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Recipe Tue Feb 07 2012

Winter Soup: Now With More Kimchi

Soup And Bread 2012

I have found the perfect hearty, cold-weather, "I think I might be coming down with something" soup. It is delightfully easy and fast and cheap, as well. And the ingredients may not be easy to get everywhere, but you'll find that once you make it once, you'll crave it again and again.

This deliciously spicy soup is made with kimchi and this exotic soup is named Kimchi Soup. If you go to a Korean restaurant you're likely to find it under a few different names. Kimchi Chigea, or Chi-gea, or Jigae, or Chigae, or any derivation that sounds similar when said aloud (pronounce it "chee-gay").

The most important ingredient in this soup is the kimchi, which mostly comes in very large jars. But if you head to a Korean market you may be able to get some house-made kimchi in smaller amounts or even a variety of different kimchi in a variety of sizes.

This soup is easy to make for large or small groups. I'm providing the proportions for making this soup for just one, but all you have to do is multiply each quantity by the number of people you want to serve.

If you're serving this dish as the only aspect of a meal, you may also want to make some rice with red beans stirred into it and pour the soup over this.

Kimchi Soup
1 cup of kimchi
1 tablespoon sesame oil (vegetable oil would also work)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 ounces of pork, sliced very thin (you could also use chicken breast or beef)
1/2 cup of kimchi juice
4 ounces of tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
1 scallion, chopped

Place your skillet over medium heat. Once it has come to temperature, add the oil and lay the pieces of pork in the oil. Let them cook for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the pork to a pot.

Chop the kimchi into bite-sized pieces. Stir the kimchi and garlic into the skillet and stir to prevent the garlic from burning and to remove any stuck-on bits from the bottom of the skillet. Cook this for 2-3 minutes, or until it gets very fragrant. Stir this into the pot.

Add the kimchi juice and 1 cup of water to the pot and bring it to a boil. Stir in the scallion and the tofu and cook until it boils again. Serve while hot.

 
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kristen / February 9, 2012 1:03 PM

I had this soup at Soup & Bread last night, and it was my favorite by far. Thanks for sharing the recipe. Can't wait to try it at home!

MJ / February 16, 2012 1:14 AM

Kimchi Jjigeh is a really flexible soup to make.

You can make it with fish, and add in vegetables like straw mushrooms or squash.

Dressed down version from poor college days included either a can of spam as the protein or a can of tuna fish. Still tasty and thoroughly satisfying!

The primary tip to really excellent kimchi jjigeh though, is that the kimchi be really sour -- which means limp and ... well old... The cabbage should have lost its snap and be limp. This really adds more depth to the soup when you're making it.

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