Easy Japanese Recipes

Kimchi Chigae (Kimchi Stew)

Kimchi Jjigae | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Although the Bay Area is experiencing summer-like weathers these past weeks, I do feel the season is slowly changing when the chilly wind blows in the evening.  Fall is almost here.

I’m usually late to post seasonal recipes, but for once I’m ready to share this delicious dish to keep you warm.  The dish is called Kimchi Chigae or Kimchi Jjigae.

This stew-like Korean dish is made with kimchi (or kimchee) and other ingredients and today I made a simple vegetarian version with abundant silky tofu in it.  The stew is full of flavor from sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors from the kimchi, traditional Korean fermented napa cabbage.

There is a lot of room for variation with this dish; you can add protein (meat and fish) and/or other favorite vegetables.  If you want to keep it simple like mine, it only takes a little more than a half an hour from start to finish.

Kimchi Jjigae | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

Many Japanese like to add “Japanese” ingredients like miso in Kimchi Jjigae to add an additional layer of complexity to the flavor.  Also the closest substitute to Korean chili paste (gochujang) in Japanese pantry to add body but not too much heat.  This hearty spicy stew is served bubbling hot and it’s perfect for upcoming cold days!

To get the Kimchi Jjigae recipeclick here over at the Hikari Miso’s website.  Enjoy!

Minute Miso Original

Note: The consistency of Minute Miso is more liquid than typical miso.  If you cannot find Minute Miso, you can substitute with 1 Tbsp. miso paste (awase miso or white miso preferred) and 1 Tbsp. dashi/water for 2 Tbsp. Hikari Miso’s Minute Miso.

Hikari Miso products will be available in Amazon soon (some are available already).  You can also buy Hikari Miso products in Japanese grocery stores (my local Japanese and Asian stores carry their product).

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Hikari Miso.  To read more about my partnership with Hikari Miso, click click here.

Leave a Comment

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  • Farnaz/Pomegranate Diaries September 9, 2013, 5:31 pm

    SO excited to try this! I’m obsessed with Kimchi! I’ve got a jar in my fridge right now and will use it to make this!

  • Jeannie September 9, 2013, 5:43 pm

    Perfectly done, can see how appetising this soup is just by looking at the photos, I like the way you slice your green onions for garnishing:)

  • A_Boleyn September 9, 2013, 5:49 pm

    I’m still trying to work up to pickles … cabbage sauerkraut is going to take some time but the dish itself is visually appealing.

  • Yelena September 9, 2013, 6:18 pm

    Perfect dish for Autumn. The taste must be amazing. I love asian stew/soups. Never cooked myself, maybe I should try-)) It is so nice and cool here, we eat our dinners outside every day!

  • Belinda @zomppa September 9, 2013, 7:05 pm

    I love love love tofu bowls! Weather got cold then it’s going to get hot again! I can’t figure it out.

  • john@kitchenriffs September 9, 2013, 7:24 pm

    I love kimchi! And this stew looks terrific for the fall. This has such great, full flavor – and with a bit of spice, which I like. Good stuff – thanks.

  • tigerfish September 9, 2013, 7:26 pm

    I can feel the warmth and comfort of this dish as and when the weather gets cooler.
    It is so hot today!

  • sheri September 9, 2013, 7:28 pm

    Oooh, looks so good! Kimchi jjigeh is my all time favorite Korean soup!

  • Vicki Bensinger September 9, 2013, 7:30 pm

    This is a beautiful soup and so healthy. I’ve never tried this before but would love to make it. The photo is so inviting!

  • The Squishy Monster September 9, 2013, 7:37 pm

    I’ve been contemplating whether or not I should add miso to my jjigae and I think you’ve just convinced me, Nami! This is one of mama’s faaaavorite foods and it may have just gotten better =)

  • Kristy September 9, 2013, 7:56 pm

    It’s not cold here yet either. Seems as though we are still in the throws of summer. This sounds like a great fall dish. And fall will be here before we know it.

  • Monet September 9, 2013, 8:10 pm

    As I type, our very first cold front is moving in. This kimchi stew would be a great way to welcome the season. Thank you for sharing yet another delicious and delightful post. I hope you had a wonderful Monday. Here’s to an even better week!

  • Serena @Serena Bakes Simply From Scratch September 9, 2013, 8:11 pm

    Nami, Your soup looks delicious! I imagine the flavors to be a perfect soup for fall! I can’t wait to try it!

