Thursday, 16 April 2015

Getting Jigae With It


I'm not Korean but Korean food is a staple in my single-basement-suite-hold. It's easy to make, very flavorful and with a few staple ingredients you can, pretty much, make most items. One of my most often made dishes is an non-authentic, but close enough, version of Kimchi Jigae (Kimchi Stew)



If you have basic Asian ingredients you are almost set up to make Korean food but picking up some Kimchi, (fermented cabbage), DoenJang (Soybean/Miso Paste), Gochujang (red pepper paste), Gochugaru (red pepper flakes which are different from chili flakes, not shown) and as a special bonus,Ssamjang (which is basically Doenjang, Gochujang, garlic, green onions, sugar mixed together) will get you closer to being fully stocked.


I always start my Korean cooking experiments by consulting Maangchi, a Korean food blogger who has a full gamut of Korean recipes on her website. Korean food is pretty easy and most common dishes are variations on each other so by now I've memorized how to make a handful of things.

Here is Maanchi's Kimchi Jigae recipe. My version of Kimchi Jigae isn't quite authentic. I always put in some Doenjang (which I guess turns it into Doenjang Jigae but who's gonna police me on that), and I often use tofu (soft or firm, which I guess turns it into Dubu Jigae, but again..who's gonna police me) and I often add other veggies in. Very rarely will I have the foresight to have pork or beef on hand so those usually skip get skipped.


Ingredients:
Water
Kimchi
DoenJang (Soybean Miso Paste)
Tofu
Bean Sprouts
Green Onions or Onions
whatever else you feel like (sometimes I crack an egg in or cut up some fish cake)

Directions:
- Boil Water, add in some Tbs of DoenJang when water is boiled.
- Add in Kimchi and other things.
- Continue to simmer to mix flavors.
- If you are cracking in an egg, make sure the water isn't boiling too rapidly. Drop the egg in gently, the acid from the Kimchi will help the egg keeps its shape (the same technique used to poach eggs). 

Honestly, a warm bowl of Kimchi Jigae is super easy to make and a inviting comfort dish during rainy or winter days.

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