Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개

October 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

There are a million different ways to make Kimchi Jjigae 김치찌개, and I think I’ve tried about 999,999 of them. 🙂 THIS, however, is the most foolproof, most simple, most delicious kimchi jigae ever, and I really hope you try it since it’s the easiest thing to make.


1. You can use either pork or beef, but pork definitely imparts a more velvety-flavor that goes hand in hand with kimchi. Mmm….

2. Pork belly is also great for this, but perhaps a little more fatty (is this a bad thing?)

3. If you are using the last of your kimchi, don’t just throw away the jar! Pour some water in there and pour the little juices/spices into the stew. The more flavor, the better.

4. Must eat with rice.

5. Feel free to add tofu or vermicelli noodles!

Kimchi Jigae Recipe – Kimchi Stew


  • 2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb pork belly, loin, or rib, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 4 cups ripe kimchi
  • 3 1/2 cups water (use around 2-3 tbsp kimchi juice from container)


  1. Heat oil in heavy-pot on medium-high.  Add sliced pork, salt, and pepper and saute until nice and golden, 3~4 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of ripe kimchi to the pot and stir-fry with the pork around 5 minutes.
  3. Add 3 1/2~4 cups of water (or until kimchi and pork are JUST covered) and simmer on medium heat, covered, for 40-45 minutes.
  4. ENJOY!!

Crispy Stuffed Tofu with Black Bean Sauce

April 21, 2011 § 3 Comments

There’s never a good time to be allergic to shrimp.

But this was particularly one of those times that I willed myself to suck up my wimpy shrimp allergy and enjoy the amazingness of crispy stuffed tofu that my friend Serena introduced to me. THANKS SERENA!

As the first official guest-visit-post, I was delighted when Serena invited me to come over for some deliciousness that I had only heard about, but had never tasted. These pictures were taken on my phone, so they’re not the greatest quality and doesn’t accurately capture how good these were, but it shows the process of how she made these pretty well!

Crispy Stuffed Tofu Recipe
Adapted from QlinArt
Preparation time: 20 minutes, Cooking: 30 minutes
6 – 8 medium sized cubes of firm tofu (about 2 1/2 inches wide on each side)
12 medium sized raw shrimps (shells and tails removed and deveined), coarsely chopped
1/4 cup ground/minced chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp fermented black bean paste (found in most Asian supermarkets – I use the one from Lee Kum Kee)
1 tbsp garlic oil (browned garlic soaked in oil)
1/4 cup cornstarch and water mix (2 tsp cornstarch diluted in 1/4 cup water)
1/4 tsp hot chili paste
2 cups of vegetable oil to fry
1 tbsp chopped scallions to garnish
To remove water from tofu, place a cutting board on top of the tofu cubes/triangles for about 15 minutes. Weight will squeeze water out. And then pat dry with paper towel. Do this in a sink because a lot of water will come out.

Scoop out about 3 scoops of tofu with spoon from each cube.

Shrimp stuffing:
Mix shrimp, white pepper, salt and sugar well. Mix the shrimp with the ground chicken and cornstarch in a bowl, with your hands, until all well blended.

Stuff the tofu with the shrimp mixture and coat each cube/triangle lightly with cornstarch.

Heat oil in medium sized saucepan on high heat. When the oil is hot, add in 2 cubes/triangles at a time and fry 2 minutes until light golden brown and turn them over to fry the other side for another 2 minutes. Place on paper towel on a large plate. Repeat with remaining cubes/triangles.

Black bean sauce:
Heat a medium sized saucepan on high heat and add in the garlic oil, the black bean paste, chili paste and the cornstarch water mixture. Stir well until you have a thick gravy-like consistency. Add more water if too thick.

Lay the stuffed tofu on a serving dish and ladle the black bean sauce on tofu. Garnish with chopped scallions.

Serve hot while crispy with steamed jasmine rice.

Pork and Chive Dumplings

April 17, 2011 § 8 Comments

There are some things in my life that no matter how hard I try, I simply cannot be “good” at them.

Some of them (but not limited to) are:

1. Bowling

2. Folding dumplings

3. Hitting a golf ball in the air (much to the huge dismay of my family…sorry Sun’s)

I tried making dumplings again.

And I failed at wrapping them, again.

But it’s okay, because these are REALLY good. Like…good enough to overlook the awful hideous package it came in when I made it. (I tried my best, and that’s all that matters…;)) These dumplings are almost melt-in-your-mouth tasty.


1. Please use good dumpling-skin.  I was cheap and got the cheapest pack of dumpling skins at the Asian grocery store and suffered miserably trying to pry apart sticky wrappers. I ended up making my own dumpling wrapper.

2. I am weird about grinding my own beef, pork, chicken, etc. I just can’t buy store-ground meat! This fear probably has its roots down where I am deeply cynical of our meat-industry and the stuff that inevitably gets ground into pre-ground meat. But if you don’t mind, buying pre-ground pork for this recipe is fine.  If you do mind, I bought three pounds of pork butt and trimmed it of all the fat (I hate that weird texture) and ground it a little at a time.

3. Please feel free to double this recipe, as this made only around 50 dumplings and if you are like me and like to get a whole bunch done and frozen so you can enjoy it whenever you’d like to.

4. I know that the ratio of veggies to meat is pretty equal, if not favoring the veggies a little more, and I was a little worried myself, but it turned out really great.

My Pork and Chive Dumplings Recipe


3 lbs pork butt, ground

3 tablespoons of canola oil

2 cups of chives, washed and chopped into 1/4 inch pieces

1 1/2 large onions, chopped finely

2 heaping tablespoons of minced garlic

1 tablespoon of grated ginger

2 teaspoons of coarse sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper

2 tablespoons of hoisin sauce

salt and pepper to taste (if needed)

50 dumpling wrappers


1. Grind your pork, set aside.

2. In a wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic, stir until fragrant, around 15 seconds.  Add onions, saute for around two minutes until translucent, and then add the chives and ginger and lower heat to medium, and cook for around 8 minutes, or until mixture is very soft.  Take off the heat and then add 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper, and then cool.

3. Add hoisin and cooled chive mixture to the pork.  Mix until well-combined.

4. Take a teaspoon-amount of pork and chive mixture and cook in a fry pan to taste for seasoning.  Add more salt if you would like to, I generally don’t at this point.

5. Using about a tablespoon of pork and chive mixture per dumpling, make them according to your preferred shape and place onto a floured plate or surface.


I am a glutton for all things fried, so I like to pan-fry my dumplings.


1. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to a large frying pan (that has a lid) and add dumplings.  Cook three minutes on first side until golden brown and then flip over and cook for two minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and put the lid on and then cook for 4 more minutes, until dumplings are cooked through.


1. Boil 5 cups of water in a pot and add dumplings, one at a time.  Cook for 10 minutes until they are done.


1. Steam for 10 minutes until they are cooked through.

Dipping sauce:

These are actually great on their own, but here is a simple and delicious dipping sauce:

1 tsp of soy sauce

1 tsp of brown rice vinegar

a pinch of hot red pepper powder

I hope you enjoy!!

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