Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Tofu Soup)

Updated: Jul 25, 2021


This popular Korean dish is perfect for feeding a family on a cold winters day. I kept this recipe fairly traditional as its extremely delicious how it is. The soup contains pork belly which I find is essential as the fat on the pork belly gets cut by the base of the soup that is made up of kimchi and a small amount of guchujang chilli paste. This is a great dish to serve up in the middle of the table and for everyone to help themselves family style...Lets cook!

To serve 6


400g pork belly

400g kimchi

1 carrot

1/2 white onion

3 garlic cloves

50g beansprouts

300g silken tofu

5 spring onions

sesame seeds

Soup base:

1600ml dashi stock

3 tbsp light soy

1/2 tbsp gochujang chilli paste

2 tbsp sugar

salt and pepper

dashi stock:

1600ml water

hand sized piece of kombu

handfull bonito flakes

3 dry shitake mushrooms


  1. Begin by making the dashi stock, add 1600ml of water to a cold pan then add a hand sized piece of kombu and 3 dry shiitake mushrooms. Place the pan onto a low heat and allow the kombu and shiitake mushrooms to steep for around 20 minutes. Now turn the heat up and bring to a boil, just before boiling point remove from the heat then add a handful of bonito flakes. Allow the the dashi stock to sit there for another 20 minutes to allow all stock to become infused. When the stock is ready drain off the stock into a bowl and leave to one side.

2. Now onto building up the soup, start with the pork belly, cut the pork belly into lardon sized pieces and add to a large pan with a drizzle of oil and season lightly with salt. Fry the pork to render some of the fat and until nice and crispy then turn the heat down to medium.

3. When the pork has rendered down, now add 1/2 sliced onion, 1 carrot cut into a julienne and 3 garlic cloves finely chopped. Fry on a medium heat until the vegetables are softened. Now chop 400g of kimchi into bite sized pieces and add to the pan followed by 3 tbsp light soy, 2 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tbsp of gochujang then fry until all nicely coated in the gochujang.

4. Now add all of the dashi stock that we made earlier and turn the heat down to a low simmer. Cook the soup for approximately 30 minutes on a simmer.

5. After 30 minutes the dish is nearly ready to serve, check the seasoning of the dish by adding black pepper and additional sugar and soy if needed. Finally add 50g of beansprouts, 5 spring onions cut into batons and 300g of sliced tofu chopped into bite sized pieces. Place a lid over the top and simmer again for a further 2 minutes to warm through the tofu.

6. To serve this soup, I think the best way is to place the pan into the centre of the table and serve family style. Pour over some toasted sesame seeds and serve with some freshly cooked boiled rice and nourish...Hope you all like this simple delicious recipe.

Additional notes:

This dish is quite versatile as you really add which ever vegetables or protein that you have lying around. Pork belly always works well with kimchi although beef, fish or just vegetables work great. Its also popular to add eggs in the soup towards the end and lightly poach. Another option instead of rice would be to add glass noodles towards the end also, almost creating a kind of kimchi hot pot. Have fun cooking this one!

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