Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew)
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 pound pork belly, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 cups coarsely chopped kimchi with a bit of its liquid (use the most pungent, sour kimchi available for best flavor)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce or dashida
- 1 slice American cheese (optional)
- 5 scallions, thinly sliced
- About 1/4 cup thinly sliced gim (see Note), for garnish
Heat the sesame oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pork belly, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring now and then, until rendered, browned, and crispy, about 10 minutes.
Add the onion and kimchi and stir to combine. Add enough water to nearly cover the pork mixture (5 or 6 cups), cover, and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer until the onion and kimchi are softened and the soup is quite thick, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the fish sauce (or dashida), American cheese (if using), and scallions. If it's too thick for your liking, thin the stew with water. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Serve steaming hot sprinkled with gim.
Photograph by Andre Baranowski.
Reprinted from: The Kimchi Chronicles (c) 2011 by Marja Vongerichten. Permission granted by Rodale, Inc. Available wherever books are sold.