Kimchi Casserole (“Chigae”)

Growing up in a Korean household, I ate dinner every night with chopsticks and rice and all sorts of delicious casseroles.  Upon graduating college and going out into the real world, I always craved eating Korean food but never really stocked up my pantry to make it until more recently.

kimchi chigae

Thankfully, I was just visiting home and my dad whipped up a classic Korean casserole that really gets the sinuses going since it’s so spicy.  The beauty of living in New York or near a computer is that you can in fact get most of the ingredients for this because it is really just kimchi boiled into a soup, and so I’ve added some links here to help with that too.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chopped kimchi 
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 4-6 oz pork tenderloin, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 container of Soft Tofu
  • 1 tbsp sesame seed oil (can also find this in grocery stores in the “Asian” section)
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1 cup chopped button mushrooms (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat up a medium sized pot over high heat.  Add the sesame seed oil and cook the pork in the oil.  Once the pork has changed color, add the Kimchi and continue to stir and sauté until the pork is cooked, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add about 3 cups of water or just enough to cover the kimchi and pork in the pot.  Bring to a boil over high heat, and then add the tofu.
  3. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, and then bring the soup down to a simmer.  Add the sugar and soy sauce and optional button mushrooms.  Cover the pot, and let the soup cook for about 15 minutes.  (My dad says at this point to open all your windows so that that smell doesn’t stink up your whole house.)
  4. Serve immediately with lots of rice.
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