We had a lot of extra kimchi in the fridge due to a diet my mom is on that asks her to eat it frequently. The problem is that it’s pickled cabbage and, as such, my mom is rather reluctant to snack on it. What’s worse is that with some of the dietary restrictions during the first few weeks a lot of the food ends up tasting like… not good… even the smoothies.
So I set myself on a mission for both my mother and my taste buds to create something a little more interesting than turkey simmered in chicken broth.
What you need:
- Copious amounts of kimchi (about 3 cups)… I’ve heard it’s better if it’s a bit older
- 1 tablespoon red chili paste (not the rooster sauce, though that would be a good final topping if you need more spice)
- 4 Green onions, chopped
- Dash of sugar or sweetener
- Protein of choice, I picked tofu and shrimp
- Sautee/fry the protein in the manner you would like it. If you’re using beef, chicken, etc., you might want to sear it to add a bit more texture to the stew. If you decide to use seafood, as I did, you should take it out after it is fully cooked and keep it to the side to add back in at the last minute. With tofu especially, it is important that you sautee it correctly: heat up your pan then add oil to heat up the oil; once the oil is thoroughly heated then you add the tofu. Do not touch the tofu until you see it turning gold on the bottom, then flip it to cook evenly and create a nice crispy texture to its exterior.
- After this is done, in a broad pan with high- ish sides, add in your kimchi, 3/4 of your green onions, red chili paste, sugar/sweetener, and add water until it is just below where you filled your kimchi up to.
- Bring to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for about 20 minutes. You can simmer it longer if you’d like to, but you may have to add in more water.
- Make yourself some brown rice, vegetables, or whatever else you’d like to put your kimchi jjigae over. I used bean threads.
- Top it all with the last 1/4 of green onions.
- *Highly recommended*: fry up an egg to top all of this with!
And you get a simple, exciting, and possibly diet- friendly meal!