김치찌개

November 29, 2010

I’m sorry for the extended silence – blame it on work and the fatigue just swollow me whole whenever I get home. All I ever do when I’m at home nowadays is sleep. I’m getting seriously boring.

Anyway, I had my rare offday on last Wednesday, and I had a sudden craving for 김치찌개 (I love soups and stews). So I decided to make 김치찌개 with whatever stuff I have in my fridge.

Ingredients

I recommend firm pressed tofu instead of the silken tofu I had used (it’s the only one available in the fridge) so that it won’t break apart. Also, instead of the (already-cooked) minced meat, you should use raw pork. The taste will be better I promise! The 고추가루 (gochugaru/ Korean chili powder) and 고추장 (gochujang/ hot chili paste) can be bought from the korean minimarts in Singapore.

Gosh. I almost forgot. What’s Kimchi JJigae without this?

김치
Kimchi of course!

Most of my friends were very surprised when they heard this: my mum knows how to make Kimchi and she does it every now and then, when we can find cabbage from Australia (instead of the China ones we usually find in the supermarkets). Just a little extra information, the reason why we preferred Australian cabbages is because they will retain the “crunchiness” after the whole fermentation process whereas the Chinese cabbages tend to be more chewy. 손맛 있으니까 엄마는 만든 김치가 정말 최고이다! The one I used this time was bought.

Did I ever say how much I love Korean food? It’s an acquired taste, because I couldn’t stand 김치 when I first tried it. I haven’t looked back since. To prove my point, I bought this (a few months ago, but haven’t got the chance to use it until now):

돌섯

I believe it’s called a 돌섯 (Dolsot/ stone pot) and I think it’s beautiful!

Instructions

1) I started with heating up the pot on my stove (picture #1).
2) Then I dumped in some garlic, the onions, gochujang, gochugaru and the minced meat (raw meat, if you are using that) and stir-fry for a little while (picture #2) over low heat. If you’re using raw meat, fry until the meat is half cooked.
3) Add enough water to over the ingredients (picture #3). Let it boil (still over low heat), and allow the meat and gochujang to flavour the water (to become soup).
4) After about 5-8 minutes, the meat should be cooked and the soup flavored. Throw in the (pressed) tofu, shiitake and enoki mushrooms. Add more water until all the ingredients are covered. Continue to simmer over low heat for the next 10 minutes (picture #4). Meanwhile, you can enjoy the bubbling sound made from the simmering. It’s really music to a foodie’s ear!
5) Finally, cut some spring onions into long chunks and place it on top of the stew. Your kimchi jjigae is done and ready to serve!

Done!
Tada!

All you have to do now, is to scoop a huge bowl of rice, sit comfortably at the table, and DIG IN!

P.S: I’m not a professional cook, so forgive me if you try and it turn out.. Well… It’s enough for me to satisfy my craving at least.
P.P.S: I think I had more ingredients than soup, but that’s the best part of home-cooked food, don’t you think so?
P.P.P.S: Sorry for the blurry photos, it was taken with my iPhone.

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