  • The Ninja Baker September 9, 2013, 9:28 pm


  • Ash-foodfashionparty September 9, 2013, 10:45 pm

    Kimchi is a very restaurant thing for me,your soups looks very good. You’ve just convinced me to make it at home. You make food look so good Nami.
    Yes, it’s hot here, feels like summer just started.

  • Vivalabbird September 9, 2013, 11:11 pm

    Hi Nami!
    This is one my favourite things to order when I go to a Korean restaurant! I can’t wait to try your version!!

    • Nami September 9, 2013, 11:15 pm

      Hope you enjoy, Vivi! :)

  • Joanne T Ferguson September 9, 2013, 11:27 pm

    G’day Nami! I have never heard of Organic Minute Miso, true!
    I love kimchi and never thought to make it in a stew!
    Cheers! Joanne

  • TheKitchenLioness September 10, 2013, 12:06 am

    Nami, this looks very autumnal, beautiful warm colors and fabulous list of ingrediensts – I also like the way you presented the Kimchi Jjigae in these very pretty soup bowl with the lids! Perfect for fall, that´s for sure!

  • Mich Piece of Cake September 10, 2013, 1:29 am

    This looks like comfort food especially for a cold rainy day like today!

  • Purabi Naha | Cosmopolitan Currymania September 10, 2013, 2:56 am

    Wow, this is really so good! I love kimchi jigae and often make it at home. Love your food photographs: thse make me instant hungry! Hikari miso is something I would love to try…great that it is going to be available on Amazon soon!

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef September 10, 2013, 2:57 am

    I’ve eaten kimchi but never in a stew like this. Your dish is beautiful!

  • easyfoodsmith September 10, 2013, 3:36 am

    I love the kimchi ‘salad’ that is served in restaurants here. The kimchi stew sounds equally good. Lovely clicks :)

  • Sue | My Korean Kitchen September 10, 2013, 4:53 am

    Stunning photo, Nami! As I don’t normally add miso in my jjigae, I’m very curious to find out how adding it would affect the flavour.

  • Al G September 10, 2013, 5:21 am

    The Kimchi should be “old”, not fresh. That is it should have been sitting around for a week or two in the fridge (it never lasts much more than that with me). Lactic acid still builds up in the cooler and makes it a little more tangy than the fresh variety. I’m assuming it is the Napa Cabbage version of the Kimchi, not the radish and other varieties.

    One other ingredient highly recommended to be added for the last 10 min of cooking is scallion/green onion, white & green parts sliced in 1″ lengths. I use about 1-2 scallions/serving – adjust to your own taste.

    If you use fresh pork belly, add that in when you are cooking the onions in the beginning.

    Short grain rice is the perfect accompaniment, especially if you turn up the heat with the chilies.

    And lastly, NOT ENOUGH GARLIC!!!!! Yes I’m shouting. Double or triple the amount. It’ll mellow out when cooking.

    Peace, love & Cherry Garcia…..

    • Nami September 10, 2013, 9:07 am

      Thank you for your great suggestions Al! :)

  • Denise Browning@From Brazil To You September 10, 2013, 5:47 am

    What a comforting, interesting soup, Nami! It’s so ideal for the upcoming season…

  • Laura (Tutti Dolci) September 10, 2013, 8:06 am

    I love making soup in the fall when the temperatures drop. This looks so flavorful!

  • veganmiam September 10, 2013, 8:45 am

    Oh my heavens! This sounds like a fantastic dish for the fall season, I would love to get some kim chi! I love all kinds of flavors: sweet, salty, sour and spicy from the kimchi. What a delicious looking “hot pot” dish!

  • cquek September 10, 2013, 9:34 am

    It’s fun learning how to make this…

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com September 10, 2013, 11:17 am

    I literally can’t live without kimchi and miso. This looks so comforting, Nami :)

  • Rosa September 10, 2013, 11:17 am

    A wonderfully comforting stew! I’m sure it tastes delicious.



  • Evelyne@cheapethniceatz September 10, 2013, 11:19 am

    I am a huge fan of Korean food, this recipe just looks amazing. And simple enough I visited the site.

  • nusrat2010 September 10, 2013, 11:52 am

    What a delightful, colorful, joyful, beautiful stew idea!
    I could live the rest of my life on this ‘bubbling hot’ bowl full of stew.
    Thanks a billion for sharing :)

  • Kitchen Belleicious September 10, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I love the idea of a miso paste! Would make my attempts at your food so much easier:) LOL! I do a good job but having some of this would make it even better! Of course no one can compare to you- you are such a fabulous cook!

