Kimchi Jjigae (김치 찌개)

Here’s a hint for anyone who comes over to our house and is treated to kimchi jjigae (stew): I make it when I don’t have much time to cook, but still want to make something tasty and hearty.

…I probably shouldn’t say that, but the point is this: I love making kimchi jjigae. My mother used to make it all the time and she trained us early to love Korean spices. Hence the love of kimchi and all Korean food, for that matter. And even though I’ll never cook as well as her and she often scoffs at my plebeian methods and shortcuts, I try anyway (insert the necessary and stereotypical: this is for you, ma!).

Traditionally, this is supposed to be cooked with pork belly (samgyupsal), but I rarely have that in my fridge. What I do have, however, is bacon. Bacon tastes delicious and is therefore an excellent cheaper alternative to samgyupsal. So I guess you could call this a Poor and Lazy Man’s Kimchi Jjigae.

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