Long time no talk, Kimchi Mamas!
Fall is here, my favorite time of the year! In my house, that means a return to rich, warm, comfort food that sticks to your ribs and makes you want to kiss your mama.
(And various fantasies of someone coating me in spices, searing me on all sides, and cooking me low and slow for hours until I melt.)
Ahem, now where was I? Oh yes.
Julie's Fancy, Low-and-Slow, Pork Rib Kimchi Jjigae
- 2 T oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 rack (2.5-4 pounds) pork spareribs
- 8 cups (1/2 gallon jar) kimchi, aged in the fridge for 2 weeks or longer so it’s sour/vinegary, chopped
- 2 t minced garlic
- 2 T gukganjang, "soup soy sauce" (lighter-colored and saltier than normal soy sauce, closest substitute is fish sauce, but probably 1T normal soy sauce + salt to taste might work as a substitute?)
- black pepper
- Optional, reserve for when you want someone to fall in love with you:
- 1 block tofu
- 2 stalks green onion, sliced into 2-inch chunks
- 1-2 slices of AMERICAN cheese
- handful of mushrooms
- Get a large pot that can accommodate a gallon of stuff.
- Brown spareribs and onion in the oil.
- Add enough water to barely cover, pop on lid, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop 8 c. kimchi into 2-inch pieces (or buy the already-cut kind).
- Add kimchi, along with any juice, into the pot.
- Add the garlic, soup soy sauce, and a dash of black pepper.
- All of these can also be left out since the kimchi by itself has a lot of flavor.
- Simmer everything together for about 30-45 min.
- Optional: in the last five minutes, add tofu (might water down the flavor, so taste first)/green onions/mushrooms/cheese (it will dissolve and thicken the soup).
Pro Tip: if your jjigae at this point tastes bland, that means your kimchi wasn’t stank enough. You can atone for your sins by adding salt, fish sauce, powdered dashi, even some sort of bouillon. In other words, bump up the umami.
This recipe will garner you one gallon of super-savory, umami-packed, porky goodness. And lots of friends. Maybe an extra lover or two. Enjoy, ajummas!