Sunday, November 14, 2010

In Which KaroritoKorea Briefly Becomes a Food Blog

Tom and I have spent waaaaay too much money on Western food here so I'm trying to make more of an effort to cook Korean. So far I've conquered bibimbap and Kimchi jjigae, and because the latter is so delicious I'm gonna show you how to make it.

Laptops and guitar strings are vital ingredients
First - get the ingredients. I used a blend of these two recipes because I didn't have the full ingredient list for either. The main ingredient is Kimchi, the fermented vegetable dish that Korea is famous for. My Nana was right, kimchi is served with EVERYTHING here. When we moved in, Tom's co-teacher gave us a big tupperware container full of cabbage kimchi, which has been sitting in the fridge, virtually untouched. Fortunately, old kimchi is perfect for kimchi jjigae. Next on the list is pork - usually you'd use pork belly but as I'm too nervous to order some from the butcher I just used a pack of bacon.

Slice the bacon and half an onion, and cook it in a deep pan over a high heat, until the bacon is cooked. Then put in about one and a half cups of thickly sliced kimchi, and a few minced cloves of garlic.

Take an awkward picture of yourself doing it, too!
Cook the kimchi, bacon, onions and garlic until your kitchen smells delicious.

This should take 2 or three minutes. Then add 2 table spoons of sugar, two teaspoons of light soy sauce, a good teaspoon of fresh ginger, two cups of water and half a cup of 'kimchi juice,' the liquid that comes off the kimchi.

Action shot!
Let this mix bubble away for 5 minutes and then give it a taste test for spiciness. Both recipes call for some gochugang - Korean red chilli paste - at this point, but the first batch I made was hot as hell so I left the chilli paste out. I did, however, add some soju - deeelicious!

You also need to put in a good chunk of cubed tofu. I think I put in about 250 grams but next time I'll add more.

Let it bubble away for about 20 minutes until the kimchi is nice and tender. And then, get into your laze-around-the-house dress, get a hangover, ask your boyfriend to take a picture of you, make a stupid face and tuck in! Nom nom nom.


  1. I'm going to try this recipe. I'll let you know how it goes. First I have to find some Kimchi in Wellington...

  2. We found some Kimchi, in a jar, actually two jars, at Oriental Trading in Lower Hutt. I'm looking forward to cooking kimchi jjigae. It will be a significant knee rehab exercise, moving on from cooking the Christmas turkey. I'll let you know how it goes.

  3. Good find! Looking forward to your reaction... I hope you like it!