Baek Kimchi Jjigae (White Kimchi Stew)
This burbling kimchi jjigae is an everyday comfort, with its deep savoriness and gingery bite. In this variation using baek kimchi (white kimchi), the same warmth of other jjigaes is evoked even without red chiles, and lets you taste the cabbage more fully, especially once it’s cooked down to a tenderness that’s almost spoonable. A hunk of braised pork is always a good idea, especially when braised in the salty, savory and gingery aromas of fermented napa cabbage kimchi. In this stew, the kimchi does most of the heavy lifting, but depending on how flavorful your batch is, you can season to taste at the end with additional fish sauce. Don’t skip the white rice; it’s the soft, familiar foil against the zingy stew.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound boneless pork shoulder
- 1(3-inch) piece fresh ginger, scrubbed and thickly sliced lengthwise
- 2packed cups coarsely chopped ripe white kimchi (about 1 pound), plus any accumulated juices
- 1medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 4garlic cloves, crushed and coarsely chopped
- Fish sauce, to taste (optional)
- 2scallions, thinly sliced at an angle
- Cooked white rice, for serving
Step 1In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine the pork, ginger and 3 cups of cold water. Season with salt. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the pork is tender and almost falling apart, about 2 hours. You should have about 2 cups of pork broth in the pot; add more water if you don’t.
Step 2Stir in the kimchi, onion and garlic and continue simmering until the kimchi is very tender and the pork is absolutely falling apart, about 1 more hour. Taste the broth for seasoning, adding fish sauce as desired; otherwise season with more salt.
Step 3Right before serving, garnish the top of the stew with the scallions, break the meat up and serve with the rice.