They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. But I would argue that food, after distance, is what really does it :)
After making homemade marshmallows, having girl time with my lovelies, and shopping until there was literally nothing left to buy...I really was starting to miss AC. And I was only 2 days in! So in preparation for his long-awaited homecoming, I decided to make one of his favorite soups.
I'm not Korean, but I would say living with one has definitely rubbed off on me. Like, I now get it why all Koreans have to keep baking soda in their refrigerator. ;) And I don't think every red-colored food (which is about 85% of all Korean cuisine) is spicy anymore! In fact, the spicier the better. Anyway, our kimchi was getting riiiiiiipe (you'll understand if you're Korean) and hadn't been touched in days. I was tempted to throw it out...but the Korean in me knew better -- ripe kimchi is perfect for kimchi jjigae!
This was actually my first time making kimchi jjigae by myself, but I had watched AC make this soup so many times that I had a pretty good idea of what to do. Watch and learn, right?? Anyway, I must have had a great teacher because I couldn't have been happier with the results :D
The soup's main components are pork belly and kimchi, which are two delicious foods that you really can't go wrong with. Combine that with fresh vegetables and a light yet flavorful broth, and you have this incredibly satisfying soup that always comforts both your belly and soul. Served hot and bubbling, this spicy soup is best when hungover or on a cold, rainy night....or for lunch, or in the summer, or whenever you just want something tasty to eat :P
Recipe by AC/SC
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 T sesame oil
1/2 lb pork belly
1/2 large white onion, diced
2 T kochu'jang (red pepper paste)
6 C anchovy stock ---> 6 C water + dried anchovies enclosed in a mesh ball
4 oz (half a container) mushrooms, quartered
1 zucchini, diced
7 oz (half a container) tofu, cubed
2 1/2 C kimchi
3/4 C kimchi juice
To make the soup stock, boil water and dried anchovies for about 10 minutes in a medium pot. Discard dried anchovies from broth, and set aside.
In a large pot, fry the garlic in sesame oil until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork belly and chopped onions and stir until just cooked, about 3-5 minutes. Add kochu'gang and mix until it evenly covers everything. Add anchovy stock and bring to a boil.
Mix in mushrooms, zucchini, and tofu. Add kimchi and juice. Season to taste.