If there’s a Korean dish I will never get sick of eating, it is this spicy, savory kimchi stew, called kimchi jjigae 김치찌개. What I love about this stew is the big chunks of pork belly that create an excellent balance with kimchi. Delicious pork fat is infused into the spicy broth, and kimchi absorbs all the rich flavors from simmering with meat for a while. Since it’s kimchi stew, it’s less brothy and slightly thick, and the flavors are more concentrated than a typical soup. So, it’s ideal to enjoy this with rice and mix some stew fillings with rice to create a perfect bite.

What sets my kimchi jjigae apart is the usage of uncommon Korean ingredients in a classic Korean dish, such as canned anchovy filets and apple cider vinegar. Canned anchovy filets mimic the flavors of homemade anchovy broth as they get cooked with everything. A bit of apple cider vinegar mixed with kimchi deepens the kimchi’s flavor like magic, as if you are cooking with 5-year-old kimchi! Since it’s such a traditional dish, everyone has a different recipe, but THIS is my perfect kimchi jjigae with pork belly.

James Park, @jamesyworld


Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 ounces flat filet anchovies in olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 scallions, cut into thirds, plus for garnish
  • 2 pounds pork belly, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2½ pounds kimchi, cut into bite sizes
  • 2 tablespoons gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 pack firm tofu, sliced into planks
  • White rice, for serving
Cookware Used
The Dutchess
6.75-Quart Cast-Iron Dutch Oven
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The Great Tool Family
5-Piece Silicone Utensil Set
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Beyond Measure Duo
Glass Measuring Cup Set
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1. Add the olive oil from the canned anchovies to a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Reserve anchovy fillets for later.

2. Over medium heat, add the chopped garlic and scallions. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Bring the heat to medium-high. Add the cut-up pork belly to the pot and continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink and slightly browning, for 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Add kimchi, reserved anchovy fillets, gochugaru, and apple cider vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes until the kimchi starts to look tender.

5. Add onion to the mixture and water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for at least 40 minutes, or longer, or until the pork belly gets super tender and kimchi has absorbed all the flavors.

6. Season it with fish sauce. Then, add cut-up tofu and simmer for 5 more minutes. Add kosher salt if it needs more seasoning.

7. Garnish with scallions, and serve with rice.