kimchi jigae, vegan, korean

worth the wait đŸ™‚

Two months of immense willpower later and my kimchi has finally matured enough to make stews, fried rice and jeon! Since so much time has elapsed, I’ve forgot how labour-intensive it was to make.


So making the kimchi jigae actually felt like zero effort at all haha. That being said, it was very rewarding. I’ve made kimchi jigae in the past with shop-bought kimchi and vegetable stock, and it wasn’t worth it. This, on the other hand, I could eat until Spring comes…

I don’t want to put you off trying it if you don’t want to commit to making everything homemade. Maybe where you’re from, you can buy better kimchi than I get here in Scotland. If so, go for it! But the stock, I really would encourage you to make your own, because it’s really no trouble and it’s quite versatile too!


I’ve been using my leftover stock ingredients to add bulk to my kimchi-jigae and fried rice! Plus my leftover stock I’ve been using in my rice cooker instead of water to flavour my rice.

Normally, (and I think this might be a British thing?) I can’t bring myself to cook onion and garlic in stock without frying them first, something about it seems wrong haha. But I remember seeing kimchi jigae in Seoul being prepared without this step so I wanted to respect the traditional recipe.


I’m cooking my kimchi jigae in a cast-iron dish with enamel coating. Just pointing this out because it does look a wee bit like a stoneware or a clay dish, but if you use one of these the heat won’t conduct on the hob and it won’t work – so pick something metal to cook in!


ingredients (makes 3 hefty servings, 4 if you’ve got a side dish)


40cm3 piece of kelp (just estimate haha)

6 dried shitake mushrooms

1L water



1 brown onion

4 cloves garlic

4 spring onions

kimchi (about the size of a fist)

1 handful of enoki

1 block of tofu (I like pressed, but firm works too!)

rice cakes (optional)

2 tbsp gochujang

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsp sesame oil

sesame seeds




  1. wash the kelp and mushrooms and add them to a about 1L of boiling water
  2. turn the temperature right down and let it simmer with the lid on for at least 1hr
  3. strain the stock, but keep the kelp and mushrooms from the stew and for other things!

kimchi jigae

  1. prepare your ingredients: onions into big diced pieces, shitake mushrooms sliced, garlic minced (I like to rub the minced garlic through my mushrooms!), kimchi cut into big pieces, tofu in square slices, enoki torn into 2 bunches, kelp sliced into thing strips and spring onions cut into 5cm strips. I had some extra cucumber lying about so that went in too haha
  2. grease the bottom of wide pan with vegetable oil and arrange your ingredients on top. Separating them by colour and taking a photo is encouraged haha
  3. add the gochujang, vinegar and enough stock to create a shallow pool around the ingredients and put it on a medium heat
  4. stir it get everything coated in the sauce, but to avoid crumbling the tofu, just baste it with a spoon
  5. when its nearly finished cooking (try a bit of onion, if it’s nice and softened, it’s nearly done) add the sesame oil and sesame seeds. You could also some sliced ddeok or rice cakes for a few minutes at this point
  6. serve on the table with individual rice bowls

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