Meg Makes | Asian pork-belly stew adds spice to winter

Meg Makes | Asian pork-belly stew adds spice to winter

My husband is a big fan of interesting international recipes.

So when chef David Choi, the owner of Seoul Taco, sent a recipe for kimchi jjigae, a spicy pork-belly stew, I knew we'd need to try it.

I bought all the ingredients at a local Asian supermarket, and the soup itself was easy to assemble. I skipped the Korean red-pepper flakes but enjoyed the not-too-spicy heat the gochujang added.

The final product reminded me of a really flavorful pork-and-cabbage soup. I'm planning on making it again soon for an easy weeknight dinner.

Seoul Taco has a location on campus, and it serves kimchi jjigae throughout the winter.

Choi's version uses his family's special kimchi recipe, although I used store-bought. Choi recommends using kimchi that's been fermenting for at least two weeks, to ensure it's sour enough.


Servings: 2 to 4.

1/2 pound pork belly

2 cups kimchi (you can use store-bought; I prefer kimchi that has been fermenting for at least two weeks)

1/2 to 1 cup kimchi juice from the kimchi jar

1/2 pound tofu, cubed

3 cups water

2-3 green onions, chopped

Optional for added heat:

Korean red-pepper flakes, to taste

1 tablespoon gochujang (Korean hot-pepper paste)

Cube pork belly and kimchi and toss into a medium-sized pot. Saute on high heat. Once pork and kimchi are seared for one to two minutes, lower heat to medium and add tofu, kimchi juice and water. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add pepper flakes and gochujang for a little more heat and close lid. Stir the pot and cook on medium heat for another 10 minutes with a closed lid. Add green onions. Serve with a side of white rice and an ice-cold beer or soju.

Meg Dickinson is a local communications professional who spends many waking hours daydreaming about food. To submit a recipe, email her at

Sections (1):Living
Topics (2):Food, People