Kimchi Jjigae – One Ingredient is the Difference Between Good and Great
If you love kimchi jjigae, then this recipe is bound to tantalize your tastebuds. However, if you are not careful you will ruin it by not using dashima correctly. This article discusses what dashima is, how to use it, and common mistakes using it. If you follow this advice your kimchi jjigae will be fresh, savory, and full of delight. The best kimchi jjigae you have ever tried.
What is Dashima Doing in Kimchi Jiigae?
Dashima is a key ingredient in kimchi jjigae and a great many other asian soups and stews. Its a Japanese invention that amps up flavor to just about anything. If you have ever had an asian soup, I am willing to bet dashima was in it and you did not even know it. The simplest way to describe it is to say that it is a fish stock. Dashima is in its basic form is kombu sea kelp and anchovies boiled in water to create a stock. There are more complex variations to creating dashima stock and different levels of dashima. However, for this kimchi jjigae recipe we will use the simple version — water, kombu, and anchovies.
How to Use Dashima in Kimchi Jjigae
To make dashima there is a simple formula to follow. Use 6 large anchovies, two pieces of dried kombu 3in (7.5cm), to one quart (1 liter) of water. Soak the anchovies and kombu in the water for 20 minutes. Then boil the ingredients for 10 minutes. Stop cooking and strain out the anchovies and kombu. Use the stock in kimchi jjigae and other asian soups.
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Gather the ingredient for making kimchi jjigae. Then read the tricks found here.
Use one package of dashima or create your own with 6 large anchovies and to strips of kombu sea kelp 3in (7.5cm) long.
Soak the dashima for 20 minutes in 1qt (1lt) water, bring water to gentle boil, and boil for ten minutes.
Cut the pork belly to 1 1/2in (3.5cm) strips.
Cut the kimchi to 1 1/2in (3.5cm) strips.
Fry the pork for about 10 minutes. You want the pork to stick to the bottom of the pot turn the bottom of the pot brown for flavor. When the pork is finished cooking strain it to get rid of excess fat, then return to the pot.
Add kimchi and fry the pork and kimchi together for about 3-5 minutes. More browning will continue to develop on the bottom of the pot, and this is ok.
Add prepared dashima water to the frying kimchi and pork. When you add the water, it will loosen up the stuck on brown stuff, and will make the stew more flavorful. Agitate the bottom of the pot with a spoon to release the browning.
Bring the jjigae to a boil and add the onion an mushrooms.
Add about 1 tbsp of gochujang.
Add about 1 tsp of sugar, and 1 tsp of kosher salt.
Finally, add tofu during the last two minutes of cooking.
Serve in a bowl.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 711Calories from Fat 576
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 64g98%
Saturated Fat 22g110%
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 29g
Total Carbohydrates 19g6%
Dietary Fiber 1g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Chef Tips: Making great Kimchi Jjigae
Be sure to use a stockpot that is made for making soups. Cooking soup or stew in a vessel that is made for soup or stew is much better than using your expensive stainless steel pots. Stain less steel pots are great for cooking pastas, but not ideal for cooking a soup or a stew.
When you cook a soup or stew you want to cook in a vessel that has an enamel surface. An enamel surface stockpot is ideal for cooking soups and stews. With an enamel stockpot your soup or stew wont leave that stain in a ring around the area at the top of the soup or stew. Or at least you will be able to clean that area without the flavor and odor sticking to the inside. This way your soups and stews won't taste or smell like the last thing you cooked. Use your stainless steel pots as they were designed, for cooking pasta and boiling water.
To make Kimchi Jjigae, start by preparing your ingredients placing them near the stove where you can work each step. Have a big and deep enough pot. Once your assembly line is ready, then follow the instructions.