Kimchi Jjigae (Stew) with pork belly

Kimchi Jjigae (Stew) with Pork Belly

Kimchi and pork go really well together in this easy classic Korean stew.
Course Stew
Cuisine Korean
Keyword classic, gluten free, korean spicy chicken, simple
KoreanCategory Jjigae (찌게)
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2
Calories 695kcal
Author JinJoo Lee


  • 7 oz chopped sour kimchi or aged kimchi (3-4 cups)
  • 8 oz pork belly or shoulder (should have some fat)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped or crushed)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 packet anchovy stock (or 5 large anchovies for stock)
  • 1 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3 cups water


  • 1 Tbs mirin (rice wine)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 onion (sliced)
  • 1/4 tsp guk ganjang (Korean soup soy sauce)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • If you have a whole cabbage kimchi, cut into smaller pieces.
  • Cut pork against the grain into bite size pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pot and saute the pork on medium high heat until slightly cooked.
  • Add the kimchi and sauté for another 7 – 8 min.
  • Add water, rice wine, chopped garlic, garlic powder and the dried anchovies (or anchovy stock packet). Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 30 min. Halfway through the simmer (15 min), taste the soup. If you think it could use some additional seasoning, add the red chili powder and gook kanjang. You can also add some the of the kimchi juice if you feel it is tasting a bit bland.


  • You need kimchi that is overly ripe and sour. You really cannot make good kimchi jjigae if the kimchi is not sour enough. You can also use aged kimchi (kimchi that has been fermenting for many months). This will produce a very sour jjigae that some people just love. 
  • If your kimchi is too sour, try adding a tsp or two of sugar. If your kimchi is not sour enough and you are really desperate for some good kimchi jjigae, try adding some vinegar or sauerkraut in addition to your kimchi.
  • What to do if Jjigae is too salty or too spicy!! Don't worry, just take out about 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup and fill it back up with water. And adjust seasoning.
  • Serve with rice and some meat or fish. Since kimchi jjigae is quite salty and spicy, it goes really well with heavier dishes such as grilled meats (kalbi, bulgogi, pork belly). Try Kimchi Jjigae cold (room temp) with some hot rice – the contrast in temperature somehow makes it really taste good.


Calories: 695kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 69g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 159mg | Potassium: 249mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 0.6mg