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. Add the onion.
  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. 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! :-)

  2. 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~

    See full size image

    • 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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!

    See full size image

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

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

  6. Karu 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

    • EvilGrin joined 6/15
      Posted December 5th, 2015 at 12:54 pm | # |

      Try pulled pork roast or well cooked pork neck bone meat also. Add it to a bowl just before serving so it does not completely fall apart during cooking the stew. The stock from neck bones is also wonderful in kimchi jjigae.

      I use pork loin a lot for stews but its a little light on fat. The neck bone stock helps add back a little of the fat but not too much..

  7. 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!

    See full size image

  8. 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!

  9. 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?

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. cynnthea USA joined 5/16
    Posted May 19th, 2016 at 4:11 pm | # |

    The Directions mention onion in step 1 add pork and onion and I can see onion in the pictures but onion is not in the ingredient list. Thank you. Also many recipes call for garlic or garlic and ginger but I do not see these either??

  13. orsikocs London joined 4/16
    Posted April 7th, 2016 at 2:40 pm | # |


  14. sillysometimes San Francisco Bay Area joined 3/16
    Posted March 12th, 2016 at 12:01 am | # |

    My mother’s kimchi-jjigae is more delicious. But, oddly enough, both my parents really love the jjigae I made using your recipe! I made it yesterday and it’s all gone. I didn’t even get a second serving. Thank you for sharing this recipe – since I can’t make it like my mother, (I have no idea what she does) I’ll be using your recipe again and again.

    • Lucky8am8oo Vancouver BC joined 10/16
      Posted October 30th, 2016 at 8:39 am | # |

      So sad that your mother haven’t taught you her recipe and you have to use second rated recipe. Maangchi’s recipe is fantastic and it’s not odd that your parents liked it.

  15. Mary_123 Austria joined 3/16
    Posted March 8th, 2016 at 6:32 pm | # |

    I made too much stew. How long can i keep them in the fridge?
    Thank you!

  16. Nelly.Falahati Iran joined 2/16
    Posted February 20th, 2016 at 7:35 am | # |

    Dear Maangchi ! I made Kimchi stew yesterday , and I loved it ! I am gonna cook it again , this time I’m going to mix this food with my persian taste !
    I’m going to roast a tbsp of tomato paste , and add it to my kimchi stew !!

    Thanks !

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 20th, 2016 at 8:36 pm | # |

      “I’m going to roast a tbsp of tomato paste , and add it to my kimchi stew” It sounds very delicious!

  17. OklahomaKimChiLover Oklahoma, USA joined 2/14
    Posted February 8th, 2016 at 2:11 pm | # |

    I made this for lunch today… WONDERFUL! I didn’t have any dried anchovy or kelp, so I used Wakame and Dashi powder for the stock, and it turned out tasting just as good.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 11th, 2016 at 1:24 pm | # |

      Yes, when dried anchovies are not available, dashi powder can be used. Great!

      • John in Baton Rouge Baton Rouge Louisiana joined 12/16
        Posted March 11th, 2017 at 9:43 pm | # |

        I’m sure dried anchovies make it the best. I haven’t tried that. I always use dashi powder and it’s good too.

  18. Crez25 Philippines joined 2/16
    Posted February 3rd, 2016 at 9:10 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi! Am a big fan. I started to try your different recipes. Here’s my stint of Kimchi-jjigae. My family loved it :) Hope you could visit the Philippines again.

    See full size image

  19. logam11 joined 12/15
    Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 3:55 am | # |

    Maangchi, do you add four pieces of 5 inch length kelp or one piece of 4″x5″ dimensions? The writing made me think the latter, but I think I see several pieces of kelp in your video… Thanks!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 2:27 pm | # |

      One piece of 4″x5″ dried kelp.

      • logam11 joined 12/15
        Posted February 2nd, 2016 at 6:34 pm | # |

        Understood. Thank you! Let us know if you ever do an event in LA. You have many fans here ;-)

  20. ClumsySquirrel Seattle, WA joined 11/15
    Posted January 19th, 2016 at 4:48 pm | # |

    Made this for the first time today for my lunch! With steamed rice, Cheonggyeongchae doenjang-muchim, and blueberry green tea! Everything is so yummy!