  • Coffee and Crumpets September 10, 2013, 12:12 pm

    This looks great Nami! Perfect for our cool autumn temperatures that have started coming in now.
    Love all the flavours!

  • Juliana September 10, 2013, 1:55 pm

    I still have the kimchi from Costco, this will be great to try…looks delicious and packed with flavors…
    Hope you are enjoying your week Nami :D

  • Choc Chip Uru September 10, 2013, 2:23 pm

    This looks utterly fantastic :D
    Very similar to a dish my mum makes!

    Choc Chip Uru

  • Des September 10, 2013, 3:04 pm

    I don’t eat kimchi that much, probably because I have no idea how to really use it. I’ve tried it in fried rice which was good but am loving this soup idea because I’ve been noticing the cool breeze coming in at night too. Yay fall!

  • Yvonne @ bitter baker September 10, 2013, 4:31 pm

    Yeah, today’s been pretty warm here in Seattle too, but fall is getting closer – it’s been raining more and more lately. Would be lovely to warm up with this!

  • yummychunklet September 10, 2013, 5:07 pm

    Love kimchi. This stew sounds delicious.

  • Yi @ Yi Reservation September 10, 2013, 7:01 pm

    What an awesome kimich stew recipe. I just found a perfect way to use my leftover kimich which has been sitting in my fridge for weeks. Thanks a lot for sharing it!

  • Nikki Esser September 10, 2013, 8:52 pm

    I was in Korea this year in May and I love all their simple soups. Very little deep fried. Therefore, could you please put more recipe of Korea home cook.

  • Tiffany | baking at tiffanys September 10, 2013, 10:57 pm

    This looks perfect for the fall! If only the weather would behave (too hot lately!). Everything you make looks like they’re from a restaurant–so professional. I’m hungry looking at these photos.

  • Suzanne September 10, 2013, 11:12 pm

    What a beautiful dish that will be perfect for those cool Fall days ahead.

  • GourmetGetaways September 11, 2013, 12:33 am

    I would love to try such a warming and traditional dish!
    It looks absolutely delicious :)
    Thanks for sharing :)

  • Bam's Kitchen September 11, 2013, 1:43 am

    Konnichi wa Nami-san, I think I am right along with you as I have been craving some warm and comforting meals and actually last week made shabu shabu. I love your recipe and a little spicy and a little savory and no carbs is a plus! Take Care, BAM

  • Ramona September 11, 2013, 4:01 am

    I am totally getting excited about the cooler weather. I am craving hearty stews and soups. This looks wonderful. :)

    PS… I went to Wholefoods and they do not carry this Miso brand… I am going to check my local Asian store and I hope they have it. :)

  • Min September 11, 2013, 5:25 am

    Kimchi jjigae!! All of a sudden, I want my mommy haha… She makes it the best. I’ve never had it with miso before. I shall try soon and will let you know ;)

  • Asmita September 11, 2013, 6:34 am

    Hi Nami,
    This looks like such a comforting and inviting soup. I love kimchi and I will definitely give this soup a try. Thanks for sharing!

  • o September 11, 2013, 7:19 am

    Autumn is already here in Stockholm and this beautiful dish makes me feel warm… beautiful picture! I love the autumn colors…

  • Elizabeth @Mango_Queen September 11, 2013, 8:22 am

    This is the kind of good, heartwarming stew that my family will enjoy. I have some kimchi and miso on hand. I just might try this. Thanks for sharing & the kind blog visits, Nami. Hope your kids are enjoying school. Take it easy!

  • Sandra | Sandra's Easy Cooking September 11, 2013, 8:58 am

    I think you did fantastic job, Nami! Adding miso sounds very interesting and I will try your way soon…I could eat kimchi jjigae even for breakfast :D …yours look appetizing and delicious! Well done as always!

  • Priscilla | ShesCookin September 11, 2013, 10:30 am

    I’m always “late” with seasonal recipes, too – probably because we don’t really have seasons in SoCal!! But we crave soups and stews when temps get down to 55 degrees :) I love kimchi and am going to make my own low sodium version for winter soups like this!

