Field Notes

Kimchi Stew

If you have yet to experience the magic that is gochujang, allow this recipe to be your guide. The slightly fermented red pepper paste adds dimension to the fiery, funky kimchi, while silken tofu and pork belly add richness. This dish is perfect for a cold day when you're craving something cozy but not overly heavy.  

Kimchi Stew

Yield: 2.5 quarts

  • 1 pound pork belly, skin removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • One 1-inch knob of ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup gochujang
  • 2 cups kimchi with its juices
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 8 ounces silken tofu
  • 10 scallions, thinly sliced on a bias

Add the pork belly to a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Place over medium low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the fat has rendered, 7 to 10 minutes. Turn the heat to high and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes to allow the pork belly to crisp up. Carefully pour out all but 2 tablespoons of the fat, and return the pot with the pork belly to medium heat. Stir in the soy, vinegar and sesame oil and cook for 1 minute.

Add the garlic, onion and ginger and cook, stirring, until golden and softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the kimchi and its juices, gochujang and chicken broth. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes longer.

To serve, divide the tofu between 8 bowls and top with ladles of the stew. Garnish with the scallions and serve.