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Kimchi Jjigae: Korean tofu stew

12 September 2016

Kimchi Jjigae is a healthy Korean tofu stew that is traditionally made using older kimchi with a stronger taste.

Kimchi jjigae
Kimchi jjigae

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

30 minutes




  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 250g (9oz) kimchi, roughly chopped*
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5cm (1in) ginger, minced
  • 1 Tbsp gochugaru**
  • 1 tsp gochujang***
  • 120g (4½oz) fresh shiitake mushrooms, halved
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 220g (8oz) firm tofu
  • 1 spring onion (scallion), finely sliced, to serve

*Kimchi is Korean fermented cabbage. Please note: Kimchi is traditionally made with fish sauce but vegan brands are also available. Please check ingredients or make your own if catering for vegetarians.
**Gochugaru is a Korean red pepper poweder.
***Gochujang is a spicy fermented Korean condiment.


Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan, add the kimchi, onion, garlic and ginger, and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

Stir through the gochugaru and gochujang, then add the mushrooms, 2 litres (68 fl oz/8 cups) water, sea salt and a good grind of black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

Slice the tofu into 1-cm (½-in) slices. After the mixture has cooked for 20 minutes, taste it and adjust the level of salt if needed. Place the tofu on top of it, spoon some of the sauce over it, and cook gently for a further 5 minutes. Top with the spring onion, and serve immediately.

Alphabet Cooking: K is for Korean (Quadrille, £12) Photography Kim Lightbody

Visit our Asian recipes section for more Korean, Japanese and Chinese recipe ideas


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.