    See full size image

  21. Celi joined 1/16
    Posted January 8th, 2016 at 1:08 am | # |

    Hello! I just wanted to say that I have fallen in love with your recipe the first time I took a bite out of it but I need your help.
    I am thinking of making this stew but for 10 people.
    How much should I increase each each ingredient if I want to make it for 10 people?
    Thanks ^^

  22. minjeet joined 1/16
    Posted January 4th, 2016 at 3:11 pm | # |

    I have a severe shellfish allergy. I’ve made kimchi before without shrimp but would like to try yours. Is there something I can use as a substitute or omit it completely?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted January 4th, 2016 at 5:13 pm | # |

      Add more fish sauce then.

  23. nomnom247 joined 12/15
    Posted December 21st, 2015 at 2:24 pm | # |

    First attempt – used fish stock and an extra tablespoon of gochujang. I love how quick and easy this was to make.

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 24th, 2015 at 9:23 am | # |

      It looks great You added more gochujang! : )

  24. mommalove071220 joined 12/15
    Posted December 12th, 2015 at 8:27 am | # |

    THANK YOU SO MUCH MAANGCHI! I love Korean food, but the closest korean restaurant is two hours away :-( But with your recipes I can bring Korea home. My husband and two year old daughter loves it!

    I did the Kimchi Jjigae last night and it was so good I had seconds! Only thing is next time I will try with older kimchi, for a stronger taste. And with fried tofu, yum. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.

    Merry Christmas!

    See full size image

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted December 13th, 2015 at 7:31 am | # |

      Thank you for sharing your kimchi jjigae photo! The arrangement in the pan looks like mine! Cute~ : ) I’m glad your family loved it. Your 2 year old baby will always love kimchi stew just like a Korean baby. lol

  25. Mching joined 12/15
    Posted December 8th, 2015 at 6:13 pm | # |

    Maangchi! I’m in love with your recipes:) I made your kkakdugi and my family loved it! I’m a 15 year old Chinese girl(living in the u.s.) who loves Korean food.
    I was wondering, since I don’t have gochujang, would it taste okay without it or would I need it? Thank you!

  26. janling82 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 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.

  27. cebuphilippines 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!

  28. yeyewynes Singapore 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?

  29. Lisa2321 USA 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 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!

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

    Thanx for the recipe.. I LOVE IT

    See full size image

  31. junkka South Korea 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 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!

  32. KimchiSmell lJhkwbkjk9 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 ?

  33. hansik Singapore 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?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted February 17th, 2015 at 11:22 am | # |

      Yes, you can add tuna and pork, why not?

  34. Jarmak Boston 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!

  35. Amanda San Jose, CA USA 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!

  36. dinovta Indonesia 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.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted October 1st, 2014 at 8:37 pm | # |

      Yes, you can use chicken breast, too.

  37. sunny17 Singapore 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 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.

  38. Xiin Singapore 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 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!

      • Xiin Singapore joined 6/14
        Posted June 11th, 2014 at 12:12 pm | # |

        Alright! Thank you for the guide :)

        • paulin727 United States joined 11/14
          Posted November 16th, 2014 at 3:18 pm | # |

          I’ve found if you add 1 cup of water with a tsb of gochugang it makes up for the missing kimchi juice

  39. kimchi_dad West Virginia 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!!!!

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

      “fry the tofu beforehand so that it would be chewy.” yes, it sounds great!

      • EvilGrin joined 6/15
        Posted December 5th, 2015 at 12:45 pm | # |

        I like tofu fried also for soups and stews. I use a chili oil for the frying and just lightly brown the tofu.

        Ive found that boneless country style ribs work extremely well for Jjigae and they are often cheap. They have a nice balance of fat too meat. Slicing them while partially frozen is much easier than completely thawed.

        I also stir fry my pork with some of the onion (not all) and pepper paste first.. Then add the kimchi and fry for another couple of minutes before adding the broth.This brings out a little more sweetness from the onion and changes the flavor of the pepper paste slightly..

  40. ihznim Melbourne joined 4/14
    Posted April 11th, 2014 at 4:04 am | # |

    Hi Maangchi, I’m curious if there is any particular reason we should use a shallow pot for kimchi-jjigae? Is this just tradition, or does it affect the end product?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08
      Posted June 11th, 2014 at 11:48 am | # |

      oh, good thinking! Actually there is no particular reason to use a shallow pot. You can use a deep and narrow pot, too. But I think the stew cooked and served in a shallow pot will look better on the table and easier to share.

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2 3 4 5

Leave a Reply