  • mjskit September 11, 2013, 1:41 pm

    Now you’re talking my language. I do love Kimchi and am actually surprised to see something so spicy posted here. :) I’ve never used Kimchi in a soup before but that may have to change. This soup looks quite yummy and perfect for the cooler temperatures that we’re experiencing here.

  • Patty September 11, 2013, 2:38 pm

    I think Fall is in the air Nami! Your Kimchi Stew looks like the perfect bowl of comfort food for the cooler nights ahead ;)

  • Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 12, 2013, 1:36 am

    I need to try this! I have a friend who is a huge Kimchi lover who would definitely appreciate it.

  • Charles September 12, 2013, 5:34 am

    This “Minute Miso” stuff… since I can’t get it in Europe… can I reproduce it somehow with regular miso paste? I finally bought some for the first time the other day (hooray) – and it rocks. So delicious, I’ve been making vinaigrettes but am looking out for other recipes to try…

    • Nami September 15, 2013, 9:15 pm

      The miso in bottle like the one I used here is diluted so it’s not a paste form anymore. So the amount of miso needs to be adjusted. However, it’s miso, so sure you can use it. What kind of miso did you buy? Red, white, awase miso?

      Sissi used to use Hikari Miso brand miso (now she’s using miso sent from Japan) and I was surprised they can get Hikari Miso in Switzerland!

  • Dedy@Dentist Chef September 12, 2013, 11:12 am

    Looks nice and earthy soup…
    this gonna be spicy and sour, perfect for seafood protein…
    btw, what is the garnish that u’ve using in the photograph Nami???

  • Sandra September 12, 2013, 12:15 pm

    I’ve read that fermented vegetables are supposed to be very healthy. Which means this is going to be on my to-make list. It also looks very delicious and I love your presentation.

  • Sissi September 12, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I have never had kimchi chigae, but I often prepare soups and stews with kimchi and it always transforms everything to a complex, amazing dish. Your kimchi stew looks amazing! And what a cute bowl! I am glad to see you are also a kimchi fan.

  • Terra September 13, 2013, 5:48 am

    I still have never tried kimchi, but definitely want to enjoy it soon! Your stew looks so hearty and delicious, perfect comfort food! Yum, Hugs, Terra

  • Mi Vida en un Dulce September 14, 2013, 5:13 am

    Yes, the weather is changing, here the days are more warm, and the last 3 days we have sunny mornings: Summer is coming…

  • Raymund September 15, 2013, 1:05 am

    You’re going Korean now, love to see more Korean dishes here :)

  • Hannah September 15, 2013, 7:56 pm

    What a stunning dish, Nami! I just love kimchi and can’t wait to try this one.

  • nicole (thespicetrain.com) September 16, 2013, 10:31 am

    Beautiful styling and photography, as always!

  • Gomo | cHow Divine September 21, 2013, 3:03 pm

    With the colder weather coming, kimchi jjigae is the perfect comfort food. I like my kimchi jjigae simple as well. This looks so yummy!

  • nipponnin September 25, 2013, 10:03 am


  • Kelly September 30, 2013, 2:22 am

    Looks incredible Nami! We eat kimchi jigae a lot during the cooler months too and yours looks so comforting and mouthwatering delicious:)

  • Lynna October 3, 2013, 1:49 am

    I actually love eating kimchi! I would normally eat kimchi jjigae if it wasn`t so spicy! Haha. I`m terrible at eating any levels of spicy foods. But, I love Korean stews, like tofu soup.

  • Lori Lynn October 10, 2013, 5:37 am

    Hi Nami – this is one of my favorite jjigaes. Yours sounds perfect. Looking forward to the cooler weather…

  • Mae October 27, 2013, 8:03 pm

    Our favorite Korean restaurant on Monument Blvd. in Concord, Ca. is called Korean BBQ Plus. I ordered the Kimchee Chigae for my lunch entree and did enjoy it.

    The restaurant has a Korean grocery next door and picked up the flavorful Korean chili paste for under $5 and some silken tofu and of course their fresh kimchee.

    Your recipe is super easy and so wonderful for a day like today where the temps dropped like 20 degrees from the day before.

    This is a recipe that I will repeat during our cold months. Many thanks.

    • Nami October 27, 2013, 8:59 pm

      Hi Mae! How convenient to have a supermarket next to a restaurant! I used to live around there and I had hard time finding Japanese/Asian ingredients (and I wasn’t too familiar back then). Hope you enjoy the recipe, and thank you so much for your comment! :)