Everything Kimchi Chigae
What's not to love about Kimchi Chigae?
Hailing from Korea, Kimchi Chigae is hot, spicy, flavorful and filled with lots of healthy things including meat, vegetables like onion, green onion, garlic and tofu. Cabbage Kimchi is Korea's popular national dish that is eaten at almost every single meal and Kimchi Chigae, or Kimchi stew in English is the perfect way to use leftover Kimchi that has been left to ferment for a while, so it's too sour to just eat fresh. In fact, the more sour the kimchi, the better the flavor your Kimchi Chigae will have and the more addicted to it you will become!
Although Kimchi Chigae is extremely delicious, if you're up for some healthy/vegetarian western style food in South Korea, why not order from Iherb and cook at home. Everyone needs a break from the kimchi sometimes, even though it is one of the most delicious foods known!
What is Kimchi?
Kimchi is the Korean National Dish, consisting of a vegetable that is fermented with spicy red peppers, onion, garlic, onion and fish paste. You can eat it fresh, but it's more delicious if you leave it for at least a few days for the flavors to mix together. Traditionally, it's how Koreans preserved vegetables over the winter. The most popular kind of Kimchi is cabbage Kimchi and most Koreans will eat it at every single meal.
Kimchi Chigae, or stew is a traditional kind of dish that many Koreans will eat for breakfast with a bit of rice and perhaps a fried egg. It's perfect for using Kimchi that is quite old and too pungent and sour to eat uncooked. But, it's perfect for Kimchi Chigae.
Where can I get Kimchi Chigae?
The best place to get Kimchi Chigae is of course to come to Korea. You can find it on practically every street for less than $5 a bowl. Every restaurant has their own secret, so try them all and find your favorite.
Besides that, you can make yourself a Korean friend wherever you are and I'm sure they'll be able to make it for you. Of, find the local Korean restaurant where you are and check to see if they'd make you a bowl.
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What's the best place to eat Kimchi Chigae?
How can I make my own Kimchi Chigae?
It's really quite simple to make your own, if you have the right ingredients. For authentic kimchi, you'll need to find a Korean supermarket. They can be found in most major cities around the world. Find a recipe (I've listed some below), make a list and bring it the store to do your shopping.
Recipes differ but the basic idea is to fry up some onion, garlic, ginger, salt-pork, and kimchi. Add some water or broth and and tofu. Add some hot peppers, green onions and salt and pepper. You can serve in regular bowls with rice, but it's more authentic if you use hot-pot bowls. Serve with some sticky rice. Easy?
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How to serve your Kimchi Chigae
The authentic way to serve your chigae is piping hot, in a stone bowl that you heat up on the stove. When it comes to the table, it's still boiling away, cooking. Or, if you eat it communally, it comes in a steel flat pot, and is served over a portable flame to keep it hot while you eat. It's always eaten with rice, and perhaps a few side dishes, but it's not totally necessary.
How to make kimchi chigae
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How spicy do you like your Kimchi Chigae?
Odes to the Kimchi Chigae
Kimchi's Health Benefits
Koreans can't get enough Kimchi, they eat 40 pounds or it per person per year! The locals claim is cures or prevents everything from the common cold to more serious stuff like Sars and Aids It's made with some type or vegetable, usually cabbage and mixed with garlic, salt, vinegar, chili peppers, and other spices.
Kimchi is full of vitamins A, B, and C, but its biggest benefit may be in its “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli, found in fermented foods, which helps with digestion, plus it seems to stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study. Additionally, it may help prevent cancer
Because it's so spicy, it raises metabolism and helps to prevent obesity. Plus, it's extremely low in calories, but very filling.
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Check out this blog from a long-time Canadian expat teaching at a South Korea University.