Kimchi soup (kimchi jigae)

By Martin Zibauer »Martin Zibauer

March 24th, 2010


My neighbour phoned the other day, just to tell me she had tried my suggestion to add kimchi to soup. Earlier, I posted about making kimchi, which is Korean pickled cabbage. I wish I could quote Shannon’s message verbatim, but our answering machine erased it—she did say it was fantastic. Shannon loves kimchi as a side dish with rice, but hadn’t realized it makes a great soup base. The concentrated flavours in the kimchi paste are like an instant, yet healthy, soup mix; the napa cabbage adds vegetable matter and crunch; and the tang of the lactic acid that comes from fermentation adds zip. It really is convenience food, making a soup that’s even easier than my caldo verde and no less delicious.

The basic method is so simple, it needs but a one-sentence recipe: Fry some kimchi in olive or sesame oil, add water and some tofu, seafood, chicken or other meat. That doesn’t sound like much of anything, but Shannon is right, it’s fantastic. Of course, you can also check the fridge and add other veggies, leftover rice, noodles, and garnish with green onion or fresh coriander. Here’s a video I found that pretty much follows exactly what I do:

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I’m curious—does anyone have any other ways to use kimchi?


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Martin Zibauer

Martin Zibauer

Apr. 20, 2010

4:49 pm

I haven't tried kimchi in scrambled eggs, but I have made a kimchi pancake.

Johnny V

Apr. 20, 2010

4:41 pm

I'll use kimchi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast I'll make a kimchi omelet or scrambled eggs. For lunch, I'll usually do kimchi jigae or kimchi kimbap. And for dinner I'll make kimchi bokkeumbap which is basically just kimchi fried rice.

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Martin Zibauer