Kimchi jjigae is a classic, Korean spicy stew recipe with fermented kimchi, pork belly and tofu! It's a spicy, savory, hearty meal favoured in the winter time and especially in February and March, when the winter kimchi has fermented well! A lot of Koreans tend to use up their older kimchi in various cooked dishes, just in time before spring, which is when they will make a fresh batch!

This dish is rather spicy, however feel free to adjust the spiciness level to your taste, by adding more or less red pepper flakes, as desired.

Recipe by: Crystal Michael


Easy 90 m 2 serving
  • 2 cups of well-fermented Kimchi (chopped). Follow our Kimchi Recipe Here
  • 120g Pork Shoulder or Pork Belly, cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup of Kimchi Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Gochugaru (Korean hot pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Doenjang (optional) (soybean paste)
  • 2 Green Onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 medium Brown Onion, sliced
  • 2,5 cups of Anchovy Broth (ingredients listed below)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 220g of medium firm Tofu, cut into thick slices
  • 2 Shiitake Mushrooms, or any other Mushroom, sliced (optional)
  • 1 small Green Chili Pepper, sliced diagonally (optional)

For the anchovy broth:

  • 3 cups of Water (will reduce after boil)
  • 1/2 sheet of Dried Seaweed/Kombu
  • 4-5 dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 5 dried Anchovies (remove the heads and intestines)


For the pork marinade:

  • 3 cloves of Garlic (grated)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ginger (grated)
  • 1 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Mirin
  • 1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • pinch of Black Pepper


Serve with short-grain rice. Follow the recipe here


Prep 60 m Cook 30 m
  1. Cut the pork belly into bite size pieces and place in a bowl. Add the marinade ingredients listed above, stir everything together and let it marinate for at least 1 hour. 

  2. Next, we will make a simple, homemade Korean broth for our kimchi jjigae! Don't worry if you can't find the ingredients for this, you can still make a yummy broth using chicken or beef stock.

    In a big pot, add 3 cups of water, the anchovies, dried mushrooms and seaweed and bring to a boil. Afterwards, reduce to simmer and let the flavours infuse the broth for about an hour. 

  3. Until our marinade and our broth are done, we can start prepping our vegetables. Cut the green onions diagonally, slice the brown onion into strips and cut the mushrooms into bite-size pieces. If you want your kimchi jjigae to be even spicier, you can chop up some green chili pepper too! 

  4. After an hour has passed, you can remove the anchovies, mushrooms and seaweed from the pot with the broth. You will notice that the broth has become a warm earthy colour - it should smell and taste delicious! 

  5. Take a large non-stick pot and set the temperature to high. Once it's sizzling hot, add the pork belly and the white onion. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the pork is lightly browned and the onions appear soft and little bit translucent. 

  6. Next, add the kimchi to the pork belly and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

  7. Now add the broth into the non-stick pot and bring to a boil. 

  8. Add 1/2 cup of kimchi juice into the pot, as well as 1 tablespoon of gochujang and 1 tablespoon of doenjang. Stir everything together to even out the flavours. 

  9. Add the chopped mushrooms and cook until soft. Reduce the heat to medium and let it simmer for a few more minutes. 

  10. Add 1 tablespoon of Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru) and stir.

  11. We are almost done! Carefully add the thick tofu slices into the kimchi jjigae, as well as the chopped green onion and the green chili. Increase the heat to high again and bring it to a boil. Tofu can be very fragile so we will not be stirring it into the pot, just let it float at the top and take some of the liquid with a spoon and pour it over the tofu.

  12. Our kimchi jjigae is ready! Serve hot with bowl of cooked short-grain rice. Korean people pour their kimchi jjigae sauce over their rice and eat it together, but you can also eat it separately if you prefer. The rice makes this stew more of a meal and it helps to balance out the spiciness!

We chose to enjoy our meal with a glass (or two) of somaek, which is a mixture of beer and SOJU! Mmm, somaek goes great with pork belly and kimchi jjigae! :)