! even though my local korean food store drained my money, i must say that it is SO WORTH IT!❤

    • Vimal Muscat, Oman. joined 10/17
      Posted October 12th, 2017 at 1:03 pm | # |

      mine was a little watery but i liked it because it was fullllllll of flavour. gochujang is soo awesomee!! little of gonchujang changed everything! :) i am very amateur cook. thanks for letting me cook tasty food easily Maangchi❤❤

      See full size image

  2. Abigailll New jersey joined 9/17
    Posted September 4th, 2017 at 7:49 pm | # |

    I love this recipe ❤️

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 14th, 2017 at 8:36 am | # |

      That kimchi-jjigae looks amazing!

  3. rhostam joined 6/15
    Posted July 20th, 2017 at 5:55 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi and fans,

    I have tried making kimchi jjigae a few times. But, I think I used the old recipe. This time I followed this recipe and it was delicious. I made several of your other banchan, too.

    You are the best ambassador to South Korea.

    Thanks for your hard work.

    See full size image

  4. Khmermom Columbus, Ohio joined 5/17
    Posted May 31st, 2017 at 5:14 pm | # |

    I made this kimchi jjigea last November for the first time. It was so delicious. This past week I made it with homemade kimchi and it was even better. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipes.

    See full size image

  5. Purry82 Malaysia joined 4/17
    Posted April 24th, 2017 at 8:11 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, i tried your kimchi recipe and used the one that i fermented for 3 months in my fridge to make this kimchi jigae recipe of yours.It was soooo tasty. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. duday76 USA joined 12/16
    Posted March 22nd, 2017 at 7:30 pm | # |

    this is what’s left of my kimchi stew! My family totally loved it!

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  7. Pim Portland, OR joined 3/17
    Posted March 11th, 2017 at 7:16 pm | # |

    I made this just over an hour ago and loved it so much! I used store bought kimchi and didn’t have enough brine, so I put one more tablespoon of gochujang. This was my first try and it turned out really good! Thank you so much for this awesome recipe!

    See full size image

  8. Princess kila Missouri, United States joined 2/17
    Posted March 8th, 2017 at 10:26 pm | # |

    This is the best thing I have ever ate. Me and my husband are eating the whole thing. So delicious. I added a little radish kimchi to it. Best meal all week. Hugs and loves.

    See full size image

    • Princess kila Missouri, United States joined 2/17
      Posted March 8th, 2017 at 10:39 pm | # |

      Ok was too filling to eat it all, but we are so happy with this. I am thinking to serve it at my cafe one day

  9. Ash_Sengar New Delhi, India joined 2/17
    Posted February 27th, 2017 at 1:03 pm | # |

    Thank you so much for this recipe; I followed it to the letter, except for leaving out the onion, and using chicken instead of beef. My first attempt at 김치찌개 turned out to look just like the last picture in your recipe/guide! 자세하고 따라하기 쉽게 김치찌개 만드는 밥법이 알려주셔서 진심으로 감사드립니다! 덕분에 아주 이쁘게 잘 나왔습니당~

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted March 1st, 2017 at 9:52 am | # |

      The kimchi was cooked well and the broth looks so tasty! Congratulations!

  10. Muffin21 Dubai joined 6/11
    Posted January 5th, 2017 at 1:20 am | # |

    Making this dish now, looking forward to eating it! However, there is no onion listed in the ingredients? Did you missed it? I will put in one sliced brown onion. Thanks for all your recipes! Absolutely love them, they are spot on!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 5th, 2017 at 1:40 am | # |

      Thank you for letting me know about it. I just fixed it. Good luck with making delicious kimchi jjigae!

  11. Korean Child NYC joined 12/16
    Posted December 29th, 2016 at 12:51 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I love this recipe, but I was wondering – what is the type or name of the pot that you used in this video to cook the stew?

  12. imzeff Indonesia joined 10/16
    Posted November 17th, 2016 at 7:05 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, i wonder if chicken can substitute the pork meat…
    And chicken stock rather than anchovy stock, or do you have any recommendation for better taste? Thank you ^^

    • sanne Munich joined 8/14
      Posted November 23rd, 2016 at 2:31 pm | # |

      No problem – guess what I’m eating right now… ;-)
      My put-paechu-kimchi is so hot, I even left out gochujang and -garu.
      And I only used water.
      A little freshly ground black pepper when adding the tofu adds a nice touch!

  13. bartninja Brazil joined 7/16
    Posted September 16th, 2016 at 4:49 pm | # |

    Hi Maangchi! I understand that eating raw kimchi is healthy but what about cooked kimchi such this kimchi stew, is there any good bacteria left after high heat cooking?
    Thank you very much in advance for this important information! God bless you!

    • John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16
      Posted March 11th, 2017 at 9:41 pm | # |

      No. The beneficial bacteria is destroyed. An alternative would be to stir the chopped kimchi in last after the other stew ingredients are cooked. If you want the bacteria, don’t boil it.

      • fatstrat U.S. joined 3/17
        Posted April 7th, 2017 at 11:10 am | # |

        Mixing the kimchi into the hot stew after cooking may still kill a lot of the beneficial bacteria, plus the flavor would be different. I’d make the stew, then just have MORE kimchi on the side with the rice! :-)

  14. AhuririMicko Southland NZ joined 8/16
    Posted August 30th, 2016 at 7:05 am | # |

    My second go at making this, my first after watching your video. first time was bland, but this one is super good!

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    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted September 2nd, 2016 at 8:39 am | # |

      wow, Your kimchi stew looks like mine! : ) Congratulations!

  15. yunxiu seattle joined 8/16
    Posted August 14th, 2016 at 10:42 pm | # |

    Reduced hot pepper because I can’t eat very spicy food, but it still tasted good! And added some mushrooms and glass noodles. All ingredients turned out delicious! I especially like the anchovies stock, I think I can use the same stock to make noodles soup :)

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted August 16th, 2016 at 12:08 pm | # |

      Your kimchi stew looks nutritious and delicious!

    • John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16
      Posted March 13th, 2017 at 8:07 pm | # |

      I love the idea of adding mushrooms :) I omitted the hot pepper flakes and just used gochujang. The kimchi I used is pretty spicy already. I bet the mushrooms really were delicious in this… I’ll try that soon!

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